Members of Montreal's scuba-diving community are hoping officials will change their minds about the city's deep-water diving pool, which is scheduled to close on Jan. 1.
The 15-metre deep pool, located at the Olympic Stadium's acquatic complex, is unique in North America and draws hundreds of divers every year. In addition to serving as a popular spot for scuba-diving practice, the pool has been a boon to the local film industry for attracting productions to Montreal. It has even been in the scenes of some Hollywood movies.
According to long-time scuba diver Gary Davis, finding places to practice during the winter months can be a challenge.
"It's really too bad that they're going to close," he said. "We can't get out all year round for our dives so it's fun to be able to get out and do diving and practice some skills."
A notice on the Olympic Park's website states that resources have been reallocated to the construction of the Institut national du sport du Québec, and to renovations for the stadium's aging sports complex. The cost of those projects mean that keeping the pool open is no longer affordable.
"The Olympic Park has found itself in a difficult situation where resources and activities are limited. It was a difficult decision and we sincerely apologize for the situation," the statement says.
Darcy Kieran, the owner of Montreal dive-shop Total Diving and a trained diving instructor, said that local scuba divers are disappointed with the decision to close the pool.
"Before we bring bulldozers into something unique to Montreal that's used by many industries not just scuba diving, let's look at how we can keep it open," he said.