The City of Kirkland’s first all-abilities park opened in 2020 and offers a fun experience for all children, including those using mobility devices or with learning or sensory issues. Meades Park joins Pointe-Claire’s Tony-Proudfoot Park and Beaconsfield’s Heights Park as the West Island’s trio of great inclusive playgrounds that welcome kids and adults of all ages and abilities.
On soft and colourful poured-in-place rubber surfacing, there is plenty here to entertain and challenge visitors. The main structure has play opportunities for a wide range of interests. The main ramp brings kids up to a small double slide, low-to-the-ground monkey bars, a wheel for practicing driving skills, and travels to the Sensory Wave Rock N Raft, which can fit up to six riders including individuals seated in wheelchairs. A sign language and domino panel are on the exterior of the ramp railing, so friends can play beside each other while on and off the structure.
At ground level, a selection of outdoor music equipment includes a xylophone-type table, congas, and cabasas — perfect for making up a rocking song with your friends, or a soundtrack to the jumping and playing kids.
An inclusive merry-go-round — a favourite of many individuals’ childhoods — is flush with the surfacing and offers a whirling good time for all. And a raised sand table has lots of room for seated and standing kiddos.
For those looking to scale to new heights, or who want to see just how high they can jump, a tall rope climber and an extra bouncy in-ground trampoline will have kids (and parents!) laughing.
Try out your balance on the X-Wave, leap across the standing long jump beside it, and when you’re nice and hot, run through the adorable splash pad with its interactive and invigorating products from Pointe-Claire based Vortex. There’s some artificial grass around the splash pad, which will make for a nice non-muddy spot to sit or have a snack.
There are no swings in this area, but follow the path to south-east corner of the park, and the newly landscaped area has a baby and adult swing, as well as two picnic tables and tons of shade.
- There is fencing only along one side of the playground, the rest is open.
- The splash pad water should be on from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Press the sensor on the top of the post to start the water sequence. It will turn off automatically.
- It is very hot. While there is a small shade structure over the sand table, the rest of the playground is in full sun.
- A gently-sloped wheelchair-accessible path leads up to the Kirkland arena where there are bathrooms and water fountains, but it may be locked due to COVID-19 restrictions. The city has instead installed two porta-potties including one that is wheelchair-accessible.
- You can park in the free parking lot of the arena.
- Bring along some books you no longer want, as there is the cutest take a book, leave a book stand right beside the playground.
16950 Hymus Blvd., Kirkland, H9H 3W7
All photos by Christine Latreille