Neighbourhood families have been anxiously waiting for the reopening of this park, and after two years of intense renovations, the construction fencing surrounding LaSalle’s Ménard Park was recently hauled away. The huge site has been entirely redone and its multigenerational design considers the needs of everyone in the community. From new playgrounds and equipment to basketball courts and a splash pad, Ménard Park is sure to be the go-to destination for this summer.
Challenging play for older kids
Highlights of the park include the immense “DNA towers” that my hard-to-impress 8 and 13 year old loved. With its intricate ropes to climb, high bridge, and tall enclosed slide, it’s great for older kids and those wanting a challenge.
Equally enticing is the section with technology-enhanced play products that encourage active play with physical, visual, and sound components. The games test players’ agility, balance, memory, speed, and climbing skills, and judging by my kids’ sweaty foreheads and squeals of laughter — they’re loads of fun!
Toddler zone will delight
The littlest visitors can explore the adorable play structure that has plenty to touch and turn. Climb up the little ramp and across the mini bridge, or scale the pint-sized wall to reach the slides. In the surrounding wood chips, they’ll also find spring riders, a triple seat bouncer, and little steps to balance on or hop across. And for those who love digging, there’s a small sandbox just beside the play area.
But wait, there’s more!
Reach for the sky on one of the many swings, including baby and adult swings, a tandem swing, and a three-point harness adaptive swing. To the relief of parents with multiple kids, the splash pad is central to the various play areas and makes keeping an eye on little ones just a little bit easier. The splash pad is unobtrusive and doesn’t have the usual multicoloured dumping buckets and water cannons. Rather, the large rectangular surface has ground jets that reach up high, and small sprays for those who don’t like getting their faces wet. In-ground lighting will also light up the area for after-dark play.
Room to move for youth and adults
The multi-generational design also caters to teens and adults. Those who want to go outside and get active can do so with a multitude of sports and leisure equipment. There’s the beautifully shaded exercise area with outdoor fitness equipment for all levels, Trekfit’s Bamboo Jungle where parkour enthusiasts can practice their skills, new basketball courts, a colourful tennis court, graffiti walls, concrete all-weather ping pong tables, pétanque, and even raised garden containers.
Park improvements are ongoing
Still to come in 2021 and 2022 is the completion of the soccer field and the addition of park furniture including picnic tables, benches, and waste disposal containers. In the meantime, the borough has stocked the park with plastic Adirondack chairs that can be moved around, and temporary garbage cans that are rather ineffectual (to the delight of the local squirrels).
- Splash pad (open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.): Touch the sensor on top of the post to start the water sequence. The water will turn off automatically.
- Community container gardens.
- Multiple drinking fountains throughout the park (bring your reusable bottles!)
- Community pool. Check the borough’s website HERE for full details and regulations.
- Exercise stations.
- Tennis court (one).
- Basketball courts.
A few concerns:
- There seems to be a small building that may house bathrooms near the playgrounds, but it was locked when we visited and there were no signs of any sort. Judging by comments found on social media, the lack of bathrooms is a concern for many visitors.
- There is very little shade over the play areas, though there are some mature trees on one side. A shade structure installed over the toddler park would be appreciated!
9640 rue Clément, LaSalle, H8R 4B4
To get there:
By car: The entrance to the park is on rue Clément. Parking is tricky. There are five parking spots (two are accessible parking spaces) within the park off Clément, but the entrance is hard to spot as it looks like a path. If those few spots are full, you will need to find street parking nearby. Make sure to read the signs very, very carefully and respect the “no parking” signs in the lots of the nearby apartment buildings.
By Bus: Bus #113 stops around the corner.
All photos by Christine Latreille