Frances Bula header image 2

Mount Pleasant pool in next capital plan?

June 23rd, 2010 · 23 Comments

I was on CKNW yesterday grousing about the abrupt demolition of the Mount Pleasant pool building (which means the pool won’t operate this summer, of course) and the absence of any definitive plan for replacing it, when park board chair Aaron Jasper phoned in and said they are definitely looking at how to include it in the next three-year capital plan.

I’m awaiting more news on this.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Umm… maybe they shouldn’t have destroyed the old one then?

  • Otis Krayola

    Hmmm. A year and change out from the next election, and Aaron Jasper says they’re ‘definitely looking at’ a way to replace the Mount Pleasant pool (that they’ve just demolished).

    And you’re waiting for news?

    Can I get you a chair, or a sleeping bag…or something?

  • Marcus

    All Park Board had to do was ensure that their planning department actually followed through with the outdoor pool at Hillcrest. Instead Aaron Jasper is continuing the piecemeal planning process of placing capital items in neighbourhoods that are the loudest.

    If residents of south Vancouver were loud enough would Park Commissioners make the same promise for bringing Sunset’s pool back just before an election?

    Nothing liking buying votes with voters own money.

  • The Fourth Horseman

    “Definitely looking” versus “definitely doing”.

    Hmmm. $$$ in a 3 year capital would take us to…2013. After the next election, in 2011.

    Fancy that!

  • grumbelschmoll

    @Marcus: there is a new outdoor pool at Hillcrest right next to the Nat Bailey Stadium, it’s so new it isn’t even open. Maybe after the summer. But it’s definitely there.

  • Lizzie

    Fourth, I think “definitely looking” beats “definitely pretending they never made the decision to build a replacement. & projects get funded by first making it onto the Capital Plan. So it’s a start.

    & grumbel, the outdoor pool next to Nat Bailey is max 4 ft deep – more of a wading pool than an outdoor swimming pool. It doesn’t replace what used to exist at Mt Pleasant, which had diving boards, marked lanes, etc.

  • Margery

    It has been an extremely lengthy process that has brought Mount Plesant Pool to the edge of being in the Capital Plan. This process includes having had $4 million allocated for a replacement pool in the Draft 2006-2008 Capital Plan cut back to $1 million on the recommendation of Park Board staff who have opposed the pool replacement all along. Finally, after a(nother) public consultation in 2009, staff made the recommendation to replace the pool ‘when funds become available’ and decommission the building as the new community centre ahs opened and the old building, though much-loved, had some serious structural issues beyond the ordinary ones seen in almost every old public building in the city. Although this means that we will be without a pool until such time as it gets into the Captial Plan and funds are available through ladditional sources, this is a huge win for a city that has seen the permanent closure of outdoor pools as they wear out instead of replacing them for future generations.
    Sunset Pool was demolished in 2008 after the community was promised a public consultation on the future of the pool. That promise was in the Park Board motion of October 31, 2005 (in the same motion that would see Mount Pleasant Pool replaced), and came about as a result of the many years of lobbying by Mount Pleasant residents to toss out the recommendations of the 2002 Aquatic Plan, and a clear expression of interest from the Sunset community for retaining their outdoor pool when the new community centre was built. The board of the Sunset Community Centre Association, on behalf of the community, advised the Park Baord that there was not sufficient interest in the pool and that the community was satisfied to have a new community centre, period.
    Mount Plesaant Park is currently being redeveloped. There have been several public consultations, open houses, and agenda items at Park Board and City Council meetings addressing this issue.
    Marcus’ comments do not reflect an understanding of the complex process involved in seeing this issue through to completion. If it were only so easy as to ask for a new pool right before an election Mount Pleasant Pool would already have all of its funding in place. Several years of fundraising time have been lost to process, and now it looks as though we can finally begin.
    It is not unrealisitic to beleive, and I do, that interest in outdoor swimmin pools will continue to grow and will one day become a part of our city’s long term planning for health and recreation.

  • Ammie

    It would be absolutely irresponsible for this Board to push a new Mount Pleasant Pool onto the capital plan. Remember the Capital Plan goes to vote and if the plan does not represent the entire City of Vancouver, this Board could have the first capital plan rejected.

    The small minority in the Mount Pleasant Community feels a sense of lose and entitlement. What about Hastings, Sunset and Marpole who have all lost their pools. Mount Pleasant just got a new community centre, don’t be greedy and consider the greater needs of other communities. Like the replacement of the older community centres like Hastings, Marpole, and Dunbar.

    This Board needs to develop a long term plan for all outdoor aquatics. If there is a true need to build more outdoor pools then put them where they will get the greatest use. Every community wants a neighbourhood outdoor pool but it is no longer realistic. If a new outdoor pool is considered it should be located where it is accessible by transit and becomes a destination for the greater good of Vancouver citizens.

