New Swimming Pool Project Proposed for Coal Harbour

coal harbour deck swimming pool

Image courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design

Would you go swimming in Coal Harbour if you had the chance? A Vancouver architecture design firm is proposing the development of a new “Harbour Deck”, which would allow the city to re-engage with the waterfront along the upscale Coal Harbour waterfront neighbourhood.

The design proposal is similar to a the harbour baths in Copenhagen, which are extremely popular for tourists and locals alike, who can go down to the harbour for a quick dip in the ocean. Could that be an option in Vancouver’s near future?

The Vancouver-based HCMA Architecture + Design firm is behind the initial design proposal. The firm is not new to the public pool scene and is responsible for a number of Vancouver’s aquatic centre facilities, including the West Vancouver Public Pool and the Killarney Community Pool.

Now, HCMA wants to turn Vancouver’s largest harbour into a dedicated swimming area and unique gathering space. The proposed design for Harbour Deck includes an oval wooden boardwalk, wind-shielded seating, swim lanes and wading areas, water hammocks, a raised bridge, and a four-metre high platform for jumping off into the water.

coal harbour deck swimming pool

Image courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design

There are no immediate plans to start building this public pool, but the team behind the pitch is hoping that the public will get excited about the idea, encouraging the city to help make it happen. (Remember the huge success of last year’s giant water slide?)

The location of the Coal Harbour Pool would be at the foot of Bute Street in Coal Harbour, adjacent to the float plane terminal. For those who are concerned about cleanliness of the water, Coastal Health has confirmed that the water is safe for swimming.

In fact, bringing a public pool into the area would be a move to help improve the water as a public pool may encourage a consistent effort to improve the water quality to allow for swimming to take place.

The water temperature of Vancouver’s harbour is similar to that of Copenhagen, where residents swim year-round (in fact there are around 11,000 people in winter swim clubs). Darryl Condon, the firm’s managing partner, said the design has potential to create “healthy, delightful and sustainable environments” that strengthen the relationships of people who live the shoulder-to-shoulder city lifestyle.

Coal Harbour Swimming Pool

Image courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design

The design also features space for picnicking and live performances and festivals, with views of Stanley Park, the North Shore mountains and city skyline. Designs for the proposal, which would be North America’s first Harbour Deck, are on display at the Museum of Vancouver. The exhibition runs from Jan. 21 to May 15.

What do you think of a public pool in Coal Harbour? Let us know in the comment section below!

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5 Responses to New Swimming Pool Project Proposed for Coal Harbour

  1. Jaime

    Conceptually it sounds interesting; however, since storm water discharges directly into the harbour without treatment I would be concerned about the water quality with respect meeting the regulatory standards that allow for human contact or possibly ingestion/absorption on a consistent basis.

    And…the water temperature similar to Denmark is not all that warm. Think about how long one can stay in the water during the annual Polar swim-

    • Carrie

      Yes, during the winter it will definitely not be warm. Those are special kinds of people that can stand that water.

      But during a hot summer day? Sounds pretty refreshing!

  2. R

    Water temp @<5C is not warm.

  3. Simon

    I live in Coal Harbor and it’s a great idea. I definitly go for a swim and a jump from the platform.

  4. I’m part of the design team that conceived of the harbour deck and would like to point out that this concept is NOT a swimming pool, just as it’s not a park or a pier, this is a multi-use public square on the water for people to use year-round for meetings, relaxing, picnics, taking in the views and even gatherings, performances and festivals.