Spinners, gliders, and hammocks are just some of the new products at the recently renovated playground in Ahuntsic-Cartierville’s Ahuntsic Park.
The intensive work on the park’s outdated play space began in summer 2020, and was completed by the beginning of November. With a contract of more than $2 million for the playground as well as a new multipurpose path spanning the width of the park, the work was planned following two public consultations held in 2017 and 2019.
A park better adapted for multiple users
The redevelopment of the play area for kids 5 to 12 makes it possible for children of all abilities to have fun together, and the poured-in-place rubber surfacing ensures that everyone — including seniors and adults — can manoeuvre around safely and easily.
The playground’s design and products encompass children’s sensory, physical, and emotional needs and offer a huge array of play opportunities. A raised water table with a manual pump will delight kids while they manipulate the stream as it flows into the splash pad; ropes and slides incorporated into an existing hill provide plenty of climbing and sliding fun, and multiple adaptive swings of different designs will have everyone rocking all summer long.
Rotating, swinging, and spinning elements like the large glider, the inclusive spinner, and cozy saucer swings help develop children’s sense of balance and spatial orientation, while shady spaces away from the bustle of the central play area are equipped with hammocks and seats to offer a spot for some quiet time.
The main play structure is huge and intense — in the best way. While I’ve seen quite a few wheelchair-accessible products with access ramps, they rarely have anything to actually play with. Ahuntsic Park is a fantastic exception. Kids (and grownups) will find plenty to engage them both on and below the raised ramp. Users can play alongside each other as they drum and tap out a melody on the xylophone, turn gears and play tic-tac-toe, solve mazes and play animal sounds, climb up rungs and ladders, and zip down the roller slide. There are also low-to-the-ground monkey bars, an overhead track to hold onto and slide across, and tall climbing walls for a challenge.
The adjacent playground for kids 2-5 was installed in 2010 and was left untouched, but it’s a nice space for the littlest ones to swing, balance, and climb the pint-sized structures.
With the centrally-located splash pad, the whole area is conducive to families with multiple children who want to play in different areas. Shady spots with tables and benches invite visitors to relax with a picnic after a few hours of playtime and water fun.
Both my boys (8 & 13) were impressed with the new playground. We played and tested out all the new equipment, said Hi to the ducks around the (drained) pond, walked around the entire park, rolled down the huge hill that’s used for winter sledding, and then played some more.
This is a great destination park for a morning or afternoon of fun. Run through the sprays in the splash pad, bounce across the soft surfacing of the playground, and start all over again!
A new multi-functional path almost five metres wide will cross the park from Lajeunesse to Saint-Hubert streets and have coloured paving and signage. It’s being developed to ensure the safety of all types of users, including pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, and those who use mobility devices.
The development plans for the park also include tree planting to create a larger canopy to ensure shaded spaces and biodiversity. The landscaping around the park’s famous pond will also be revitalized and the central fountain’s water jets lowered to protect aquatic plantings, and the future skate park will be improved to meet user demands and environmental requirements.
- Splash pad (open from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
- Supervised wading pool (find the schedule at montreal.ca/en/places/parc-ahuntsic-wading-pool)
- Bocce/pétanque and shuffleboard
- Outdoor fitness equipment
- Baseball field
- Fenced dog park
- Community garden
- Seasonal bathrooms beside the wading pool and playground
- Green spaces and picnic tables for picnicking.
- Skateboard park (to be renovated)
- Pond (to be renovated)
10555 Lajeunesse Rd., Ahuntsic-Cartierville
By car: The playground is located closest to Lajeunesse where you can also find free street parking — just watch out for cyclists coming along the bike path. There is also a small parking lot at the Ahuntsic Arena, which is located on the opposite side of the park on St. Hubert Street.
By Metro: Directly next to Henri-Bourassa metro station
All photos by Christine Latreille