THUNDER BAY – We went to Friday’s splash-pad grand opening festivities and honestly were blown away by how amazing it was. There was an energy in the air and the place was packed with people of all ages. I was impressed with the city-facilitated volunteers who were running games and relays with the children and directing visitors to the park’s various attractions.
My wife and I actually couldn’t believe we were in Thunder Bay, just minutes from our home.
I found myself beside an older woman whose granddaughter was playing alongside my children in the splash pad.
She told me that she had just spent a month in Spain, and that she grew to love the evenings in the town square, where (paraphrasing as best I can remember) ‘the children would bring out their games and balls, the teenagers would stand in groups looking at each other, and the old people would sit at the patios and cafés drinking wine and gossiping’.
She went on to say, ‘Today feels like maybe Thunder Bay is finally starting to move towards that kind of culture and space. This area is now a great equalizer. Kids that maybe can’t afford a pool or admission to one are playing and splashing right next to those that could. Look at everyone laughing and talking with each other; look at US talking to each other!’
I told her I couldn’t agree more.