It’s certainly been a strange spring with unexpected snowfalls, followed days later by sweltering and sticky weather. It seems like just yesterday I was putting away the mittens and winter hats to get out sunscreen and shorts. Actually, it was yesterday. But, it looks like hot days are finally here to stay, and what better way to cool off than by spending the day dancing through the water at a refreshing splash pad.
Below you’ll find some of our family’s favourite splash pads that we’ve visited over the past few summers. They’re open to everyone, free, and of course, super fun.
Cyril-W.-McDonald Park – PIERREFONDS-ROXBORO
Location: Corner of Graham Rd. and Harry-Worth Rd.
New in 2019, this splash pad has bright and cheery ocean/fish-themed water products for different ages including a trio of delightful tipping fish, tall misting plants, arches to run through, a cute turtle that toddlers will love, and a not-so-scary sea serpent. Surrounding the water area are lovely lounge chairs for pretending you’re at the beach, shade structures, and both big and toddler-sized picnic tables. There’s nowhere to change so come prepared. The nearby playground isn’t the best but it doesn’t really matter as you probably won’t be leaving the water area much. There’s also a large green space if you want to bring a kite or picnic blanket to spread out in the sun.
Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are two sensors to turn on the water sequence.
Bathrooms: There’s a dry toilet right near the splash pad.
Parking: Free street parking at the top of Graham Rd., and you can access the park from two other streets (Harry Worth and King).
Lake Road Park – DOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX
Location: Corner of Lake Rd. and Hemingway St.
Another one built in 2019, this multi-section jungle-themed splash pad is great for big and little kids, and adults too. The giant tipping bucket will have everyone counting down in anticipation, there are animal head water cannons, and plenty of sprayers to prance through. Toddlers have their own little section with interactive water toys to jump on, turn, and spray.
The playground in the park is not within eyesight of the splash pad, so you’ll need to pack up and travel if you want to play at both.
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bathrooms: Available in the park chalet from Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parking: A lot is located off Hemingway Rd.
Valois Park – POINTE-CLAIRE
Location: 85 Belmont Ave.
There are many cool features at this splash pad including a huge dumping wheel of water, a ship’s wheel, in-ground sprays, rotating jets, gentle crab and fish sprayers for smaller kids, and even nighttime lights. Surrounding the water area are benches, tons of picnic tables (including one that’s accessible), a large shade structure, and the playground is just across the path. Note that this park and splash pad are very busy, with summer camps and daycares using it during the day.
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There are various sensors for the different areas, including some on the ground so be sure to press them all.
Bathrooms: There is a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and three separate changing rooms (that may not be open depending on pandemic restrictions).
Parking: Street parking is available on Belmont Ave., or during the summer months you can use the parking lot of the school across the street.
Lalancette Park – MERCIER—HOCHELAGA-MAISONNEUVE
Location: 2315 Nicolet Rd.
This splash pad is ridiculously original and fun. Like a scene out of the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids you’ll be surrounded by giant critters, a huge magnifying glass, and tall blades of grass. There are dripping and spinning flowers, a water blaster, all sorts of ground jets, interactive ants to step on, and the beautiful butterfly and its tipping dew drop.
There’s lots of space to run around and a quieter water area for babies and toddlers. The nearby playground was just redone in 2018 and in the large park you’ll also find outdoor fitness equipment, picnic tables, lounge chairs, and ping pong tables.
Hours: Daily 9 a.m to 10 p.m. The sensor to turn on the water sequence is on the ground near the butterfly,
Bathrooms: A new wheelchair-accessible chalet with bathrooms was built a few years ago, but residents mention it is not always unlocked.
Parking: Street parking is available around the park, but check the signs very carefully.
Famille Park – L’ÎLE-PERROT
Location: Corner 25th Ave. and Boischatel Rd.
Though not a large splash pad, this one is one of our favourites because it’s just so cute. The pirate theme and landscaping with its “moat” make it seem as though you’ve travelled to a far-off land. There’s a boat to hide in, tipping buckets, misting palm trees, and water cannons to hold off the enemy. Shaded picnic tables are right beside the water area, or you can picnic in the large park where you’ll also find two playgrounds, tons of green space, and a wheelchair-accessible glider.
