Vancouver Outdoor Pool Guide


Friday, May 16th, 2008 — 9:30am PDT
Comments 10

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:


Photo credit: DaveO on Flickr

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.


Kits Pool – Photo credit: Darren Barefoot on Flickr

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.

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10 comments

  1. 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?

    Hmm, the way I remember it, it was a freaking heatwave while all the pools were closed. ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks for the post, Rebecca. This year I’m definitely hitting the pools… literally: I’ll be doing my head-first canon balls from the highest boards and towers available. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Don says:

    Yes, I remember the pools being closed last season. It is pretty tough to train for an Ironman triathlon when all the pools are closed. Fortunately there is a great outdoor pool that is just across the border (no passport required). I am referring to that little known gem, Burnaby’s Central Park pool. It is great. Fifty metres of swimming bordered by old growth forest and the roofless change rooms are sublime.

  3. Raul says:

    I need to run 10k every day for the next week in the morning, do weightlifting and THEN I’ll hit the pools ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Rob says:

    Two posts in a row you leave out stuff on the Pt Grey peninsula: UBC also has an outdoor pool, mostly for lane swimming. Technically, it may not be in Metro Van but it’s so frickin’ close there’s no real reason to leave it out.

  5. Miss604 says:

    @ Rob – The topic of this blog post was city-run pools. Of course UBC is in Vancouver but nothing was left out on purpose, I was going by the map from the city’s website shown above.

  6. bz says:

    We did New Brighton with Z on Saturday.. FAB! And, did you know, it was the founding point for the city of Vancouver?

    There’s a plaque and everything:
    http://flickr.com/photos/buzzbishop/2503730599/in/set-72157605107694678/

    from the set:
    http://flickr.com/photos/buzzbishop/sets/72157605107694678/

  7. […] after swimming across the inlet. [News1130] I think he was either trying to head to my recommended New Brighton Outdoor Pool, or over to the PNE to ride the […]

  8. Hey, nice tips. I’ll buy a glass of beer to that man from that forum who told me to go to your site ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. […] of today’s stat holiday we can get back to our BBQs, movie marathons, and head out to a local outdoor pool that is opening for the season as of this weekend (as long as the weather holds). […]

  10. […] several outdoor pools which have now been open since the May Long Weekend. You can check out my guide for the one in your neighbourhood or visit the Vancouver Parks Board website for more […]

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