    This Board need to do the responsible thing a commit to developing an updated Aquatic review that will study the real needs of outdoor pools. Mr. Jasper is trying to please everyone because he hears the Mount Pleasant community but in the end of the day a new outdoor pool is not a priority. Stop dangling false hopes and make the tough decisions and tell that community it is not happening until the proper research has been completed and comprehensive plan developed. That is the only responsible decision!

  • scm

    we pay taxes. I am really pissed off that they demolished the community centre and awesome Community node outdoor Pool. What a waste!

    Aging facility replacement should be pre-planned and budgeted for prior to their demolition.

    Perhaps the parks board should charge more for using the facilities? it seems nothing in this world is $2.60 for a family (last years cost to go to new brighton pool). A bus trip costs $2.50. While I am frugal and like a deal, I am certainly prepared to pay say $10 a family for a day at the pool. What is the cost of the Aquarium or Science World (at least $20 right?)…..

    Is Gregor really interested in a GREEN Vancouver…..shouldn’t walkable community pools be a big part of that…..

    At the moment however, I am more concerned with the possible closure of 12 schools….c’mon Frances that is the story that is in need of coverage…

  • Marcus

    Margery perhaps the Sunset CC board composed of 10 people said no outdoor pool was needed, but that hardly constitutes public consultation. Sunset residents are still awaiting their on again off again master planning of Sunset Park.

    Instead they have to deal with the personal conceits of elected commissioners.

    A real outdoor pool was promised for Hillcrest which made sense as staff would have other tasks if it rained and all heating and filtering equipment would be centralized in one location.

    Unfortunately, as is usually the case, Park Board did not follow through with it’s promise to the community. Instead the community has a glorified puddle instead of a pool.

    Mt. Pleasant has been most effective at demanding a replacement pool and receiving media attention but they are much closer to Kits and Stanley Park pools then residents of south Vancouver.

    Marpole and Sunset are further from current infrastucture and yes scm Park Board should charge closer to real costs in order to maintain the facilities and amortize the cost of replacing heaters, pipes, filters, pumps and drains.

    Just be advised new outdoor pools are running 12 million as they require change rooms, heaters, equipment rooms and and office for lifeguards and cashiers.

  • Margery

    Marcus, I was suggesting that the Sunset community was not properly represented by the board when that happened. There should have been a full public consultation, but the opportunity was taken away from the community.
    Mount Pleasant Park is in the centre of the city and the pool has served a broader community, not just the local neighbourhood. It is close to transit and in the heart of an area that will see unprecedented population growth over the next ten years.
    Yes, we should look at replacing other outdoor pools. The replacement of Mount Pleasant Pool is timely and should be prioritized as the park is being redeveloped and the consultation process has been completed with recommendations to replace the pool.
    Aging community centres also need to be replaced, but they do not suffer the same risk of permanent extinction as the pool.
    The new pool that opened at Moody Park in New Westminster last year was built for $6 million and is quite an elaborate facility. Area residents have researched options for the Mount Pleasant Pool that cost far less.

  • Otis Krayola

    All of the above is (mostly) smoke.

    Not that the comments don’t reflect reasonable, knowledgeable and cogent arguments. They do.

    But plausible arguments about why Park Board should include a new outdoor tank in the next Capital Plan are moot because senior staff don’t think they’re a good investment. Simply put, they may indeed be wildly popular when the weather’s good, but there isn’t enough good weather to justify the cost.

    There’s been a long-standing move to centralized, indoor pools and away from widely scattered (read: neighbourhood) pools.

    Aaron Jasper knows virtually nothing outside of what staff tell him. In fairness, how could he, given the pittance he (and all other commissioners) are paid? That flow of information, from senior staff, will guide him through his time on Park Board. And he knows that he strikes out on his own at his very great peril.

    One so clearly ambitious as Jasper will not rock any boats even though, if all goes to plan, he won’t be around at Beach Avenue after the next election.

    But it costs him bubkes to say he’s ‘definitely looking at’ replacing a facility that he knows full well won’t make the cut, even if it makes it onto the Capital Plan wish list.

    I hate to be the grinch, but I’ll give handsome odds that the Mt. Pleasant pool (like the Hastings pool and the Sunset pool) is a memory never to be revived.

  • Lizzie

    Nonetheless, it was a STAFF recommendation that prompted the board’s motion last December to replace the pool when funds become available. That may be vague, but it does acknowledge that the pool is worth replacing. And they don’t seem to have any trouble justifying the cost of Kits and 2nd Beach pools (which sit right beside the ocean!!) Mount Pleasant pool could have (& should have had) the same season as those 2 pools – it was a staff decision to limit the season to 2 months @ MP.
    And call me naive, but I still believe there are a few politicians left who aren’t sock puppets!

