Kingston city council votes to enclose local water park, making it a year-round facility

Kingston's Culligan Water Park as seen in this file photo from 2022. City council voted in favour of building an enclosure around the water park on March 5, 2024. Global News

The City of Kingston is set to spend millions of dollars to enclose a pool and waterpark next to the Memorial Centre.

City council voted Tuesday in favour of spending more than $25 million to ensure that the Culligan Water Park can run all year. The park currently runs for three months of the year, which is set to change.

Councillors voted based on information included in a report brought to council on Tuesday. The goal, outlined in the report, is to expand parks and recreation opportunities and participation.

Coun. Brandon Tozzo told Global News the city’s decision to fund the enclosure is a quick and easy way to get pools up and running while providing residents with the aquatic services they need.

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“There’s a high need for pools, as any parent can attest to, especially for swimming lessons and aquafit lessons,” Tozzo said. “It was something that we could do quickly, something that was readily available and it’s something I think will greatly benefit (residents) in Kingscourt-Rideau.”

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Around $5 million for the water park will be funded from the Municipal Capital Reserve Fund, $15 million from debt issuance and $5 million through development charges.

“It is anticipated that the operations of an enclosed facility would help to redirect some of the leisure swims and some programming needs from other facilities that are overwhelmed and regularly have waitlists,” the report reads.

It adds that, once enclosed, the water park would see an increase in operating costs, with the operating deficit going up to $1.3 million per year due to a need for more staffing and lifeguards.

Other projects noted in the report include the construction of a new aquatic and wellness facility at the INVISTA Centre, as well as the possibility of constructing a new 25-metre aquatic facility alongside the redevelopment of the Frontenac Mall site.

The Culligan Water Park will remain open this summer but will close next season for construction.

Click to play video: 'Kingston council set to vote on $100M pool project'
Kingston council set to vote on $100M pool project

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