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10 Aug, Wednesday
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Montreal Families

New park in Outremont is a great place to play

If your kids are weary of seeing the same equipment at parks around town, head over to Outremont’s new Pierre-Dansereau Park. This new playground has been transformed into a weird and wonderful play space.

Standing tall in the middle of the playground is the impressive and ultra-modern Branch Out tree trunk. Inspired by nature, its main structure resembles extended tree branches and is draped with climbing ropes and footholds. Its open design is inspired by how children play in trees and encourages creative play in multiple directions and levels.

“Branch Out seeks to push the boundaries of conventional play and was designed with the objective of providing customers with something new and different, yet familiar and comfortable,” said Michael Laris, Chief Product Officer for Playworld, the maker of the park’s equipment. “Branch Out has the scale to become the focal point, the hub, of any playground. It is transparent, non-directional and open, inspiring every user to imagine their own story as they play.”

While the larger structure is geared to kids aged 5-12, younger ones also have nets, ropes, slides, and stairs to encourage vertical climbing, crawling, hanging, and sliding. There is a small shaded sandbox with a fun surprise hidden in the sand (bring along some shovels and brushes), and two baby and two adult swings. Little ones (and their parents) will appreciate the staircases on both play structures that are easy to climb, and if you have kids of varying ages, it’s easy to keep an eye on them as everything is all in the same space.

Other than the umbrella over the sandbox, the playground is in full sun, so the adjoining splash pad located just a few feet away is a welcome sight. There are ground jets, a tall sprayer, and the cutest super-shallow “river” that meanders to the drain. Touch the sensor to turn on the water sequence.

The landscaping around the park is gorgeous and includes nods to the site’s former life as a train yard. Wander along the path beside the splash pad you’ll find picnic tables and benches, and green space where the kids can run around.

The MIL Montreal project (at the Outremont site and its surroundings) is based on new public spaces to meet the needs of locals and the surrounding community. Besides the playground, the area plays a major role in the management of storm water. The park is named for Professor Pierre Dansereau, a native of Outremont, who taught at many universities around the world, including the University of Montreal and the University of Quebec in Montreal. Encyclopedia Britannica cites him as the founder of contemporary ecology

THINGS TO NOTE:

– There is hardly any shade so it is very hot when sunny.
– The splash pad is on from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. There is no fencing around the water area.

PIERRE-DANSEREAU PARK

Address: The playground is located directly across from the MIL Campus, or, at the top of Querbes or l’Épée Avenues.
Parking: Street parking. Unfortunately, there is no easy place to park and we had to circle around to find a spot on the street.
Bathroom facility: There were no facilities in place when we visited.

All photos by Christine Latreille

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