Splash pads opening this long weekend after all

After flip-flopping on plans this week, officials say splash pads in Ottawa will open for the long weekend after all. 

Ontario's reopening plan initially called for mid-June opening

After flip-flopping on plans this week, authorities say splash pads will be allowed to open this long weekend after all. (Charles Contant/CBC)

After flip-flopping on plans this week, officials say splash pads in Ottawa will open in time for the long weekend after all. 

According to the province's three-step reopening plan issued Thursday afternoon, splash pads and outdoor pools were slated to open as part of the first stage, expected to happen mid-June.

That meant local plans to open some of Ottawa's 145 splash pads now had to be scrapped, prompting Mayor Jim Watson and some city councillors to ask the province to reconsider.

On Friday afternoon, a spokesperson with Health Minister Christine Elliott's office confirmed that the province had amended the reopening plan.

"Recognizing that splash/spray pads, like other outdoor recreational amenities, can be safely enjoyed, we have amended the regulation to align splash pads/spray pads with other outdoor recreational amenities," wrote the minister's press secretary in an email. 

This means splash pads can reopen at the same time as golf courses, basketball courts, BMX parks and other select outdoor amenities at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, she said.

Watson said in a tweet Friday that all but eight splash pads will open Saturday. Those eight will stay closed due to damage or maintenance issues

He said the splash pads will be turned on automatically at 8 a.m. and then off at 9 p.m.


  • A previous version of this story incorrectly said there are 127 splash pads in the city, based on a city announcement. The city later corrected that number to 145.
    May 21, 2021 5:35 PM ET

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