Coventry TransportationCoventry Transportation
The Weather Network
Oct. 21, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
Great NOTL Walkabout: Cooling off and heating up
Brooke Blakeley, 9, cools off quickly at the Virgil Splashpad on Saturday. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Welcome to the latest episode of the Great NOTL Summer Walkabout, a summer-long series of stories that will take you to all corners of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Our reporters will trek around the community to meet residents and visitors, attend events, visit area landmarks and tell stories about what they find. Enjoy the Walkabout.

It may have felt like Niagara-on-the-Lake was on fire this past weekend, but families like the Schriefers found ways to keep themselves as cool as possible. For many, that meant staying indoors.

Kaleb Schriefer brought his three children and nephew to the Virgil Splashpad on Saturday afternoon for a quick cool-down before heading back inside for the rest of the afternoon, he said.

“It’s a hot one. We had lunch, now we’re cooling off and I think we’ll spend the afternoon in the basement watching movies,” Schriefer said.

During the weekend heat wave, with temperatures of 30C, during the hottest hours of the day residents seemed few and far between at the usual cooling off points around town.

Tourists were out in full force, however, travelling by rented bicycles and scooters, walking the Parkway and pedalling pubs around town for their planned excursions and weekend getaways. High heat levels didn’t put a stop to excitement to be had around town for those once-in-a-while visitors.

Many locals opted to stay within the safe confines of their air-conditioned homes for the better part of the morning. Those who did brave the sweltering heat and humidity flocked to neighbourhood pools, splash pads and shaded parks for some temporary relief.

Municipal pools continued to offer free public swimming all weekend as excessive high-heat warnings were in effect for Niagara.

The splash pad at the Virgil Sports Park behind the arena was vacant at noon on Saturday, occupied only by what looked like a flock of seagulls holding vigil as ominous clouds quickly rolled past.

After 1 p.m., though, the park started to fill up again as families ventured out in an effort to spend some of the weekend outdoors.

Jennifer and Sam Blakeley found some refuge in the shade of the pavilion while their children, Brooke and Bennett, splashed around in the water.

On the other side of town, Allana and Grayson Dalziel and Jackie Makepeace from Niagara Falls, took advantage of the public swim at the Memorial Park pool.

“We’re going to get out for the day, get some exercise, have some fun, lay in the sun,” Allana Dalziel said.

Though they live in Niagara Falls, she said they come to NOTL often.

“We’ve been coming since we were younger. We picnic usually, but today we’re just going straight for the swimming because it’s so hot.”

When not near the water, she said they spent the better part of the weekend in air conditioning.

Sunday offered slightly cooler weather in town and more residents ventured out for the afternoon. Music Niagara’s Sundays in the Park featured the Retro Ramblers, a three-part band who performed for the crowds at Simcoe Park from noon to 3 p.m.