Earlier this week, we announced that we had officially closed municipal play structures for the season, and some of our residents had some great questions! Here are some answers to the ones we were asked most often:

Has the City always closed its play structures?

Yes, we have. We do this for the safety of our residents. We have municipal signage at all playground entrances that indicates that they are closed from November 1 to April 15. During this period, they are not maintained by city crews, as they shift towards winter maintenance in other areas of the municipality.

Why do we close municipal playgrounds over the winter months?

Our playgrounds are designed with ground materials that help absorb the shock if someone were to fall from a structure, or from a swing. These ground materials are made of porous wood that absorbs moisture and becomes less effective in preventing injury as it freezes.

As well, many of our play structures have components designed to create shade. Snow and ice buildup on these and when the weight becomes too heavy, snow and ice buildup will fall to the ground below. This poses a risk for kids playing underneath.

It is also important to note that metal and plastic become very slippery and can be dangerous when it is cold, and frost or snow covered.

Why do we remove the swings?

Swings are removed for safety, falling from a swing onto frozen ground can result in injury. Storing the swings in the winter months also helps prevent unnecessary wearing of the materials and extends their life.

What can we do for fun with the kids in the fall, winter, and early spring?

Lavigne Natural Park in Bourget is open after a period of closure following the storm in May. It is a great place to walk before the snow falls and a perfect place to snowshoe and cross-country ski in the winter months. If you happen to make your way there, please stay on the designated trails.

Did you know that we have a sledding hill and skating path at Alain-Potvin Park? We can’t wait for the snow to fall so that we can open it. We are looking forward to seeing your rosy cheeks and smiling faces soon!

And don’t forget about our free indoor public skating at the Clarence-Rockland and Clarence Creek Arena. We also have several outdoor rinks throughout the municipality that will open when the weather permits. Visit our Arenas and Skating page on our website for details.