October 11, 2022
Our ratings of candidates below are based on their replies to the questionnaire circulated to candidates for Park Board and Council (including Mayoral candidates). Some have not yet replied so are not included in the list. For more information on the candidates, there are Candidate bios on the City of Vancouver website, and the minutes of both Park Board and Council are posted on their respective websites, which includes their voting record on decisions. The motion by Commissioner John Irwin to identify funds for the pool at the June 27 2022 Park Board meeting was approved by incumbents John Irwin, Gwen Giesbrecht, and Tricia Barker. Various All Candidates meetings have been and are being held which provide opportunities to question the candidates. To date the Society has rated the following candidates who have responded to the Questionnaire on their commitment to support Outdoor Pools in the upcoming Vancouver Civic election. And don’t forget to vote on October 11, 13, or 15!
|Extraordinary Pool Support|
|Not Supporting Pools or Against|
For Park Board Commissioner
|JOHN IRWIN, VISION (Incumbent)||6|
|GWEN GIESBRECHT, COPE (Incumbent)||6|
|TRICIA BARKER, TEAM (Incumbent)||6|
|ANDREA ANDREA PINOCHET-ESCUDERO, Vote Socialist||5|
|JASON UPTON, NPA||5|
|KUMI KIMURA, TEAM||5|
|CARLA FRENKEL, VISION||4.5|
|TRACY D SMITH, INDEPENDENT||4.5|
|JAMES BUCKSHON, TEAM||4|
|CAITLIN STOCKWELL, ONECITY||4|
|TOM DIGBY, GREEN PARTY||3.5|
For City Councillor
|ELAINE ALLAN, NPA||5|
|ASHA HAYER, PROGRESS VANCOUVER||5|
|AMY ‘EVIL GENIUS” FOX, INDEPENDENT||4|
|MORNING LEE, NPA||2.5|
- Read the discussion guide (PDF, 19 pages) to learn more about the draft 2023-26 Capital Plan) (PDF, 74 pages)
- Register to speak at the June 27th Special Park Board Meeting online or in person. https://vancouver.ca/your-
- Please encourage others to take action as well. Delaying until a future 4-year Capital Plan is a bad option, when a basic swimming pool is desperately needed for our hotter, dryer summers and anticipated higher density.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Send an email with your feedback on the draft plan to email@example.com
Take the Survey (closes May 22)
- Contact Mayor and Council directly
Sign up to speak at the Park Board meeting in June and Council meeting in July dates TBA
All these options for citizens’ input towards the finalized 2023-2026 Capital Plan are discussed in detail here: https://
The Vancouver Outdoor Pool Society gratefully thanks you for your letters of support to Council on this matter. Though we were standing by all day for our opportunity to speak to this agenda item, there was a technological glitch and we were not patched through when the time finally came just after 6pm.
Though this is a clear success tonight, it still needs to be approved in the Park Board Capital Plan, go through public consultation that begins April 28th, and reach approval in the final 2023 – 2026 Capital Plan just prior to the municipal election.
We seek your continued support as we move through this process to deliver on a long standing commitment to the community. Please stay tuned to Park Board and City of Vancouver opportunities for public engagement.
It has been a long road, and many people are frustrated with the process. After all, Mount Pleasant Pool was initially approved in 2005. But you are making a difference, and let’s never give up!
MOTION MOVED by Councilor Kirby-Yung:
That staff report back prior to the final capital plan on the scope of a possible budget allocation and options to facilitate immediate repair to enable the reopening of Kits Pool, as well as the potential scope and magnitude of cost of an alternative or additional approach to make Kits Pool more resilient to extreme weather events and enable its reopening.
This motion passed unanimously.
Apr 25, 2022
Since we are now at a critical juncture in getting budget allocated and approved for rebuilding the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool in the City of Vancouver’s 2023-2026 Capital Plan, now is a good time to update everyone of the struggle that our journey has taken and the incredible history of support that our community has given to restoring the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool.
Aug 14, 2021, at the Just Off Main Event
It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon at the Just Off Main street event where we were able to talk to and inform many people about the history and progress of our efforts to keep the rebuilding of the Mount Pleasant Park Outdoor Pool on track with the Vancouver Park Board.
A big Thank You to all our volunteers and lovers of outdoor pools in the city for your much needed support. Please bookmark this site and visit periodically for more updates as the progress of the Pool replacement project continues to evolve.
Progress Update: May 21, 2021
The Park Board General Manager’s report of May 17th announced that an RFQ will go out within the week to do a study for the long awaited Mount Pleasant Pool replacement plan. There are funds in the 2021 Capital Budget for this process, and the outcome will determine how much money should be allocated to the replacement pool in the 2023-2036 Capital Plan. The RFQ also includes a study on the feasibility of retrofitting the outdoor wading pool at Hillcrest to accommodate swimming, and extending the outdoor pool season at some or all of Vancouver’s outdoor pools. Staff will report back on these items in the fall. In the meantime, please enjoy Vancouver’s remaining outdoor swimming pools and beautiful beaches. Within this PSA there is a link to information about the On Water pilot project that will run at four beaches this summer.
May 09, 2021
Well, here we are in May 2021-467 days since COVID cases were first reported in BC-but even in these extremely trying times we’re still holding a hopeful outlook for the restoration of the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool, a former historic pool located in Mount Pleasant Park, 16th Ave. and Ontario St. Vancouver BC.
We are now looking forward to the next step, which is the planning and design phase of the outdoor swimming pool in Mount Pleasant as contained in the 25-year VanSplash Aquatic Strategy approved by the Park Board in 2019
The strategy also includes 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.
See the full VanSplash Strategy Report here: https://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/files/STRATEGY-VanSplash-VancouverAquaticsStrategy-20191028.pdf
The Vancouver Outdoor Pool Society continues to emphasize the recreational and therapeutic advantages of outdoor swimming pools. Please continue to send your emails and letters in support of the pool to the Park Board Commissioners to help keep the Mount Pleasant Pool rebuild top of their minds.
Vancouver Park Board Commissioners group email:
City of Vancouver:
Mayor: Kennedy Stewart
Vancouver City Council members:
Rebecca Bligh: CLRbligh@vancouver.ca
Christine Boyle: CLRboyle@vancouver.ca
Adriane Carr: CLRcarr@vancouver.ca
Melissa De Genova: CLRdegenova@vancouver.ca
Lisa Dominato: CLRdominato@vancouver.ca
Pete Fry: CLRfry@vancouver.ca
Colleen Harwick: CLRhardwick@vancouver.ca
Sarah Kirby-Yung: CLRkirbyfirstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Swanson: CLRswanson@vancouver.ca
Elsewhere in the world:
Some great articles on the health, social and community benefits of Outdoor Pools and Swimming
Icelanders are particularly unique in their appreciation of outdoor pools, check this out…
Aug 12, 2020
(Day 198 since BC’s first COVID-19 was confirmed)
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.
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|
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.
‘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.
(click image to watch video)
2016 Pool Replacement Letter and attachments to Vancouver Park Board and elected officials:
Attachment #1 Pool Closures in the City of Vancouver
Attachment #2 Mt Pleasant Pool Catchment population
Attachment #3 Comments on Bio Pools