Critique of Vancouver’s 25-year pools and aquatics strategy – “Recommendations inadequate”: VSPOP

Vancouver Aquatic Centre Sign

Vancouver Aquatic Center: Condemned?

The Vancouver Society for Promotion of Outdoor Pools (VSPOP) has written a critique of the Vancouver Park Board’s current recommendations for the future of Vancouver aquatics. (The “VanSplash” time frame is 25 years, but we know that infrastructure once built likely affects things for many more decades than that, and several generations of residents.)

VSPOP provides a link to their full critique here, and a link to the official recommendations.

VSPOP believes that the recommendations are inadequate.


VSPOP encourages people to engage in the VanSplash survey that asks if the proposals got it right, and use the ‘comments’ section to fully communicate what people want for Vancouver Aquatics.

Here are some of the key issues identified by VSPOP.

• 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of Outdoor Pools believes that this strategy is shaped by Park Board Staff and HCMA consultants who have clung to these outdated ideas since their remarkably lengthy relationship and collaboration on Vancouver aquatics strategies began before 2001.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 and the recommendations do not address this dire shortage. No new full sized outdoor swimming pools are recommended in VanSplash.

• The recommendations include closing three indoor swimming pools, and building one additional new destination indoor swimming pool in Kitsilano [at Connaught Park, beside community centre]. While Britannia and Kerrisdale will be rebuilt, Templeton, Lord Byng, and Kensington Pools will not be. There would be a net loss of 2 indoor swimming pools if this strategy is approved, and the users of these pools will have to travel greater distances to swim, and the VAC will not accommodate competition swimmers.

• If approved, these recommendations would mean fewer pools in fewer locations across the city, especially in areas that are already underserved. 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 experience into one pool, such as at Hillcrest.

At an open house on September 27 at the Killarney Pool, VSPOP engaged the public, Park Board Staff, and HCMA (consultants for VanSplash) and here are some of their findings…

The Vancouver Aquatic Centre is proposed to be be replaced by a spa facility, but it was affirmed that there will be some type of swimming pool on the site. It will not have the same capacity for competition training as the current Vancouver Aquatic Centre, and there is no actual design to confirm the pool size, but consultants said it would be a pool large enough to swim in.

Please review the VanSplash recommendations, read VSPOP’s full critique here:

Official City website, including link to survey:

See also our post on the topic, including links to recent media coverage.

Vancouver’s 25-year strategy for all pools, final consultation NOW

One thought on “Critique of Vancouver’s 25-year pools and aquatics strategy – “Recommendations inadequate”: VSPOP

  1. “… there is no actual design to confirm the pool size, but consultants said it would be a pool large enough to swim in.”
    Looks like they’re ticking all the boxes here.

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