This wasn’t supposed to happen. When I wrapped up my last documentary of EQ, I was given the hope that the park would stick around for another 2 years. Apparently the owner (Jaques, see ramp photo) was fed up with throwing $60,000 at it a year, without any revenue to help cover the costs. En Equilibre has been honing the skills of Ottawa and area skaters for 7 years. There has been a buzzing banter of conversation about the park being taken down, and rented out to someone else. When I wrapped up my first documentary of the park, there was no talk about it being torn up for a new tenant which was a big relief to everyone involved. However the tables were turned, and the owner decided to have the place gutted the day day after he signeThis d the deal. A late sesh ensued the night before the official teardown. Here’s Ian Gauthiers story about the whole ordeal
"Phil Gray (manager of EQ) got a call at 3:00pm Friday afternoon from the owner telling him that he would be coming in Saturday morning to start tearing down the park. So with less then 24 hours notice of the park closing down for good, word got out and spread fast via facebook and mass texts. Now after putting in many many hours of time and effort into this park I knew that it was going to have to be a shitshow in order to make all that work worth while. With most of the skaters ready to go to work with their briefcase of Pabst the night started off with a full blown session with of over 30 skaters and more than a few sideliners. Most of the skaters have been skating this park for years and being able to witness the difference in motivation of everyone getting their last tricks or tricks they have been dreaming about was something else. Knowing that the park was going to be torn down in the morning we decided that we wanted to help out using the sledgehammer and axe to modify a couple obstacles first. Smashing the barrier on top of the big bank so that Sam Lind could ollie into the small quarter pipe was definitely the highlight of the night for me. Everyone went nuts after he landed it and thats when things started to get really good.
We proceeded to create the new deathgap in part of the funbox. Having a bunch of drunk people swinging an axe and sledgehammer around each other made for some close calls and also some good laughs. With wood chips and sharp jagged corners lurking around the deathgap was not just a name you probably would have died if you fell in, which only added to the entertainment. Finding some 10 foot long wooden polls underneath the deathgap turned into some heated sword fights, javelin contests, and just another tool to smash a couple more things. From their it just went to nonsense of a shoe fight (some shoes were ripped in half.sorry sam) to helmets being tossed at eachother along with the mass amounts of dust, smoke, and spraypaint fumes the air quality in that place couldn’t have gotten anyworse. Until the fluorescent lights started getting smashed which as soon as one was broken everyone wanted a piece of one. It was something else seeing the place slowly go dark and hearing to popping sounds of each light bulb hitting the ground. It was a real and true ending for a park that has lasted so long and will be greatly missed. Thank you to Jacques the Owner for keeping it alive for aslong as he did." - Ian Gauthier
"The last night (Friday) was something.. Of what i remember, I was with my homie Pabst Blue Ribbon and everybody was rippin’ the park like crazy. A lot of people from Gatineau and Ottawa was there tryin’ to land a few last tricks in that park. We were all sad, thats for sure, but still skateboarding with a smile because we all knew that it was going to happen one day. Everything was all right till some people started throwing shoes and breaking everything, including lights.. which was kinda dope. In the end, I think everybody had fun for their last session at EQ Skatepark."
"Saturday was the more shittiest day of my life at EQ bacause we had to work in the store while it was almost world war 3 in the skatepark. At noon, half of the park was gone. We were all pissed off about that, but at the same time, i think nobody can afford to loose so much money for 7 years.. In other words, skateboarders should be thanksfull for all theses years having fun at EQ because we all had good time in there, thats for sure. Its so quiet in the store now.. no more people yellin’ of joy, no more skateboarding sounds, no more annoying kids tryin’ to learn how to skate in the hallway (haha). For every single person who came at EQ shreddin’ the park, thank you. That was a great time."
- Jean-François Henri
Prints of all the images I have done at EQ are available for purchase. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!