Parks Canada reverses course to open The Forks spray pad


Parks Canada reverses course to open The Forks spray pad

Pride-goers, rejoice: Parks Canada is walking back a prior decision and rushing to open its splash pad at The Forks in time for the weekend festivities.

Less than a day after a Free Press story on its conspicuous closure — amid sweltering heat and thousands of expected visitors — Parks Canada has decided to speed up its prep time and open the Fort Parka splash pad in time for Pride weekend (nearly one month ahead of its original schedule).

“Parks Canada is committed to providing visitors with high-quality and meaningful experiences. Parks Canada is always grateful for input and feedback from visitors,” external relations manager Jared Kist said in an email Friday evening.


Fort Parka splash pad.

“We recognize the hot weather as an important factor in this decision, and were fortunately able to accelerate the necessary operational requirements to open the splash pad in time for Winnipeg Pride weekend (June 3-4).”

Two days after a request for information from the Free Press, Parks Canada sent a statement Thursday, saying it would not be opening the splash pad until July 1.

The news was met with disappointment, with former Winnipeg resident Markus Harwood-Jones (back from Toronto and staying at The Forks Inn for Pride) saying Thursday he had been looking forward to bringing his one-year-old to the splash pad to cool down in the midst of activities.

On Friday, Harwood-Jones was delighted to hear the change had been made so quickly.

“We really appreciate all (Parks Canada) do to maintain the parks, and we are really excited to bring our child to the splash pad for Pride,” he said. “That’ll be a great time.”

All but one of the City of Winnipeg-operated spray pads are currently open. City-owned outdoor pools remain closed until June 20. Wading pools open July 1.

Credit: Parks Canada reverses course to open The Forks spray pad