Thunder Bay's newest splash pad is making waves in the city's north end.

Families flocked to the facility at North End Park, which held it's grand opening ceremony on Friday.

Anna Tropea has lived in the neighbourhood for 45 years, and she praises the park's new addition. "It's about time we got something for these young kids, especially being a grandma this summer and baby sitting a lot, it's going to be a place to keep the kids occupied," she said.

The splash pad dubbed "Thunder Canyon" was designed to be fully accessible, with concrete sidewalks leading up to the water features. There is also plenty of shade provided by trees and a gazebo. The splash pad itself has two bays, a toddler bay and a family bay, which were designed for children of all ages.

There's something for everyone

Werner Schwar, supervisor of Parks and Open Spaces Planning for the city describes the features at the south end of the splash pad as an "introduction" for younger kids. "We have a duck and an owl spraying a little bit of water...they're friendly kind of things," said Schwar.

The other end of the splash pad has more "interactive" features, including a cat tail, a leaf and smaller buckets that periodically dump water.

Grand opening north end splash pad

From left to right: City of Thunder Bay employees Cory Halverson and Werner Schwar, and Councillors Linda Rydholm and Andrew Foulds. (Charnel Anderson/CBC)

However the "show piece" is the giant yellow bucket that slowly fills with water, creating suspense that is punctuated by a huge dump of water.

Tropea's granddaughters confirm that the bucket is their favourite part of the splash pad.

'It's just amazing'

Councillor Andrew Foulds represents the Current River ward. He calls the splash pad a "victory" for the neighbourhood.

"There's lots of positive things happening here: families smiling, laughing, cheering. This new bucket facility...the kids are laughing, screaming. I mean it's just amazing," said Foulds. 

Schwar agrees that the splash pad is a positive addition to the neighbourhood.

"When you get a group of people together, neighbours start to talk to each other. There's a sense of community... It feels like they belong to a neighbourhood rather than just living in a house," said Schwar.

The splash pad, located on Huron Avenue, is open from 9 AM to 9 PM every day for the summer months.