For Montrealers that have kids, the last few school-free months have probably been filled with trips to playgrounds and days spent outside. Take into account the insane heatwaves we've been having and it's an obvious decision to take your kids to a splash pad. It's both a way to kill time and stay cool. No harm done, right?
Well, actually, if you've been going to the water playground in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, there might be.
Majority of the ground in the splash pad and surrounding area is infested with black mould. Not only is it a huge health hazard to have young children literally playing in the mould, but it can become slippery and lead to serious injuries - especially if mixed with water.
Unfortunately, two children have been injured so far because of the black mould. One boy was running through the splash pad on a hot summer day when he slipped on the black mould and hit his head. Luckily, no major injuries were sustained, but you can only imagine the danger this could pose for a small child.
And if it couldn't get any worse than this, it isn't the only park in Montreal that's battling a black mould problem. According to city councillor Peter McQueen, black mould is a widespread issue in the entire area.
So you're probably wondering, why doesn't someone just go clean it all up?
Well, that's a problem too. A parent of the child that was injured by the mould made a formal complaint to the borough only to be told it'll take up to 90 days for the issue to be investigated! By then it's already winter, so it doesn't look like the problem will be solved in time for the end of summer.
The black mould first began to grow thanks to our unbearable heatwaves in the city. The mould thrives in warm temperatures, so couple that with the stagnant water from the splash pads in the city and BOOM - you have yourself some nasty black mould.
Until the mould is actually eliminated, the city is looking for other ways to prevent this from happening next summer. Colourful splash pads will no longer be placed around the city to try and stop the growing mould epidemic that will hopefully end soon.
As for now, if you have kids you might just want to take them to a regular playground. At least until all the mould has disappeared.