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End of an era: New West to keep Canada Games Pool closed permanently

New pool won't open until late 2023
Canada Games Pool will not reopen, says the city. Record file photo

The City of New Westminster says it made a “difficult decision” to decommission the Canada Games Pool - effective immediately.

Canada Games Pool, which was built in 1973, has been closed since September 2021 after heavy rains caused flooding in the facility’s mechanical room, said a city news release, adding that during the work to resolve the flooding issue, a leak was discovered in the main pool tank.

“The decision to not proceed with repairs to Canada Games Pool was due to the significant costs, extensive work required, associated risks, and an estimated timeline of approximately eight months to complete,” the city said in the release.

Canada Games Pool was previously scheduled to be decommissioned in August 2023 as part of the təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre construction project.

“The decision to close Canada Games Pool permanently was an incredibly difficult decision for City Council to make. While we knew this facility would close in the near future, these certainly aren’t the circumstances in which we wanted to say goodbye,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté, in a statement. “Canada Games Pool is a fixture in our city and has served our community and region for almost 50 years. The legacy of Canada Games Pool will always live on through the many fond memories our community holds of their time at this beloved facility.”

The cause of the leak to the pool tank continues to be “thoroughly investigated” and the city will eventually issue a report on what happened.

“New Westminster Parks and Recreation is actively working on a plan to develop service delivery alternatives, including extending the operating season of the community outdoor pools,” said the city.

Operating hours at existing fitness centres will be extended at Queensborough Community Centre and the youth fitness centre at Moody Park. Fitness equipment from Canada Games Pool will also be relocated to the gymnasium at Centennial Community Centre, and gym programs that normally take place at that site will be relocated to other recreation and community facilities. Centennial Community Centre will continue to be fully operational until its scheduled deconstruction in 2023.

“The City of New Westminster acknowledges the significant loss and service impact on the community, as well our staff,” said Dean Gibson, Director of New Westminster Parks and Recreation. “We are committed to serving the community as best we can including exploring all opportunities to meet the aquatic and fitness needs of our residents.”

The new aquatic centre is scheduled to open in late 2023.

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