Thursday, October 16, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Mount Pleasant Pool should be designated a Heritage Site

Tonight, the Mount Pleasant Community Centre held its all-candidate meeting for Park board.

This neighborhood is deeply concerned about the loss of its swimming pool and child-care space at the current centre which is being phased out. Their new Centre at 1 Kingsway is not what the community asked for but for some reason the Park board went ahead with plans to build this new space.

Accessibility will be a major problem for kids living west of Main street who will need to cross Kingsway and Main which is a major automobile thorough-fare. The City and park board obviously didn't think this through properly.

Speaker after speaker at the Mt Pleasant meeting stated they preferred child-care and the pool to remain exactly where they are now and this is a simple request. In fact, long-time Mount Pleasant resident, Gavin Ross expressed his desire to have discussions re-opened regarding the Mount Pleasant child-care and the children's pool. All park board candidates in attendance when asked whether we would support this, stated yes.

It was sad that not one NPA incumbent Park Commissioner attended the meeting to address their decision making and the residents concerns.

The three NPA candidates, Laura McDiarmid, Christopher Richardson and Sharon Urton tried their best to answer residents concerns but unfortunately, the audience was not supportive and it became very difficult for the NPA candidates to defend their colleagues who embarked on what turned out to be un-neighbourly decision making.

Was great to see former Councillor Nancy Chiavario who chaired the meeting. Nancy serves as the Mount Pleasant centre board President and is doing great and looking great.

Perhaps a good case for saving the pool and the legacies of politicians like Nancy Chiavario, who served on Park board might be to designate Mount Pleasant pool a heritage site. So many outdoor community pools have been phased out and Mt Pleasant is our last remaining outdoor pool.

It seems a shame that kids are expected on warm summer days to swim indoors when outdoor pools have always served a useful purpose in this City.

Demolished outdoor pools include Sunset, Hastings and Marpole and soon Mount Pleasant. Interesting that 3 of these pools were located on the east side which is terribly park deficient to begin with.

This issue I suspect is going to gain traction and be a campaign issue and so it should.

Jamie Lee Hamilton