Our local city swimming pool, Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre, here in North York is shutting down for “state of good repairs” maintenance work. We’ve known about the work for months now, but it’s still a shock to the routine we had the last 5 years. In case you’re landing here trying to find info about the closure let’s see if I can summarize for you.
UPDATE: Jan 2 — The pool has not reopened as scheduled. “Soon” is the time-frame given.
The pool itself has been open since 1985 and hasn’t had any major work done. They have their twice yearly multi- week shutdown for cleaning and what not, but the larger systems need their up-keep too. The work was first approved in the city budget back in 2004, so it’s my feeling that even some of the regular upkeep was not done with as much gusto as it could have been, knowing that the big project was eminent (in government timing anyway).
The official list of work being done is as follows:
State-of-good repair and renovation work. replacement of window seals, flashing and caulking; barrier-free upgrades to stairs and ramps in pool and recreation areas; barrier-free upgrades to reception millwork; replacement of exterior doors and hardware; replacement of acoustic panels in pool area; repair of water damage at pool area skylights; refurbishment of existing air-handling unit and controls; replacement of lighting in pool area, reception area and at exterior perimeter of building; upgrades to firm alarm and emergency lighting systems; safety equipment upgrades at filter room; removal of existing gas chlorine tanks and replacement with a liquid chlorine tank system with required sensors and exhaust.
The above is estimated to cost just a little over $1,000,000. I couldn’t find an estimate on how much revenue will be lost in the months of closure. Some of the regular pool patrons really hoped the sauna would get upgraded, but their petition to do so hasn’t seemed to change the 8-year-old budget. My big wish would be removal of the hair dryers in the change room. The decibels they pump out, not to mention the tremendous energy usage, is upsetting.
From what I’ve heard from staff, pool management will relocate to near-by offices for the interim (space available in North York Civic Centre and nearby Edithvale CC), while guard staff is left to fend for themselves. Many have been hoping to hear from other pools in the city which require staff level adjustments but it seems most, if not none, have not heard about those positions. I’m told they are guaranteed their positions come January, but how many people can go four months unemployed waiting for a layoff to end? I should have inquired as to their EI eligibility. It was unclear which category the recreation assistants fell into. Pool maintenance staff is expected to stay involved in the repairs with the contractors.
Near by pools are:
- Antibes CC – Located near Bathurst & Finch. Lane swim, Senior Swim, and Lessons
- Cummer Park CC – Located on Leslie at Cummer. Lane swim, Preschool Swim, Aquafit, and Lessons
- North Toronto Memorial Community Center – Located on Eglinton Ave. between Yonge & Avenue Road (probably the best option for subway user). Lane swim, Aquafit, and Lessons.
- Northview Heights SS – Located at Bathurst & Finch. Lessons only.
- North York YMCA – Located at Bayview and Sheppard. If you want to go outside of the City’s system, this could be an option for you.
If you’re looking for the fitness classes that ran in the Multi-purpose room upstairs, they will be taking place at the Willowdale Lawn Bowling Club, across the street (west over Beecroft) and just south of the Cemetery.
All this info is from personal experience. Always check with the city (Carol Bain) if you’re unsure of any thing and we’ll all cross our fingers they’ll stay on schedule and it won’t be April 2013 when we get back in to our favourite pool.
Personally, we’re going to try out the ‘Family Swim’ way out at Wallace Emerson CC as it’ll coincide with a homeschooler friendly drop-in program. 60mins transit vs 10minute walk is not something I look forward to.