Tag Archives: dsac

mitchell field community centre

Mitchell Field Outdoor Swimming Pool Modified Schedule Week of June 24-28

The outdoor swimming pools in Toronto are open!  It is that time of year, when many of the outdoor swimming pools in Toronto are opening for the summer.  It is also that confusing week when it is hard to know when the pools are actually open, since they operate under a ‘modified schedule‘.  Why’s that?  Well, most of the staff for the pools come from students who aren’t yet available for a regular work schedule and/or their expected clientele are otherwise occupied in-doors in said schools.

That said, I thought I’d share the schedule for Mitchell Field Community Centre pool since the website listing is incorrect (has it has been the last two years), and the city has not been helpful in the past to post the correct one online.

Monday June 24, Tuesday June 25, Wed June 26, Thursday June 27, and Friday June 28 the pool will be open daily for 4pm to 6:55pm.  That’s right folks, no break from 4:30 to 5 which is our fav time to swim!

After this week, so starting on the 29th of June, the pool will run on its regular schedule — which I believe to be 12-4:25pm and 5pm-6:55pm on weekdays.  The website is saying it is from 11am, and not 12, and on weekends it is staying it doesn’t open until 1pm but we’ll have to wait until next week to actually get that confirmed I think.

If you are unfamiliar with Mitchell Field’s pool here in Willowdale, North York (address 89 Church St – enter through the CC, not the Arena), it is a small pool, with a very gradual incline and a maximum depth of 1.2meters (4ft 6″) or so, this makes it a great choice for the smaller kids as many of the older kids in the neighbourhood will make the trek up to Goulding Park, or if they want to pay the couple bucks and be super crowded they’ll do the afternoon swim at Douglas Snow (of note: this week it is closed and will re-open after Canada Day I believe).  Be warned, later in the season the 5-7 swim can get a tad chilly as the pool itself is in the shade that time of day.

George Duckett

Remembering Mr. George Duckett

Today marks the one year ‘death day’ of my friend Mr. George Duckett (1930-2012).  I’d like to share with you a letter I wrote to his kind widow this past winter after I had learned of his passing.

Dear Mrs. Duckett,

My name is Chris Nolan.  You don’t know me, but I knew your husband from the Douglas Snow swimming pool.  I was very sorry to learn of his passing, and wanted to tell you I’ll miss him.

For the past six years I’ve been taking my children to the pre-school swim Wednesday mornings, which is the same time as the senior swim.  Mr. Duckett’s regular locker was across the aisle from ours, and we would chat as we were getting changed (the kids take a long time to get ready, and he was no speed demon himself).  I used to look forward to his stories he’d tell: of his youth near the coast, of his time working on boats, his travels around Australia, his siblings back home, your trip to Hawaii when your kids were small, your grand kids both near and far, and many more.   The elf and Santa craft he made for the kids one Christmas still sit on a shelf in their bedroom keeping watch over them.

I regret not making an effort to keep in touch when he took his break from swimming last year for his hip surgery, and then during the summer the senior swim doesn’t run, and then Douglas Snow was closed for renovations in the fall, only to re-open last month.   Some of the other gentlemen asked after him, and I tried to tell myself he just didn’t know the pool had reopened yet, but I finally braced myself and looked online only to learn of his death this past summer.

I didn’t want to reopen any wounds by sending such belated condolences, but I did want to tell you of our time together, and that I’ll be keeping “Papa Duck”‘s memory alive with my kids too.

If you are the operator of a motor vehicle, please remember it is a powerful machine that requires vigilance.

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Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre failed to open as scheduled

Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre in North York has been closed for “state of good repairs” since the beginning of September.  They were scheduled to have all work complete by “Dec 31 2012”.  We stopped in today with high-hopes that our long missed Wednesday morning pre-school swim time would be operational and it wasn’t.  Work-men were still in the pool area.  Equipment could be seen being moved around.  The work fence and signage was still up outside.  The pool was empty.

The recreation assistant we spoke to could only say it’ll be “soon”.  Lessons are set to start on Saturday, and it’s my understanding it takes two and a half days to fill the pool… if I were you I’d expect phone calls from Parks & Rec telling you your first week of lessons (at least) will be postponed 😦

Update: Jan 3 — we received our phone call today tell us swim lessons would be postponed a week with a credit given to our parks & rec account (they can’t extend the lessons due to March Break schedules).  For me information call Mrs Bain @ 416-395-7593.

Honestly, I had near zero expectation that a construction project for a government entity would ever be completed on time.  Here’s hoping it was at least done on budget.

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Work is underway at Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre

Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre has been shut down the past month, and will remain so until at least December, but I was pleased to see work has finally started on the ‘state of good repairs’.  I’m trying to bite my tongue as to why it was closed for a month before the work commenced though.

Joe Pace & Sons Contracting is doing the work.

They’ve erected a safety fence around the pool itself, since it’s empty you don’t want anyone falling in.

There are two of these lifter trucks on deck, I assume to get up to the ceiling to do the lights and ducts.

Oh, and it turns out I was wrong in my previous post when I said the sauna would not be fixed.  Councillor Filion‘s recent column in the North York Post stated that they were able to be ‘creative’ with the budget and it will return operational (until someone throws water on it again I suppose).

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Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre Shut Down Sept-Dec 2012

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.

Note: People asked why I didn’t include the swimming pool at the Bathurst JCC/Prosserman Centre.  That’s because it was torn down and not rebuilt yet.

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.