It appears that two of the city’s community pools have been saved from the wrecking ball, at least for the time being.
The Vancouver Park Board’s final report and recommendations on the long-term vision and plan for pools and aquatics facilities in the city was posted online ahead of the Dec. 11 meeting. It includes new recommendations around the future of two of the city’s smaller, community pools. In the previous version of the plan, Lord Byng and Templeton pools were slated for demolition, to be replaced by new, larger destination pools.
The draft recommendations included replacing Templeton and Britannia with one pool on the Britannia site, and decommissioning Lord Byng after the construction of a new destination facility at Connaught Park.
Residents in both neighbourhoods rallied against the proposed closures, gathering thousands of signatures on separate petitions, as well as letters of support from local provincial and federal politicians, stressing the importance of the existing pools and asking the park board to reconsider.
The final report, which will be presented to commissioners next week, still includes the construction of new pools at Britannia Centre and Connaught Park. However, Templeton and Lord Byng will remain open pending a review of the impacts of the new pools and consultation with pool users, the community and key stakeholders.
Rebecca Lockheart, who is part of the group rallying to save Lord Byng, said the revised recommendations are a step in the right direction, but is no guarantee that the pools will stay open.
“They defer that decision to the distant future,” she said in an email. “We want a promise that both pools will stay open.”
The proposed plan for indoor pools also includes replacing Kerrisdale pool and renovating Kensington pool to enhance accessibility and increase opportunities for adaptive and therapeutic swimming.
Read the full report HERE.