Summary of the Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association’s support for funding a replacement pool in Mount Pleasant:
Your community has been waiting for the return of Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool since the old pool was demolished in 2009.
The rebuilding of the pool continues to face challenges due to City funding shortfalls.
Your Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association fully supports rebuilding the pool that will give long term benefits to the broader community.
We hope to gain support from our elected representatives on Park Board and Council for reallocating and topping up capital funds and seeking funds from other levels of government. We encourage supporters to query candidates in the upcoming municipal election about their support for Mount Pleasant Pool.
To learn more about this campaign, and how to help your community see the return of outdoor swimming in Mount Pleasant, please read on.
After extensive public consultation, the Vancouver Park Board approved a Master Plan for Mount Pleasant Community Park in 2009-2010, which included passive green space, sports courts, a skate park, a community garden, walking paths, picnic areas, a playground, and an outdoor swimming pool to replace the one that was demolished in 2009. Over 80% of participants of the public consultation ranked the outdoor pool as their highest priority. A decade later, in 2019, the 3 year engagement process called VanSplash resulted in unanimous approval of a Vancouver Aquatic Strategy that includes a new outdoor pool in Mount Pleasant Community Park.
From 2010 to present, the Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association has publicly advocated for Park Board to fund the replacement outdoor swimming pool, including:
- Participating in the VanPlay and VanSplash public consultations from 2016 to 2019. The Park Board voted to include Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool in the VanSplash Aquatic Strategy in October 2019, following 3 years of public engagement.
- Participating in multiple opportunities to outreach to the public on replacing the pool, including Car Free Day Main Street, Celebrate Mount Pleasant Days at Guelph Park, Mural Festival, Autumn Shift Festival, Celebrate Mount Pleasant Park movie nights, Celebrating the return of the Dude Chilling sculpture in Guelph “Dude Chilling” Park in 2019, among others. Even despite the pandemic which made in-person contact difficult, the MPCCA hosted a table including the Pool Committee at the Just Off Main event in August 2021 and the St. George Rainway “Let it Rain!” event in April 2022. Many people approached our booths to express their support for the outdoor swimming pool. The heat dome and climate crisis intensified public demand and urgency for the swimming pool to be replaced as soon as possible.
- Submitting Pool Committee reports with updated information on the progress toward a replacement pool at each Annual General Meeting.
About Mount Pleasant Community Park
The Park was established at 16th and Ontario in the mid-1960’s on unceded Coast Salish Territory in order to build a community centre and outdoor pool. These were demolished in 2009 when the community centre moved to #1 Kingsway, with a Park Board commitment to replace the pool. There is no pool at the #1 Kingsway location. Mount Pleasant Pool operated from 1967 to 2009, a total of 42 years. The loss of this cherished recreational facility has impacted keenly on those in Mount Pleasant and adjacent neighbourhoods, particularly since other outdoor pools such as Hastings, Marpole, and Sunset had already been closed and demolished, with only Marpole’s slated to be replaced. The scarcity of outdoor pools has led to people being turned away from the few remaining waterfront pools because they are full, and to parents fruitlessly searching for spaces in swimming lessons so their kids can learn to swim, lessons that Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool provided to hundreds of children. Vancouver has fewer outdoor swimming pools per capita than any major city in Canada!
The Park is situated in a very pedestrian friendly community in the centre of the city, along major transit routes and one of Vancouver’s original bikeways, Ontario Street, also now known as the Ontario Greenway, which prioritizes walkers and cyclists while inhibiting access to cars. The Broadway subway under construction will provide additional public transit that will encourage people to leave their cars at home. There is also a Mobi station adjacent to the park.
The Park is very popular with individuals, families, and groups. Like all swimming pools, the Pool was used extensively by people of all ages and abilities ranging from babies to seniors, enjoyed by summer day camps, boys and girls clubs, for swim lessons, and aquafit classes. With the increase of health issues that has accompanied the addiction to passive activities in front of a screen, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, swimming provides a life-long activity that increases both physical and mental health, and, what’s more, it’s fun!
The Pool season typically ran from May until September, with the MPCCA sometimes subsidizing an earlier opening and later closing season. Park Board has endeavored to extend outdoor pool seasons in recent years due to the popularity of these facilities and the severe shortage of outdoor swimming pools in Vancouver. A new pool in Mount Pleasant Community Park can be built with modern technology such as solar and geothermal heating that don’t generate GHG’s and pool covers to minimize heat loss, thus extending the season to 5 months or more. The water in full-sized swimming pools is treated and circulated, which minimizes the use of water to much less than is required to keep lawns green in the summer.
Mount Pleasant Community Park is situated in an area that is projected to vastly increase in population. Other parks in the vicinity such as Douglas and Jonathan Rogers have playing fields which would make construction of a full-sized pool prohibitive. Expanding Hillcrest’s small, shallow outdoor feature would require public consultation and impact a park that is already crowded with recreation facilities, playing fields, and a professional baseball stadium.
A replacement pool in Mount Pleasant Community Park can be designed to minimize the loss of both trees and accessible green space. There are other parks around the Mount Pleasant and adjacent areas that people use for relaxing, playing, picnicking, and socializing include Queen Elizabeth Park right next to Hillcrest, Heather, Lillian To, Major Matthews, Dude Chilling, Sahalli, Tea Swamp, Grimmet, Prince Edward, McAuley, Robson, Glen, Sunnyside, and China Creek Parks.
Mount Pleasant Park is the most suitable location for this pool, not only because it was redesigned in 2010 to accommodate the pool with allocated space, it is the only location that has been approved in the Park Board’s Aquatic Strategy.
The Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association is proud to work alongside the Vancouver Park Board in providing excellence in programs and services to the community, and to advocate for the best use of park spaces and recreation amenities in Mount Pleasant that benefit the city as a whole.
- Mustel Survey History of Pool and Park Redevelopment
- Mount Pleasant Park Redevelopment Motion
- VanSplash Motion following a three year city-wide public engagement process