Nova Scotia

How about that giant floating unicorn? Public to weigh in on inflatable water park

The plan to set up Splashifax, an inflatable waterslide park this summer on First Lake in Lower Sackville, will be discussed at a virtual public meeting Tuesday night.

Some locals are concerned about how the Splashifax park will impact First Lake

Unicorn water park sparks debate in Lower Sackville

9 months ago
Duration 2:56
A proposed inflatable water park on First Lake has some locals worried, while others are excited to cool off on a unicorn this summer. 2:56

The plan to set up an inflatable waterslide park — featuring a giant floating unicorn — on First Lake in Lower Sackville, N.S., is expected to be discussed tonight at a virtual public meeting.

The Splashifax park is slated to open this summer between Kinsmen Beach and the Sackawa Canoe Club. Access to the slides will be via the parking lot of the Sackville Arena.

"We're excited to bring it here," said co-owner Dave Wolpin. "This isn't new. There are hundreds of water parks like this around the world, two in the Maritimes."

The online information session will be hosted by Coun. Paul Russell, who has posted details on how to access the meeting on his website and Facebook page.

In an email, Russell said he is "working with Splashifax and the Sackville community to make sure that we have a good understanding of what the park is about."

Wolpin said there's been a lot of support for the park, which will be deflated and removed at the end of the season. 

A map of the Splashifax water park set to open in Lower Sackville this summer. (Facebook/Splashifax)

But not everyone is convinced First Lake is the appropriate place for a water park.

Lynn Gray, who lives in the area and owns a business in Lower Sackville, said she doesn't believe the community has been properly consulted.

"I'm still concerned and alarmed about the fragility of the lake," said Gray. "The ecosystem is at risk here."

25 jobs to be created

Wolpin said the company does not plan to remove any vegetation and will be conducting weekly water tests. He pointed out that the water park will use a fraction of the total lake surface — less than half a per cent.

"We're really hoping we can get the community on board," said Wolpin. "We're bringing 25 jobs to Lower Sackville and we're going to bring lots of traffic to local businesses, especially food outlets."

Gray said she believes the company should have multiple permits in place, including one from Transportation Canada, before the park is allowed to open.

"I just thinks there needs to be some accountability," said Gray.

In an email to CBC, an HRM official said the waterslide park would require a development permit for any land-based access prior to opening, along with the permission of the property owner. According to planning staff, the municipality has not yet received a development permit application.

Splashifax originally planned to open in 2020, but the venture was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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