Does anyone remember last summer when the sun decided not to show up and city workers were on strike for months so park facilities, rec centres and pools were all closed? Well banish those sore memories from your minds and get ready for this weekend which is official kick off to outdoor recreation in the City of Vancouver.
Focusing on Outdoor Pools in Vancouver, here’s the rundown:
New Brighton Pool (#13 on the map – Opening May 17th, 2008
I forgot about this park entirely until we started taking the McGill exit off the #1 to get downtown recently. Tucked away behind the PNE, New Brighton park has lovely mountain views and is the only park in East Vancouver that has ocean beach access.
Second Beach Pool (#14 on the map) – Opening May 17th, 2008
Just like how the “First Narrows” is another name for the Lions Gate Bridge and “Second Narrows” is the Ironworkers Memorial, what we know as English Bay beach is actually “First Beach”. As you head toward Stanley Park the numbers go up, hence Second and Third Beaches. The pool is near a concession stand, has fun slides for the kiddies and since it’s pretty much located smack-dab in the middle of the sea wall, it is conducive to pre or post swimming strolls through the park.
Kitsilano Pool (#10 on the map) – Opening May 17th, 2008
Located at 2305 Cornwall Avenue Kits pool offers the best view of the city and also has beach access. It’s the “only salt water pool in Vancouver and one of the few in the world.” I also like to call it the “meat market” cause if you’re a single summer college student think Granville Street clubbing… but on a beach.
Mount Pleasant Pool (#11 on the map) – Opening June 21st, 2008
I admit, I’ve never been to the Mount Pleasant pool, but from the looks of it there’s plenty to do. Diving towers, slides, and it’s adjacent to the Mount Pleasant Community Centre.
Maple Grove Pool (#12 on the map) – Opening June 21st, 2008
I had to look up information on this park until I realized I’ve been to this pool many times in my childhood years. This is a large heated wading pool (max 3.5 feet in depth) in a park complete with a playground for the kiddies. When I was little “wading pool” usually meant mom would tell me I could go in up to my ankles – next thing you know on the drive home I’m wrapped in a towel and my shorts are spread out on the dashboard catching sun in hope of drying out before we get back.
Aquatic Centre at Hillcrest Park (*New – Just added for 2011) Enjoy this new outdoor and indoor pool combo right new Nat Bailey Stadium. Complete with an outdoor waterpark, 70-person hot tub, change rooms, and a fitness centre inside.
Swimming lessons are also offered at all of the outdoor pools (listed above) and the first sessions start July 17th, 2008 (click for PDF schedule). Drop-in rates for the pools range from $2.50 to about $5.00 although you can get in with you Vancouver recreation pass or Flexi pass, which is good for most rec centre/community centre activities. You can also purchase books of tickets for 10 visits to save a bit on the cost – more info is available on the Parks n’ Rec website.