It’s that time of year again – time to officially trade those toques and jackets for beach towels and flip-flops.
Several of Vancouver’s outdoor pools open today, just in time to take advantage of the May Long Weekend. The Kitsilano, Second Beach, New Brighton and Hillcrest outdoor pools all open for business May 19.
And though the weather might not be exactly balmy yet, don’t worry: All the pools are heated. So which is the right pool for you?
Kits Pool, on the waterfront right next to Kits Beach, is the longest pool in Canada, measuring 150 metres at its outermost edge. If you hate chlorine, this is the pool for you: It’s filled with saltwater. Originally opened in 1931, Kits Pool is a Vancouver institution, especially popular with swimmers for its segregated swimming lanes. It offers great views of English Bay and the North Shore mountains.
Second Beach Pool, right inside Stanley Park and adjacent Second Beach, is another gem. It’s set on the edge of English Bay, so it almost feels like you’re swimming in the ocean. The pool offers beach entry (a gentle slope into the water instead of steps), features a small water slide and is popular among families with small children.
The New Brighton Pool is situated on the east side of Vancouver, just north of the PNE grounds. It has beach entry for toddlers and regulation length 25-metre swimming lanes. The pool offers nice views of the North Shore mountains and also features East Vancouver’s only ocean access point (through New Brighton Park).
Hillcrest is the newest addition to Vancouver’s outdoor pool family (There are actually both indoor and outdoor pools at the community centre, making it the largest aquatic facility in Vancouver). Located in a residential neighbourhood next to Queen Elizabeth Park, Hillcrest is a legacy from the 2010 Olympic Games (when the facility hosted curling events). The pool is great for kids with built-in water spray guns and bubble jets.
Finally, there is one last Vancouver outdoor pool, Maple Grove, which doesn’t open until later in the summer on June 23. It’s a large, heated outdoor wading pool in Kerrisdale.
For a complete listing of pool hours and admission fees, visit the Vancouver Park Board website.