Edmonton outdoor pools will be free in 2017 starting Canada Day

Queen Elizabeth outdoor pool in Edmonton, Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Queen Elizabeth outdoor pool in Edmonton, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

Edmontonians will be able celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary by going to an outdoor pool at no cost from Canada Day until pools close for the season.

The City of Edmonton said drop-in swimming will be free, but there will still be a fee for lessons and rentals.

“Maybe we took a bit of a cue from the federal government making national parks free,” said Roger Jevne, a branch manager of the city’s Community and Recreation Facilities. “When we looked at all the options, we thought: what a great way to celebrate Canada Day, be outside, be in the pools.

“It’s a short season so if we can get better utilization, get those pools full all summer long… We just think it’s a good way to add to the celebrations taking place.”

All four of the city’s outdoor pools — Queen Elizabeth, Fred Broadstock, Mill Creek and Oliver — are open.

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In 2016, Edmonton’s outdoor pools saw 89,000 visits.

“It’s $20.50 for a family,” Jevne said. “So, for some families, that would be a barrier as they look at choices to make on a sunny day what they want to do. That barrier is gone. They ll be able to get out, get active. What a great way to spend a Sunday as a family than at an outdoor pool.”

There are a number of celebrations, festivals, events and activities scheduled on July 1 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

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