Westmount pool denies access to mother of 2

Westmount has a new public pool but if you don't live in the city, you may be denied access.

Dominique Jarry-Shore, from St-Henri, was told she could only use pool if accompanied by Westmount resident

Dominique Jarry-Shore said she was surprised by the centre's policy that only Westmount residents and their guests can use the pool. (CBC)

Westmount has a new public pool but if you don't live in the city, you may be denied access.

Dominique Jarry-Shore, a St-Henri resident, said she and her two children were turned away from the Westmount Recreation Centre.

“It was a five-dollar admission. That wasn't the problem — I had the money. But I had to be accompanied by a Westmount resident,” Jarry-Shore said.

“I was really surprised because earlier in the summer I had been here and had been allowed in.”

So Jarry-Shore improvised — she found a Westmount resident who agreed to bring her and her children in as guests.

“I made a new friend really, really fast…and I was allowed in,” she said.

Westmount’s pool is one of the few in Montreal that's still open this late in the summer, and its season also starts earlier than most.

Westmount officials said that in recent years, their pool has been overcrowded at times.

Recreation Centre Director Dave Lapointe said the city needs to give its residents a break.

“It was the only way that we can figure out, in the short term, to allow access to the people who live in the community...that are paying the extra on their taxes every year,” Lapointe said.

Property owners in Westmount are paying a two-per-cent increase in taxes over 10 years to partially finance the pool and surrounding recreational centre.

But some argue the municipality received federal and provincial grants for the project, and feel the pool should be open to all visitors.

“If I've got more at this point in my life I'm happy to share it,” said Westmount resident Katherine Walsh.

Westmount officials said Jarry-Shore's complaint is not the only one it received from Montrealers and it will consider revising the policy for next summer.


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