The City of Ottawa will empty its 53 wading pools for the summer on Tuesday afternoon, despite a last-minute attempt to keep the season afloat until the current heat wave subsides.
The pools were still scheduled to close on August 24, but River Ward Coun. Riley Brockington wrote to city staff on Monday asking if it was possible that at least a few of them, especially in what the councilor called high-risk communities, could remain open until the end of the week, or at least until the heat and humidity. the weather gives way to cooler temperatures.
Ottawa has been the subject of a heat warning since August 19, with daytime highs averaging 30 and Humidex often reaching 40.
But according to Dan Chenier, general manager of recreation, culture and facilities, too few lifeguards on staff, most of whom are students, were willing to stay until the end of the week.
For parents watching their kids enjoy a final dip in the city’s wading pools on Tuesday, the news of the impending closure has disappointed.
“We just learned today that the pool will close tomorrow,” said Victoria Chanie-Palmer, who brought her toddler and young son to the Complexe St-Laurent pool.
“It’s such a shame because we’ve been enjoying it all summer. It’s been really great for us, especially in this hot weather, and it’s the perfect place for the kids. I was really hoping it would remain open until the end of the school holidays, because that’s what we need it for. “
The gap between the closing of the wading pools and the start of the school year is also worrying Liz Eidsness, who brought her two children to the Parkdale wading pool on Tuesday.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” Eidsness said. “I think they should keep the pools open until the start of the school year. A lot of events, camps and things are closed, and what do the kids have to do?”
Chanie-Palmer and Eidsness said they appreciate the city’s staff and budget issues, but wondered if there isn’t a way to meet the needs of residents who depend on wading pools, especially during a heat wave.
“I respect this need,” Eidsness said. “But a lot of the city’s services are running year round, and this one isn’t open very long, so why not?”
Meanwhile, lifeguard monitoring and daily water tests on city beaches end on August 29.
Water games are expected to remain open until September 15, while the city’s nine outdoor deep-water pools will be closed by September 6, depending on their location.