Making a splash in Riverdale; latest Cornwall splash pad opens

Dozens of children play at the new splash pad Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 in Riverdale Park in Cornwall, Ont. The splash pad was built after the insistance of Coun. Justin Towndale during budget talks. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – What could be better than a hot, sunny day and 33 degrees to open Cornwall’s newest splash pad?

Dignitaries cut the ribbon Friday afternoon at the Riverdale splash pad, at the corner of Riverdale Avenue and Dover Road in the city’s west end.

The recreational facility was packed with both young and older children with many parents observing on the sidelines.

“I’m a fan of splash pads. Since my daughter was little we’ve been going to the splash pad in Lamoureux Park and one near our house – Ste. Therese Park – and it’s a lot of fun and they’re always busy,” Coun. David Murphy told Cornwall Newswatch.

“I watched the splash pad here today…you couldn’t fit this many kids in a pool. You would have some waiting to get wet. Now everybody’s getting wet, everybody’s having fun,” Murphy said.

Byron Rohde, 3, runs away from a sprinkler at the splash pad in Riverdale Park, shortly after its opening Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Byron Rohde, 3, runs away from a sprinkler at the splash pad in Riverdale Park, shortly after its opening Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

The councillor added that, unlike a pool requiring lifeguards, the flexibility of after hours use and the accessibility after Labour Day during the hot days of September make it an ideal complement to the three existing outdoor pools in the city.

Murphy still believes there needs to be a balance of splash pads and swimming pools.

“I think we do need a balance. But at the end of the day we have to monitor that balance and make sure that we can still keep it affordable for the residents,” he said.

“Pools aren’t for everybody. Splash pads, they’re more people enjoying the splash pads than what I first thought. But having a young daughter, since she was very little, she has so much fun at the splash pad. It’s a destination when we go biking in Lamoureux Park,” Murphy said.

The $325,000 splash pad was built this year after a gentle push from Coun. Justin Towndale during budget deliberations.

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