on shared spaces

I spent a week at my parents house this summer which is in a small town that's slowly starting to feel like a suburb as it grows). I loved my time with them and in their backyard pool! Definitely something we don't have here in the city. But when the kids asked to go to the park we were surprised at how limited we were. There is one near my parents, but the next closest one is a good walk away, and the next closest even further. And NONE had splash pads, which have become the uncontested favourite summer activity amongst our littles.

It got me thinking about dynamics in cities versus small towns or 'burbs. Population density is so high in cities that even if they seem to not be family friendly, there are more parks than in small towns! I think this accounts for the assumption that in suburbs and small towns each family has a back yard and possibly a pool, so the need for public shared space is less necessary.

Here, we need parks and in the summer we need splash pads and public pools, because no one has their own. We rely on these shared spaces.

We typically frequent four parks, all within easy toddler walking distance. Another four are within my walking distance (they'd need bikes or the stroller). And over half of them have splash pads in the summer months.

The best part is the community feel of these shared spaces. We're all together. We might have no other choice, but it's not dreaded, it's celebrated. It's all we know, this life amongst one another.

For locals interested, this is the splash pad/ public wading pool at Parc Westmount. We were there on a rainy day so it wasn't too crowded but generally there is a good crowd but still loads of space to roam and play :)

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