Parc du Bassin-à-Gravier

150 Canada Playground Badge (1)

I’ve been stalking the construction of this park ever since reading about it on the city’s website. After seeing some pictures of the almost completed build on Les installations sportives F.D.‘s Facebook page, I was beyond excited to bring the boys for a visit. While the playground is now complete (and open to the public since May 26th), there is still some work being done nearby, which didn’t deter us and just made it all the more exciting for the toddler. 
Saws! Cement trucks! Construction men in orange vests!
The official inauguration of the park will take place on July 10th, 2016 at 1pm. You can watch Le Sud-Ouest’s FB page for more details. 

I was really impressed by the playground which has new-to-us equipment (and after having now seen over 400 playgrounds, that’s pretty rare!), and what makes it really unique is its modern architectural design. There’s no bright plastic play structures here, rather the playground equipment from distributers Unova and Imagineo is a mix of metals, rope, and wood in a subtle nautical theme. There’s a sculptural/artistic feel to everything and the backdrop of Montreal’s skyline is stunning. It’s cool to see Mount Royal’s Lookout from below.
We parked on Rue Ottawa (because we found a free spot) and hopped up over the retaining wall and across the splash pad.
And while there is a splash pad, the water wasn’t yet on while we were there, but what I like is that there are only ground jets and sprays, so there’s nothing to block the view of the city. When the water is off you wouldn’t even know there’s a splash pad. So the picture in the gallery of the concrete base? That’s the splash pad 🙂 For photos of the water park in action, you can view them HERE
p.s. So far there’s no info on the city’s website HERE about the hours of operation for the water, but I imagine it will be 8am-9pm like the others. 

There are spots to sit, including  around the edge of the stylized “sandbox”, as well as wood benches on the sides of the two play areas. My toddler bolted for the fenced and gated 18 months – 5 year old section and checked out all the new things. If you have a stroller, or a wheelchair, the entire park is accessible and there are ramps leading right down from Rue Bassin, and directly into the wood mulch of the big-kid area, and onto the rubber flooring of the toddler zone. 

My little guy LOVED the Corocord rope climber with the separate big fat rope (that’s the technical term) and the rubber climbing wall and “nest”. After playing mommy bird/baby bird for a while, he checked out the stepping stones leading to the small Kompan climber. There are easy to access stairs, a small slide and a ground-level ledge where you can serve your parents pretend espressos, because they are obviously lacking in energy.  “Mommy, you can have seven.”
The boathouse with its bench, steering wheel and portholes, was a hit and he completely ignored us while sailing out to sea. 
The only swings in the park are also in this section (on mulch) and consist of two baby swings (there are no adult swings at all).

Though we could have stayed in this part for a while, we skipped across the wood decking to the “boat” complete with sail and a crow’s nest. Older kids will enjoy climbing the rigging, ladders, and crossing the webbed ropes to get to the slide. 
Again, I just loved the design and aesthetics. My 8-year old was in school when we visited, and upon seeing me editing the pictures, demanded that we take him back another day. He’s pretty picky, so I think this park’s a winner. Actually, we all liked it so much that I’m putting it in our “favourites“. 
My only complaint? There’s going to be next to no shade throughout the whole park as there are only small saplings for now. 

We stopped for a quick drink at the water fountain, and wandered across the grass to Rue Bassin and down the boardwalk leading to the Lachine Canal. What a view! Though we sauntered along, there were plenty of people biking, walking and jogging. 

If you’re curious about the history of the area, THIS ARTICLE from Prével is an interesting read with some historical pictures of the Bassins du Havre over the years. Or you can watch a great video from Radio-Canada HERE. (Really, watch. It’s interesting!)

This park doesn’t yet show up on Google Maps, but if you punch in the address for the Brasseur de Montreal restaurant at 1485 Rue Ottawa that brings you to the right spot. The park is directly across the street from the brewery. (Or just click on the pin in the map in this post for coordinates)

Things to note: The splash pad water should be on from 8am-8pm.


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