Splish splash: Edmonton’s outdoor pools are ready for summer fun and sun

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Edmonton’s outdoor pools are ready for another busy season of swimmers, with free admission for the third summer in a row.

By Shaela Dansereau

The end of May has come with a pleasant surprise for Edmontonians: with summer-like temperatures settling in at 25 plus degrees, the heat has people looking for summer activities early.


Mill Creek Outdoor Pool. Photo by Shaela Dansereau

This year, the City of Edmonton has decided to continue to run its outdoor pools with free admission.

What originally started as a plan to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 with free admission has quickly become an annual occurrence.

Since the city started providing free admission, Edmonton outdoor pool attendance has skyrocketed. From July to August 2017, Edmonton’s outdoor pools saw 64,361 more people than in the summer of 2016.

All five of Edmonton’s outdoor pools will waive admission this summer, including Edmonton’s Borden Natural Swimming Pool, Edmonton’s only chemical free pool.

Borden’s innovative filtration system has recently helped the pool earn an award. On May 14, Borden was one of eight honourees to win an Innovation in Architecture award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Using only natural processes and rock filters for cleaning its water, Borden is the first public outdoor pool in Canada to go chemical free.

Borden doesn’t open until June 8 for the 2019 season, along with the Queen Elizabeth outdoor pool and Kinsmen spray park.

However, for anybody looking to beat this week’s hot temperatures, Mill Creek Outdoor Pool opened May 25 and has already seen its first guests of the season.


Mill Creek Outdoor Pool. Photo by Shaela Dansereau

Fred Broadstock outdoor pool opens later this week on May 30, just in time for this weekend with temperatures expected to hit a high of 28 degrees.

Crowds are a certainty this summer, and advisories are posted consistently around the pool — reminding parents and swimmers of all ages that drowning accidents can happen in more than just deep water.


Signs at Mill Creek Outdoor Pool, reminding guests about the rules for swimming. Photo by Shaela Dansereau

The City of Edmonton pools have a rule that all children under the age of eight need to be kept within arms reach. A necessary precaution, to ensure everyone is safe and having fun.

So with temperatures soaring, it’s time to grab the sunscreen and pack your beach bag to enjoy the sunshine and free activities, giving your summer the early jumpstart Albertan’s so rarely see.

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