Josie Padro grew up swimming in an outdoor pool near Hastings and Renfrew and has created a Facebook page to remember the city’s outdoor pools that no longer exist.
“There must be many people who have fabulous memories [of the pools being] an important part of their childhood and there’s nowhere to document that or talk about it,” says Padro, who was born and raised in East Vancouver.
The outdoor pool in Hastings Community Park was created in 1959 and was demolished in the 90s to be replaced with a spray park.
Kerrisdale Pool started as an outdoor pool when it first opened in the 50s but later became an indoor pool. Other outdoor pools: Oak, Sunset and Mount Pleasant — are gone.
The pools were free in the 60s and very crowded. She says the lifeguards would do shifts where they would clear the pool and have everyone lineup to go back into the water.
She says the outdoor pools were a huge social hub for the neighbourhood kids.”We had underwater tea parties. We sat out on the deck and would have a little get-together with the girls then go back in the water and the boys would chase us. Then you’d get good at swimming and jump off the diving board into the deep end.”
Her experience swimming from an early age prompted a life-long love of the activity and she now frequents New Brighton Pool with plans to continue doing so into her senior years.
New Brighton Pool is one of five outdoor swimming pools and there are nine indoor pools in Vancouver.
Share your photos, memories and stories at Remembering Vancouver’s Outdoor Community Pools.