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Moody Park Outdoor Pool is staying open until October in New West

New Westminster extended 2022 outdoor pool season response to closure of Canada Games Pool
You'll be able to swim at Moody Park Pool until October. After Labour Day, the city will review Hume Park Outdoor Pool's hours every few days.

New Westminster’s outdoor pools will stay open longer than usual to continue filling a gap left by the closure of Canada Games Pool.

In February, the city announced an extended season for the Moody Park and Hume Park outdoor pools. The pools will remain open until October.

“I really appreciate the work that's been done to extend the outdoor swimming,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote. “Obviously, it wasn't ideal to have the Canada Games Pool close early and not line up perfectly with the reopening of the new Təməsew̓txʷ aquatic centre, but I think this definitely provides a valuable opportunity.”

Moody Park Outdoor Pool opened on April 23 and Hume Park Outdoor Pool opened on June 30. Lane swimming, swimming lessons, leisure swims and Aquafit have been offered at both facilities.

Cote said his daughter took two sets of swimming lessons at Moody Park in the spring. With less-than-ideal weather in May and June, he said it was a bit surreal to see lifeguards wearing winter jackets on the pool deck.

Coun. Mary Trentadue acknowledged all the extra work done by staff to extend the hours at both outdoor pools.

“I know it was not an easy thing to do, especially with the shortages in lifeguards,” she said.

According to an Aug. 29 staff report, Moody Park Outdoor Pool will continue to offer swim lessons, lap swimming, leisure swim, adult swim, Aquafit and rental until Oct. 10. It will be open Monday to Friday (8 to 10:30 a.m. and noon to 8:45 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (12:15 to 7:30 p.m.)

The schedule for Hume Park Outdoor Pool will be “dynamic” given some factors impacting the safe and efficient operations of that facility. City staff plan to adjust Hume pool’s hours of operation every three to five days.

“The schedule will be dynamic and responsive to changes in daylight, weather forecast, pool and air temperatures, public demand and staffing availability,” said the report.

The report stated that Hume Park’s pool doesn’t have significant exterior and interior pool lighting, and was not designed to operate in the darker hours after dusk or before sunrise during the fall months.

“Operations staff are exploring options for portable lighting structures; however, the feasibility of this enhancement cannot be confirmed at this time,” said the report. “In contrast, Moody Park Outdoor Pool has appropriate existing infrastructure to support evening swimming.”

If Moody Park’s pool is able to accommodate all community members attending late-evening and early-morning swims, the city won’t consider getting additional lighting for the Hume Park pool for this year.

The staff report also noted that the boiler at Hume Park Outdoor Pool is scheduled to undergo preventative maintenance in the spring of 2023; there’s some uncertainty if the boiler has the heating capacity to sufficiently heat the pool as the cooler weather arrives in September and October.

“Operations staff will continue to monitor and make recommendations as required,” said the report.

Great – even in the rain

Trentadue said her family enjoyed their time at Moody Park Outdoor Pool in the spring.

“It was a little chilly, but it was fine. That was great,” she said. "I look forward to seeing what happens as we go into October. It is a great pool. I was in the pool in the rain, so it is great, even in the rain.”

The staff report gave an overview of attendance numbers at Moody Park Outdoor Pool during the “non-traditional days of operation” between April 23 and June 29. It stated that 11 per cent of the spaces available for leisure swims and 60 per cent of the spaces available for lap swims were used during that time.

“Pool usage is greatly dependent on weather forecasts, and it should be noted that spring weather patterns this year were unseasonably cool and wet,” said the report. “If fall produces a warm and bright season, both of the city’s outdoor pools serve to be utilized greatest in the after-school hours and on weekends.”

Dean Gibson, the city’s director of parks and recreation, said the pools have had “great attendance” during the warmer weather months.

“We're looking forward to seeing how that continues into the fall,” he said. “That will certainly help us for our planning for what will become more season- extended outdoor swimming before the Təməsew̓txʷ facility opens.”

Coun. Patrick Johnstone said some community members have expressed concerns about the system that requires people to pre-book their times at the pools in one-hour intervals. He asked if staff could report back to council about the booking system used at the two outdoor pools.

For every concern that has been expressed about the reservation system for the outdoor pools, Gibson said the city has heard from others who say the system worked really well for them.

“What we have committed to our customers, and we'll be undertaking this work as we come out of this operating season, is some community engagement just around that one specific issue. That will help inform some recommendations that will ultimately come back as far as our planning for the future sessions,” he said. “So, rest assured, it is something that we're alive too, and we'll try to find that happy middle ground for the community as a whole.”

It September 2021, the reopening of Canada Games Pool after its regular maintenance shutdown was delayed by mechanical issues. Soon after, the city discovered a crack in the pool tank.

In November 2021, the City of New Westminster announced it would not be reopening the pool, given the costs and timelines associated with the repairs. The city had originally planned to decommission Canada Games Pool in 2023, once the new təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre opened.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus



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