News and Events

Pool News July 2019 – Take Action on VanSplash!

No new outdoor pools recommended by VanSplash Public Advisory Committee for the next 25 years!

Our Remaining Outdoor Pools 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

What’s Up with VanSplash? After a public outcry in December 2017 about the recommendations in the original VanSplash report, with just one new outdoor pool in Marpole and an uncertain future for Lord Byng and Templeton, the Parks Commissioners referred the report to staff, who recommended appointing an Aquatics Advisory Committee. The Committee included aquatics users from around the city. It reports back to Park Board on July 30.You can find minutes and other information on their deliberations here: http://vancouver.ca/vansplash

Based on notes from June 10 & 12, it appears that the recommendations will not include a rebuild of Mt. Pleasant or Sunset, perhaps a suggestion for a larger outdoor pool at Hillcrest, and no certainty for the continuation of Lord Byng & Templeton. However, the Parks Commissioners have final say on future priorities for aquatic infrastructure, and can change and add to the Advisory Committee’s recommendations.

So What Can We Do? Join us for a RALLY from 5 pm to 5:45 pm at the Park Board Office back parking lot to demonstrate support for rebuilding Mount Pleasant’s outdoor pool! You can also attend the meeting where the report will be presented with the decision reserved for the fall.

So What Else Can We Do? If you would like an outdoor pool rebuilt in Mount Pleasant Community Park, please email the Commissioners at the following address: PBcommissioners@vancouver.ca

Points to consider include:

  • The 2010 Master Plan includes a space in the park “should funding become available”.
  • Mt. Pleasant is densifying and the loss of our outdoor pool means travelling to distant and/or overcrowded pools in order to swim.
  • Our summers are becoming hotter & dryer and people need somewhere to cool off.
  • Outdoor pools provide safe, supervised places for children & youth to play in the summer when schools are closed.
  • Outdoor pools can provide swimming lessons & teach water safety.
  • Neighbourhood pools decrease car traffic. Mount Pleasant Community Park is adjacent to a bike route & 2 blocks from the Main St. bus route.
  • Neighbourhood pools promote community-building.
  • Stand-alone pools can have solar-assisted heating mounted on the change rooms.
  • The change rooms can have washrooms accessible to all park users.

And please watch for the meeting in the fall where the commissioners will make the final VanSplashstrategy decision. The public will be allowed to speak at this meeting in the Fall of 2019!

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.
NPA –
‘Building on the VanSplash Aquatic Strategy, prioritize additional outdoor and indoor swimming pools while working toward safer, cleaner beaches.’
COPE-
‘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.’
GREEN-
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.
OTHER-
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…/…

July 2018

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
    neighbourhood pools.

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.

http://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/2018/20180129/MINUTES_PB-20180129.pdf

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.  
  • http://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/2017/20171211/index.htm
  • Facebook: Vancouver Society for Promotion of Outdoor Pools

Please read our full critique here

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
Metro Montreal 3,824,221 74
Toronto 2,791,140 59
Winnipeg 669,346 10
Ottawa 865,650 9
Calgary 1,195,194 7
Edmonton 835,000 5
Vancouver 680,000

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.


(click image to watch video)

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