July 17, 2020
(Day 172 since BC’s first COVID-19 was confirmed)
Vancouver Park Board has approved the 25-year Aquatic Strategy for Vancouver, ‘VanSplash’. The strategy includes a replacement outdoor swimming pool in Mount Pleasant Park, and a replacement outdoor swimming pool at Oak Park in Marpole. VSPOP applauds Vancouver residents for the many years of advocacy that led to this outcome, and our proactive elected Park Board who listened and voted unanimously in support of building these outdoor pools. ***
Outdoor swimming pools are more essential now than ever, and VSPOP needs your help in lobbying Park Board to prioritize these projects. Oak Pool is a bigger project being delivered with an entire park redesign and new community centre build at Marpole, while Mount Pleasant Pool could be easily expedited to bring outdoor swimming back to Mount Pleasant for 2021.
VSPOP wants to see more outdoor swimming pools throughout the inner city now.
The purposes of the society are:
a) To promote outdoor aquatic activities.
b) To advocate, promote, and raise funds for new outdoor pools in Vancouver.
c) Work alongside public, private, and not-for-profit organizations to expedite the acquisition of new outdoor pools in Vancouver.
d) Work alongside public, private, and not-for-profit organizations to expedite the renovation and repair of existing Vancouver outdoor pools.
e) Undertake similar or other activities related to recreation and/or the well-being of children and adults.
This is a registered society open to all.
Annual membership is $5/individual, $10/family, and $25 organization.
Memberships and donations are gratefully accepted through the donation link in the right column of this page.
Please email email@example.com and express your concerns to our Park Board Commissioners.
Dec 2019 – Finally, a First Step Toward Success!
Mt. Pleasant Outdoor Pool replacement added to VanSplash report recommendations:
In a significant step toward actually getting the lost Mount Pleasant outdoor pool back, the Vancouver Park Board at their Oct 28 meeting unanimously approved an amended VanSplash Report which included the replacement of the Mt. Pleasant Outdoor Pool. Other pool positive amendments included the development of upgrade plans to extend the life of existing pools, include the word “Outdoor” to references to Pools in the report, investigate creating a naturally filtered ‘green’ outdoor pool at Trout Lake (John Hendry Park) and possibly other locations, extend the operational life of Templeton and Lord Byng pools from 5 to 10 years after Britannia and Connaught pools become operational. Also passed at the same meeting was the preferred Park Concept Plan (see Appendix D in this report: Marpole Community Centre Renewal) for Oak Park including a new community centre to replace Vancouver’s oldest community centre, and a new outdoor swimming pool to replace the pool that closed in 1996! The pool was in fact approved in January 2018, but including it in the Park Concept Plan tonight really gels the reality.
However for the short term Vancouver’s Outdoor Pools status remains –With the closure of Hastings (1993), Marpole (1996), Sunset (2007), and Mount Pleasant (2009), Vancouver’s only three full-size outdoor pools are Kitsilano, Second Beach, & New Brighton, plus a children’s pool at Maple Grove. Want to cool off this summer in an outdoor pool? Find information on opening hours here: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/swimming-pools.aspx
So What Else Needs To Be Done?
We want to emphasize that until we are actually able to swim in a new Mt. Pleasant Park Outdoor Pool, the fight is not over!
While we applaud and congratulate the Vancouver Park Board Commissioners for their courage and commitment to step up and finally take the first step toward fulfilling a commitment to the Mt. Pleasant community that goes back to 2002, both the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board’s have an uneven history of making and NOT making good on actually implementing public commitments. Sometimes politics can interfere with policy and good common sense. We need to use our utmost diligence in keeping track of the progress of moving the amended VanSplash recommendations towards their newly stated goals: please write to PBcommissioners@vancouver.ca to support and encourage the continuing steps and actions needed to restore, rebuild and create new Outdoor Pools in the City of Vancouver.
(older news below for quick reference)
Background from last Municipal Election
Park Board candidates positions on swimming pools:
This group brings you the different parties platforms on outdoor pools. We do not endorse any one party over another related to all of the issues, but share information with our readers regarding the outdoor swimming pool issue in this election campaign.
‘Building on the VanSplash Aquatic Strategy, prioritize additional outdoor and indoor swimming pools while working toward safer, cleaner beaches.’
‘Swimming pools for all: Replace and retain neighbourhood indoor and outdoor pools, and improve equity and access to swimming lessons and aquafit across the city.’
