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July 5, 2018

Andrew Haydon Park is a pretty unique park in Ottawa that has consistently made the top ten lists of play places. Unfortunately it recently was "refurbished" and although the online plans looked promising the end result is classic Ottawa design. In short, they completely ruined it.

 

The water play area is why people drive from all over the city to visit it - in the old park there were many different ways to move water around and setting up the various wooden structures to transfer water and sculpt the sand was a fun engineering challenge. The "water slide" was pretty amazing too.

 

The new water play area is a small fraction of its former self and on the day we visited at least, all the kids were crowded into the water play area almost completely ignoring the rest of the park. We went pretty early in the day, as the sun got higher the lack of shade on much of the structures made them very unappealing. Perhaps they'd get more use on a cooler day.

 

It's been long enough since we'd visited that the kids didn't remember the old version - I'd never brought Amelia and Matthew at all I don't think - so they didn't spend the whole visit fuming about missed opportunities and inept "improvements" the way I did. In fact, it would only be fair to note that they enjoyed their visit very much and would like to go back.


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