British Columbia

Vancouver outdoor pools, splash parks extend season due to hot weather, record attendance

The Vancouver Park Board has decided to keep New Brighton and Second Beach outdoor pools open until mid-September after a record number of visitors and sunshine in the forecast.

New Brighton and Second Beach get extension, while Kitsilano Pool to close early on Sept. 5 for repairs

Two of Vancouver's outdoor pools, including New Brighton in East Vancouver pictured here and Stanley Park's Second Beach pool, will remain open for an extra two weeks this season. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

With hot weather in the forecast, Vancouverites can cool off in two outdoor pools that will remain open for an extra two weeks this season.

New Brighton Park pool in East Vancouver and the Second Beach pool in Stanley Park generally close after Labour Day, but the Vancouver Park Board will keep them open until Sept. 17.

"We've hit record temperatures and we've had record numbers of attendance this summer and that's why we're keeping them both open longer," said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe.

Vancouver's Kitsilano Pool will close earlier than normal to allow repairs which require dry weather. (Christer Waara/CBC)

The park board says the four outdoor pools saw more than 260,000 visitors since late May, a 20 percent increase over last year.

The city's other two outdoor pools — Kitsilano and Maple Grove — will close on the evening of Sept. 4. Kitsilano typically has a longer season, but is closing earlier for repairs, which the park board says must be completed during dry weather.

Vancouver Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe says it's been a record season for the city's outdoor pools. (CBC)

Wiebe says splash and spray parks will also remain until Oct. 1.

Use it or lose it

Although the city did not budget funds to keep the pools open this late, Wiebe said he hopes they will be well-utilized in the next two weeks to cover the extra cost of lifeguards.

"I'm really trying to get people out here," he said. "This is the first time in 20 years that we've kept [New Brighton] open in September. I want people out here so it'll be an easy decision to keep the pools open [later] for next year."

City staff are currently reviewing Vancouver's aquatics strategy, with a final report to be submitted to the park board by the end of the year.

"We're trying to get people more excited about aquatics," Wiebe said. "We're thinking about more pools [and] about where we should put them."

Early suggestions include a natural pool by the Fraser River or a floating pool in False Creek.

The final round of public consultations on the strategy begin mid-September.

With files from Meera Bains.