Go Swimming: Vancouver’s Outdoor Pools Open Saturday, May 18

Kitsilano Pool by albategenius

Kitsilano Pool. Photo: albategenius

Summer is soon here. Opening day for Vancouver’s outdoor pools heralds the coming sunshine. Kitsilano Pool, Second Beach Pool, New Brighton Pool and Hillcrest Pool open for public swimming on Saturday May, 18– just in time for the Victoria Day Long Weekend.

How do you pick a pool?

Well, if it’s about more than proximity, each pool has its own set of alluring features.

My personal favourite is Kitsilano Pool. Here’s why: “Kits Pool” is a beachfront beauty and the longest pool in Canada. It’s also the only salt-water pool in Vancouver so you feel as though you’re in the adjacent ocean. For those who are visiting Kits, it’s located along the beach at Cornwall and Vine. There’s a cafe and a three water slides. Thanks to the pristine waters and jumbo-sized tanning chairs, the pool often boasts more visitors than the nearby beach. There’s also a kids’ area with a water fountain that squirts jets. Stay long enough and you can hit up Appy Hour with a beach/sunset view at the nearby Boathouse Restaurant.

A close second is Second Beach Pool located in Stanley Park at the junction of Stanley Park Drive and North Lagoon Drive. Second Beach Pool is also a waterfront pool. It’s heated, which you’ll appreciate in the spring to summer transition. It’s also easy to make a day of it by adding a hike or bike in Stanley Park and barbequing at nearby Ceperley Meadow.

In East Van, you can swim outdoors at New Brighton Pool: a is a heated, outdoor pool in New Brighton Park north of the Pacific National Exhibition on Windermere St. While the ocean access isn’t as full-on as the first two options, you’ve still got stunning mountain scenery.

Hillcrest Aquatic Centre—near Queen Elizabeth Park—is your best bet for young kids. In addition to the indoor pools and “lazy river”, the outfoor pool has the good stuff: water jets, bubble sprays and a kid-operated water cannon.

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