One of the west side’s coolest attractions, Kitsilano Pool, reopened just over a week ago following a $3.3 million dollar renovation during the off-season significantly improving efficiency and authenticity.
“Kits Pool had a major upgrade over the winter,” said Vancouver Park Board chairperson Stuart Mackinnon. “The structural and mechanical improvements mean we’ll be able to reduce the need for potable water by 80 percent. This will result in a greener building, energy savings and a pure, salt-water swimming experience for the public.”
While visually things don’t look too different, the main focus was to ensure the water pumped into the artificial basin from the ocean actually stayed there. In fact, prior to this undertaking, 430,000 gallons of fresh water had to be brought in to top up levels once a month to account for seawater that would leak out.
The overhaul involved replacing the pool membrane and applying a new coating, repairs to the surrounding deck and the installation of new pumps. Money for the upgrades came from both the federal and municipal governments.
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development offered his congratulations for the completion of the sizeable project.
The pool is a hub of bustling community activity set against the beautiful backdrop of English Bay and the North Shore Mountains,” said Bains. ““The Government of Canada is proud to have supported these upgrades through the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program so that Kits Pool can continue to be a space for health and well-being for years to come.”
The facility is 87 years old, originally featuring a sandy bottom and water brought in directly from English bay along with some occasional aquatic life. A pump system was put in as part of a $2.2 million refurbishment in 1978. Due to the impressive 137-metre length, many athletes have used it for training purposes.
On the Saturday of May Long weekend opening, an estimated 170,000 swimmers paid a visit. Nearby pools at Second Beach in Stanley Park and New Brighton Park are also now open for summer.