Stuart Mackinnon states that his commitment to neighbourhood services including aquatics has not wavered and that he stands by his past platforms. However, there is no official support for aquatics in the current Green platform.
Candidates that have claimed support for outdoor pools and Mount Pleasant Pool on the record (but not in their platforms) include Greg Edgelow and Rick Hurlbut of ProVancouver.Please read Byng Pool’s blog as Park Board candidates weigh in on VanSplash, the city-wide aquatic consultation that was sent back to the drawing board by our current Park Board. This gives a fuller sense of the candidates philosophies on aquatics and their goals if elected. Please note that we are only focussing on outdoor swimming pool support in this post, which is not due to any bias against indoor pools, but is in line with VSPOP’s primary purpose. For full details on VSPOP visit our website: vancouveroutdoorpools.org
Please use this blog to supplement VSPOP’s report out on candidates who include outdoor pools in their official platforms, including COPE (Gwen Giesbrecht with COPE articulates her party’s strong support for outdoor pools here) and NPA (who championed the outdoor pool issue over the past 4 years resulting in one new outdoor swimming pool in the works in Marpole and more to come). Other candidates supporting outdoor pools in this blog, albeit not in their official platforms, include: GREEN candidate Stuart Mackinnon who stands by his past support of outdoor pools which was included in his previous election platforms, and Jamie Lee Hamilton, IDEA party, who is included in this blog and has been very vocal in supporting outdoor pools over many election campaigns, as well as Mathew Kagis, WORK LESS PARTY, and Chris Fuoco, Vancouver 1st. https://byngsplash.wordpress.com/park-board-candidates-st…/…
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation did NOT include a replacement outdoor pool in Mount Pleasant Community Park in the 2019-2022 Capital Plan at its July 19 meeting. This means that the pool will be considered as part of City-wide Advisory Committee consultations that the Park Board will be conducting in 2019. The Commissioners decided to strike this committee after the previous VanSplash recommendations, which were unfavourable to neighbourhood pools, were met with disapproval by many users of Vancouver’s aquatic facilities.
All is not lost, however, because the Parks Commissioners will have the opportunity to identify and reallocate funds to build a new outdoor pool in Mount Pleasant once the Aquatics Advisory Committee reports back in 2019.
In the October 20, 2018 civic election, Vancouverites will vote to elect the seven Parks Commissioners who will decide whether to fund a replacement outdoor pool in Mount Pleasant Community Park at 16th and Ontario, as well as ten City Councillors who will control the overall allocation of capital funding to the Park Board.
What you can do:
- Attend all-candidates meetings in September and October 2018 and ask the candidates if they support a replacement outdoor pool in Mount Pleasant Community Park.
- Follow the website (vancouveroutdoorpools.org) and Facebook page for the Vancouver Society for Promotion of Outdoor Pools for news about aquatics issues, and Mount Pleasant pool in particular, during the election.
- Consider joining the Aquatics Advisory Committee in 2019. The Park Board will be appointing stakeholders to this committee.
- Participate in the consultations that the Aquatics Advisory Committee and the Park Board will conduct in 2019. Let them know that Vancouver is underserved in outdoor pools compared to other municipalities, and that you support Vancouver’s
Have a great summer! Swim often in Vancouver’s remaining 3 outdoor swimming pools!
May 29, 2018
Important Park Board Capital Plan Update:
One outdoor swimming pool, Oak Pool in Marpole, is included in the Draft Capital Plan. This is a great start!
Despite Park Board approval in 2010, Mount Pleasant Pool is not in the Draft Plan. Please see below what actions you can take to lobby for this amenity.
The Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association (MPCCA) will again submit a Proposal to Park Board for the Mount Pleasant Pool replacement project. Please note that the MPCCA has lobbied for the pool replacement in the last 4 prior Capital Plans, spanning 13 years (2006-2008, 2009-2011, 2012-2014, and 2015-2018). The project was included in the DRAFT 2006-2008 Capital Plan, but was cut from the final plan.
Schedule Summary of meetings and consultation:
May 30th – June 22nd Park Board CCA and stakeholder consultation period
June 4th – Draft Capital Plan presented to Board Commissioners for information
June 12th – Park Board CCA and stakeholder session at Creekside Community Centre (at 6pm)
July – Capital Plan Reports to Park Board Commissioners and City Council – usually open to delegations
October 20th – Plebiscite, final Capital Plan – VOTE!
