In a much-anticipated move to resume recreation services, the Township of Esquimalt is moving forward with reopening the aquatics facility at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre this September.
Recreation staff have used the past few months to make the most of the pool’s shutdown time by performing extensive maintenance work. Visitors to the facility will see changes in layout and in processes, including limited access to change rooms.
The facility will have a soft-reopening September 15-17 that will allow staff to make necessary adjustments to keep everyone safe as the gradual return of visitors continues. Reservations for these sessions will open online (esquimalt.ca/recreation) and by phone (250-412-8500) at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8. The full re-opening is scheduled for September 21 with attendance by advanced reservation only. Reservations for these sessions will begin September 18.
The initial pool schedule will include waterfit classes and lap swims with dedicated times for adults, families or parents and tots. While the hot tub, sauna and stream room will remain closed, “Bubble Swims” will be premiering in October. Families and close social groups can rent the lap and lifestyle pools for private use at an hourly rate on Saturday afternoons. The lap pool, waterfit classes and family swims will all be available for registration during other scheduled times.
While parents are also anticipating the return of swim lessons, these activities will resume at a later date. The Canadian Red Cross has advised of new protocols for swim lessons which include instructors teaching from the pool deck and a requirement for all preschool lessons and Swim Kids 1-4 to have a parent participating in the pool. These protocols present significant changes for staff and public alike. “As we determine how to adapt and staff are trained in these new protocols, we anticipate a gradual return to swim lessons beginning with private lessons,” said Aquatics Programmer Meghan Nicklin.
The reopening is in alignment with the Province of B.C.’s Restart Plan. The British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association and Royal Lifesaving Society of B.C. have provided guidance for the safe operation of pools and aquatic facilities.
- See news release: Swimming pool fun returns to Esquimalt
- See swimming pool guidelines for participants
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question we have not yet answered, please send reach out. We'd be happy to provide more information: email or call 250.412.8500.
A: We don't know, but it will be some time and will likely begin with private lessons first. Here's why: The Canadian Red Cross has advised of new protocols for swim lessons which include instructors teaching from the pool deck and a requirement for all preschool lessons and Swim Kids 1-4 to have a parent participating in the pool. These current protocols present significant changes for staff and public alike, and with our limited facility capacity (as per Health Authorities) minimize the number of lessons we can provide. As we determine how to adapt and staff are trained in these new protocols, we anticipate a gradual return to swimming lessons beginning with private lessons later this fall.
Our focus is to ensure a safe return of activities and continual progress with that return. Once an activity is introduced, we want to be as confident as possible it will work and we will continue to keep moving forward. This makes the return very gradual. Your patience and support is appreciated as we continue to navigate these new times.
A: Please enter by the lacrosse box, following the marked signage.
Advanced reservation is required for all sessions. Please book your space online (Esquimalt.ca/recreation) or by phone (250.412.8500). While waiting for staff to check you in, please ensure you maintain a 2-metre distance from others along the lacrosse box towards Lyall Street. Please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your session.
Upon entry, you will be issued a sanitized laundry basket for your belongings. Please place your belongings in the basket, and basket in the marked location (lifestyle pool, shallow end lap pool or deep end lap pool), shower, and enjoy your swim!
A note on shower access: lifestyle pool users are asked to show in the deck stall within the accessible change room (upon arrival, the accessible change room stalls will be closed for cleaning), lap pool users are asked to use the men's/women's and pool deck shower stall. This will allow all booked users to have the required cleaning shower quickly, before beginning their swim to maximize the time everyone can enjoy in the pool.
A: Yes! If accessing the lap pool, you will find kickboards, pull boys, pool noodles and waterfit dumbbells at the end of each lane. A friendly reminder, snorkels are not permitted at this time and you must bring your own goggles. By the lifestyle pool, you will find a station of waterfit belts, pool noodles and dumbbells. Dolphin seats will be brought out for parent and tot swims, and balls for family swims.
After your swim, we kindly ask you to bring the used equipment to the "used bin" for sanitization before the next swim. If there is equipment not readily available for you, please ask a lifeguard and our team will be happy to assist you.
A: Your 90-minute session includes access to BOTH your reserved pool space AND a room in the accessible change room. If you require change room access after your swim, please adjust your swim duration appropriately. If you are wanting to swim for 90 minutes, you will need to leave the facility wet. The schedule has been arranged to ensure staff can maintain cleaning of the facility and equipment for the next session. We require everyone's assistance to leave their reserved slot on time and thank you, in advance, for your assistance in doing so.