  • Otis Krayola

    Anybody remember the pool at Lumberman’s Arch? In my estimation, what’s happened there is exactly the model that Park Board staff desire for Kits and 2nd Beach. An automated spray park costs next to nothing to put in, needs no staff, no fiddling with chemicals, cheap maintenance, and, for the cost of a sign limits liability and its attendant insurance costs.

    No, Lizzie, I don’t think you’re naive to expect politicians to respond to reasoned positions from voters. But I can’t recall a vote of any substance since Vision took over where they didn’t vote as a bloc.

  • Marcus

    Thank you Margery for the clarification. The community was not represented by the Sunset Association in regards to the pool though I do appreciate the political pressure they were under with the construction of a community centre during the height of the construction bubble.

    The end result, however, remains the the same a promised outdoor pool at Hillcrest became nothing more than a glorified puddle. A centralized outdoor pool would have been a logical logistical response to increased operational costs. Unfortunately the Park Board did not follow through again.

    Methinks they require the equivalent of operational viagra.

  • lizzie

    Otis, I hardly think the (luxurious!) new pool at 2nd beach suggests PB wants to turn it into a no-maintenance spray park. Why they replaced a seawall with a luxurious new outdoor pool right on the beach while taking them away from inner city neighbourhoods, however, is indeed a mystery!

  • Bill Smolick

    The new Aquatic Centre at Hillcrest Park opens on July 31st and it *has* an outdoor pool. That’s 14 blocks from the old Mt. Pleasant Pool location. You really think they should have two outdoor pools that close to each other?


  • Lizzie

    I haven’t seen the outdoor section of Hillcrest pool, but from people who have, I understand it’s a shallow children’s pool – no lane swimming, no diving. Doesn’t sound like an outdoor swimming pool to me – more like a wading pool. Great for toddlers, not very useful for teens or adults.

  • Bill Smolick

    Man, y’all ain’t never gonna be happy.

    I rode out on over the tubes and found this detail:
    > a seasonal outdoor pool with a range of water features and sprays and
    > bubble jets for those hot sunny days.
    which is, in fact, sufficiently void of detail.

    This here daguerreotype (in colour!) MIGHT suggest that the rectangle in the lower right hand corner is a 25m length swimming area. It’s hard to tell the depth from that perspective and without knowing how the shot was taken.
    You don’t need a lot of depth for a length pool.

    The Raging Yummy Mummy’s of Mt. Pleasant, one would think, would be content with a wading type kids pool.

    If you’re a real length swimmer you can swim indoors OR go to Kits Pool OR Stanley Park OR New Brighton.

    The downside is the indoor pool is still chlorinated. Bummer.

  • Margery

    The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation will hold an Open House on the future of Mount Pleasant Park on September 22 from 5-8PM at Simon Fraser School, 100 W 15th Ave. If you pass by the site of the old community centre and swimming pool at 3161 Ontario Street, you will see that these structures are gone, leaving a lot of empty space for the park redevelopment. Some final design features for the new Mount Pleasant Park will be proposed by Park Board based on public input from the June 21 Open House. These include designated space for a 25 metre outdoor swimming pool to be built in the future ‘when funds become available’. Your support for the pool at this Open House is essential in helping to persuade Park Board to include the pool renewal in the next Capital Plan. Mount Pleasant Pool was the last outdoor swimming pool in Vancouver with a high diving board. Other features of the draft plan include a community garden, children’s skateboard bowl, and a play area. Please plan to come out in support of the new outdoor swimming pool, and invite ALL YOUR FRIENDS! Join the Facebook group ‘Friends of Mount Pleasant Pool” for more details.

  • Mount Pleasant Pool is NOT in the 2012-2014 Capital Plan, and it does not look as though Park Boad has looked at ways of including it, but rather, more reasons why they can not include it. Citizens have until August 31st to provide feedback on the Draft Capital Plan at
    Put in a word for ‘Replacement of Assets’ to include Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool as per the Mount Pleasant Park Master Plan.

  • Jean

    Bill –

    You can call us Raging Yummy Mummies or old fogies for all I care, but we have achieved our goal – which is to make the replacement of the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Swimming Pool an election issue. What have you achieved?

    And by the way, swimming pools are not just for length swimmers, they are for everyone, and unfortunately, not everyone can access those other outdoor pools because they have two or three kids, and cannot afford the transit fare, or the expensive entry fee.

    I suggest you spend your time more productively. Being rude and offensive is not productive.

  • Margery

    Well, Frances, Mount Pleasant Pool clearly did not make it on that last Capital Plan, so we are asking folks to participate in the public consultation for the 2015-2018 Capital Plan. This Park Board has another opportunity to comply with the directive of their unanimous motion of December 2010 to replace Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool ‘when funds become available’, by including it in this Capital Plan. The time for arguing the merits of outdoor swimming pools for summer recreation has passed and it is now time to put some capital into these much needed facilities per the outcome of public consultation.