You can follow the Capital Plan process on the City’s Capital Plan webpage at vancouver.ca/capitalplan.
Park Board welcomes and encourages your input!
April 5, 2018
Park Board announced in April that VanSplash will not go back to the Board for decisions, but will go to a Public Advisory Committee process in 2019. This means that no decisions will be made until after the Capital Plan has been finalized and after the municipal election in October 2018. http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/park-board-will-create-city-wide-advisory-committee-to-revisit-vansplash-aquatics-strategy.aspx
February 24, 2018
Updates from the January 29 Park Board meeting re: VanSplash:
Some excellent amendments were proposed to Recommendations A & B, but before any discussion of these amendments occured and before further amendments could be put forward, a motion was passed to refer the report back to staff for further revisions related to the amendments to be brought back to a Special Park Board meeting in March. It will not be open to public speakers. Date TBA.
Recommendation C, to build a new full sized outdoor swimming pool at a new Marpole Community Centre, was unanimously approved! This is great news, but the Oak Park Pool is still a few years away. We continue to advocate for the immediate replacement of Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool , and more outdoor pools in the next few years to replace the 4 lost outdoor pools, at minimum.
Stay tuned, watch for the new VanSplash report here, and keep writing letters to Park Board, particularly once the March Special Meeting Agenda and Report go on the Park Board website so that your letter will be ‘on the record’.
Missed your chance to speak to the VanSplash recommendations last Dec 11/12? Write a letter to Park Board! Your input matters.
October 7, 2017
The VanSplash 25-year Aquatic Strategy draft recommendations go before the Park Board Committee on December 11th, 2017 at 7PM.
We believe the VanSplash Aquatic Strategy Report has serious flaws:
- The Vancouver Society for Promotion of Outdoor Pools believes that this strategy is shaped by Park Board Staff and HCMA consultants who have clung to these outdated ideas since their remarkably lengthy relationship and collaboration on Vancouver aquatics strategies began before 2001. VanSplash does not reflect the true needs or desires of Vancouver residents or align with the COV Greenest City initiatives.
- The VanSplash Aquatic recommendations fail to deliver a strategy that adequately serves Vancouver now, and will fail to serve Vancouver over the next 25 years.
- The existing outdoor pools are already not providing adequate outdoor swimming opportunities since the permanent closure of 4 inner-city outdoor swimming pools, and the recommendations do not address this dire shortage. No new full sized outdoor swimming pools are recommended in VanSplash.
- The survey fails to ask why people do not use the outdoor swimming pools more often.
- The recommendations include closing two indoor swimming pools, and building one new indoor destination swimming pool at Connaught Park in Kitsilano. While Britannia and Kerrisdale will be rebuilt, Templeton and Lord Byng Pools will not be. The users of these pools will have to travel greater distances to swim, if they go at all, and the new spa plus swimming facility (unknown size) at the VAC site will not accommodate competition swimmers.
- If approved, these recommendations would mean even fewer pools in fewer locations across the city. Much of the city, especially the urban core, will be even more underserved by swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor, while the destination pools will likely continue to be overcrowded due to trying to accommodate too many different experiences into one pool, such as at Hillcrest. Please review VSPOP’s full critique, read the Vansplash recommendations, and register before 12pm on December 11th to speak to this agenda item at the Park Board Committee meeting.
- Facebook: Vancouver Society for Promotion of Outdoor Pools
Number of Vancouver’s Outdoor Pools Compared With Other Canadian Cities
Outdoor Pools in Major Population Centres of Canada
|City||Population (approx)||Number of Outdoor Pools|
How can Vancouver claim to be providing a world class healthy environment for its citizens when it has the least number of outdoor pools among major Canada cities and has no immediately viable plans for building new outdoor swimming pools? This is unacceptable. We urge you to join with us in demanding that the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board REJECT the flawed strategy put forward in the VanSplash Final Draft Recommendations which fail to remedy Vancouver’s shortage of outdoor swimming pools.
Aug 17, 2017
We had a great Popup Pool event on Sunday at Mount Pleasant Park-
We had a chance to speak to many of our neighbours who dropped by and it’s clear that the people want their outdoor pool back. Be sure to read the the sad history of broken promises by the City of Vancouver and Park Board to replace and rebuild the pool on the Articles and Links tab above.
-See CTVTV’s news coverage of our Popup Pool event held on the site of the demolished Mt. Pleasant Park outdoor pool.