Saint-Damase Park

I’m just not sure what to say.
Could this park be…perfect?

I loathe, LOATHE driving on the design disaster/hellscape that is the Metropolitan, but I’d do it every day (and twice a day on Sundays!) if we were coming back here. 

Opened at the end of June 2019, this large park underwent a complete $1.3 million renovation and now includes three play areas: 0 to 2 years, 18 months to 5 years, and 5 to 12 years. Eeee!
It’s now bright, cheery, and literally turned around my 11-year old’s frown. 
To appeal to various ages and create a great neighbourhood spot there’s also a large community table, various picnic spots and lounge chairs, a greenspace for games, Trekfit exercise equipment, ping pong, a 200-metre yellow brick road (not really) around the park on which to walk, run, or tricycle around, and the fantastically delightful Waterplay splash pad.

Both grumpy kids were like “We’re NOT getting in the water. I’m not changing. It’s too cold.”
Ya, well. Once I turned it on and they watched the sprays, and massive splash of the Sky Soaker, and saw that they could shoot each other with the Blasters and the jets of the cool Surfboards, they went in.
And they loved it. 
“We’re not getting out!”
I enjoyed standing under the tall dripping Rain Caps and pretending I couldn’t hear their shrieking.

Closest to the splash pad is the big-kid play area with its imposing, weird, and totally bananas play structure. It’s tall, it’s challenging, and both kids’ eyes widened when we first saw it. The 6-year old even stopped to read the sign to make sure he was “allowed” to go on it. It’s got ropes and ladders to climb, talk tubes in the tree houses that work, and a wicked-cool bridge to cross. 
LOVED IT. Nice to see something so different from the usual ladder/platform/slide combo that designers seem to think older kids enjoy. 

The play areas for infants and toddlers are equally fun with the adorable mini Nook from Landscape Structures with its “doorbell”, mirror, windows, and lots to touch and turn. The larger Weevos climber has always been one of my favourite toddler climbers and I love the ground-level activity panels, the small bridge, slide, and easy steps for beginner walkers, and pods to cross. There’s also a slighter larger slide, again with stairs, and a little “mountain” to climb. Two baby swings are nearby.

This borough is building some amazing parks, and some of our favourites parks and splash pads have been in Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. I love that they’re including products for the youngest kids (0-2) and also thinking about appealing to tweens and teens. 
Well done to the designers and suppliers of this park!

My only critique would be the chalet that we couldn’t get into, and that there are no swings besides the baby swings. I’d add in two adult swings and another with an adaptive seat. 

Things to note:
-The splash pad water is on from 9am-11pm. Touch the sensor on top on the post to start the water sequence. 
-The park is located on 20th Avenue, between Villeray Street and Crémazie Boulevard East (map is below the photo gallery.)
-The park is fenced, but has paths to the nearby schools, and a wide opening at the main entrance. 
-We easily found street parking in front of the park entrance on 20th Avenue, but it was early morning during the week, and none of the three surrounding schools was in session. It may be trickier on weekends!
-The chalet was closed and locked when we were there in early August, with no sign on the door. 

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