The City of Thunder Bay’s newest splash pad officially opened today at a grand opening ceremony.

The new facility is located at the Northwood Playfield, on James Street, and is the City’s fifth splash pad and fourth neighbourhood splash pad.

The theme of this splash pad is “Water is Life”. The theme was suggested through stakeholder meetings held in 2019. Further consultation occurred with the City of Thunder Bay’s Anishinaabe Elders Council, who helped to shape the design of this facility.

The theme “Water is Life” is an important Anishinaabe teaching, which indicates that without water, there is no life, and that water needs to be protected and respected. This teaching was carefully incorporated into the design of this splash pad in the following ways: 

  • Indigenous plants and animals were included in the design.
  • Fort William First Nation donated seven boulders from Animikii-wajiw, which were incorporated around the splash pad representing the seven grandfather stones and grandfather teachings.
  • Run-off water from the splash pad is not simply put into the storm drain, it is incorporated into a waterfall feature and then into and infiltration basin with native plants. This allows it to nurture and will infiltrate back into the soil, before going into the catch basin.
  • Water features are initiated by two timed activators and shut off after a set period of inactivity to conserve water.

“We are thrilled to be able to open the new Splash Pad in the Northwood Playfield. It’s wonderfully-designed, and features something for everyone looking to keep cool during the hot summer months,” said Werner Schwar, Supervisor – Parks & Open Spaces Planning. “I would really like to thank the community for their input into the splash pad development and a big chi miigwetch to the Elders who provided cultural guidance to the project at many stages.”

The new Splash Pad is open daily from 11 am - 8 pm throughout the summer.

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Contact:          Werner Schwar, Supervisor – Parks & Open Spaces Planning, 625-2806