For those looking for a spot to cool off over the long weekend, outdoor pools across the Forest City are opening up Saturday.
The City of London, Ont., announced earlier this month that all outdoor pools would officially open for the summer as of July 1, excluding the Thames Pool due to “ongoing infrastructure concerns.”
Joannah Campbell, an aquatics supervisor for the city, said that there has been a lot of demand from the public to get things up and running.
“We definitely noticed a strong response on those hot weather alert days earlier this year, some of the earliest calls going back to April,” she said.
The Forest City started off June with record-breaking temperatures as London hit a new high. Hovering around the low-30s on June first, according to Environment Canada, the city smashed the previous record of 28.4C set back in 1986.
Following the growing number of calls from residents asking where they could cool off in the city prior to the opening of outdoor pools, Campbell said that they were able to get the splash pads operating by late May.
“It’s a great way to cool off on those hot weather days, but the public has definitely been excited about the opening of our pools,” she said.
She added that now with school officially out for the summer, she can’t wait to see more community members swing by for a swim, especially at Glenn Carin.
After being closed for the past three years, the pool at 370 Chippendale Crescent is set to reopen this Canada Day long weekend, and Campbell said that Londoners can’t wait to get back in the water.
“We’ve been out there the last couple of weeks just during the day getting everything ready, and we’ve even heard from people just calling through the fence to say they’re excited to come and join us,” she said.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the south-east pool was closed last year as crews worked to repair structural damage as well as to upgrade the pool’s filters, concrete and water heating system.
“It was tough on the community not having that facility last year due to those mechanical issues, so we’re really looking forward to having swimmers back in the pool like Glen Carin,” Campbell said.
Ward 1 councillor Hadleigh McAlister said that he’s been hearing similar questions from the community as to when the pool would reopen.
“When I was canvassing during the election, it was the thing I heard over and over again from that community, like how important it is, especially for the families,” he said. “I’m obviously over the moon (and) I know it’s been a long time coming.”
On top of structural repairs and a new paint job, McAlister said that pool-goers will also see a newly expanded change room.
“We actually took over what was the old arena change room, so the change rooms will be all spruced up,” he said, adding that the pool itself “was actually in fairly good shape.”
“Those old concrete pools were built to last so these repairs have just made everything look brand new and it’s a nice touch-up that I think everyone will enjoy.”
Residents looking to take a drip in the Glenn Carin pool will be able to do so for free on Saturday and Sunday.
“I’m also going around the area to hand out information in terms of our recreational programs and the aquatic program, and I’ll be on hand for Saturday and Sunday to also chat with folks,” McAlister said.
With plans to bring some ‘freezies’ down with him for the free swim over the weekend, the pool is also offering free swimming on a first-come, first-serve basis during weekday evenings.
More information about outdoor pools, hours, and available programs, visit the City of London website.
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