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Press the sensor that’s located in the “treasure map” to start the water sequence. Note that the splash pad is used by nearby daycares and day camps and may be busy during the day.
Bathrooms: There is a small chalet with bathrooms, but it is not always unlocked.
Parking: Find a small lot on Boischatel Rd., or park along the road.
Saint-Damase Park – VILLERAY–SAINT-MICHEL–PARC-EXTENSION
Location: 7645 20th Ave. (between Villeray St. and Crémazie Blvd. E.)
My kiddos and I loved this sparkly-new splash pad. The highlight is the huge dumping beach ball, but there are also spraying surfboards to aim, water cannons, ground jets, and more. It’s bright, cheery, and super fun. The park was completely redone in 2019 and has amazing play structures for all ages, as well as outdoor fitness equipment, huge tables, space to run around, lounge chairs, and the coolest drinking fountain.
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bathrooms: There is a park chalet, but no mention if there are bathrooms inside. It was locked when we visited.
Parking: Street parking available in front of the park entrance on 20th Ave.
Raimbault Park – AHUNTSIC-CARTIERVILLE
Location: 12377 Notre-Dame-des-Anges St.
What was once a wading pool was turned into a huge, colourful, and interactive splash pad. There are squishy pods to jump on, gorgeous flowers to turn, and water cannons for spraying each other. The water area is mostly fenced and has lounge chairs and shade structures right beside the action. A fun playground with play structures and musical instruments is steps away, and you can also walk along the paths and bridge for views of ducks frolicking in the river.
Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bathrooms: There is a park chalet with bathrooms inside.
Parking: The park has a small lot on Notre-Dame-des-Anges St. or find street parking just in front.
Père-Marquette Park – ROSEMONT – LA-PETITE-PATRIE
Location: Corner Garnier St. and Carrières St.
Stunning! This huge nature-themed splash pad has different zones for various ages and tons of water features to touch, turn, and play with. Towering flowers cast colourful rainbows on the ground, butterflies and tall blades of grass spray kids running by, and the giant ladybug soaker drops an exhilarating 30 gallons of water. Toddlers have their own quiet section with smooth boulders that let out gentle streams, ground sprays, and adorable critters for spraying their friends. Near the water area are benches and lounge chairs, shaded picnic tables, and the new natural playground is not to be missed. This park is huge and continues across the street with a skatepark, lots of green space, and tons of room to run around.
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bathrooms: There is a new park chalet with bathrooms inside.
Parking: There’s street parking around the park, but it’s not always easy to find an empty spot.
René-Goupil Park – VILLERAY–SAINT-MICHEL–PARC-EXTENSION
Location: 8670 25th Ave.
This is a colourful, bright, and fun splash pad for all ages. The installations include foot-activated water cannons, tipping buckets, beautiful spraying butterflies that cast cool shadows on the ground, a spinning wheel, and spraying fronds. There’s also a quieter area for toddlers with a cute crab, and a fun water bell to scurry under. The park is large with tennis, bocce/pétanque, a new artificial soccer field, a gazebo, two playgrounds, and picnic tables.
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are two sensors to turn on the water. Touch the button on the post for the larger section, and press the button on the ground for the toddler area.
Bathrooms: Bathrooms are available inside by the indoor pool.
Parking: Only street parking is available. The splash pad is closest to Frégault St., and is right beside the chalet and up from a wheelchair-accessible path.
Émilie-Gamelin Park – LA PRAIRIE
Location: 175 Mésanges Blvd.
This sea-themed splash pad has an imposing scorpion to run under, a crab and fish sprayer, a ship’s bow to duck behind, and plenty of in-ground jets. It’s fun and interactive and great for all ages. The space-themed playground is just steps away, making it easy to watch kids in both areas. Be warned that there is basically no shade at this park, so bring plenty of sunscreen and wear your hats.
Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bathrooms: Bathrooms are available in the nearby chalet.
Parking: A huge lot off Mésanges Boulevard has plenty of spaces.
Related Read: 15 ways to keep kids cool this summer
All photos by Christine Latreille