Coronavirus: Some outdoor public pools in Montreal open amid heatwave

Click to play video: 'Pools slowly reopening in some Montreal municipalities'
Pools slowly reopening in some Montreal municipalities
WATCH: The summer heat is officially here and some Montrealers are looking forward to a splash in public pools, when regulations allow. As Global's Kwabena Oduro reports, Piscine du parc LaSalle in Lachine kicked off its pool season on Saturday while other areas such as Montreal West and Pointe-Claire have yet to open their gates – Jun 20, 2020

The pool at Parc Lasalle in Lachine is one of the only ones open on Montreal amid the heatwave this weekend.

“I feel the people being happy behind me, just look at the smile on the children and parents’ faces as they cool off in the pool,” said Lachine Mayor Maja Vodanovic.

The people jumping into the pool at Parc Lasalle are some of the lucky few, as many pools across the island remain closed.

“Usually, it’s around this time we open up anyways, when school ends, we open,” Mayor Vodanovic told Global News. “It made sense. We rushed because you never know with the government, one day it’s on and the next day it’s off. We have been talking about this for two months. Once we got the go-ahead, we were ready.”

Although the opening was a little rushed, Vodanovic pointed out, strict safety measures were put in place.

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“Nobody can go into the changing rooms; they have to change at home. There’s a 45-minute rotation because we want to get as many people swimming (as possible) but there’s a certain amount of people allowed in the pool at a time. They have to make sure there’s a certain distance between the children,” Vodanovic explained.

READ MORE: Quebec green lights reopening of outdoor public pools for the summer

Environment Canada issued warnings for several regions in the St. Lawrence Valley, saying the scorching temperatures currently experienced in southern Quebec are forecast to last until Tuesday.

While many in Lachine are enjoying the warm weather, other municipalities have to wait their turn as their pools have yet to open.

But residents say they’re ready for a dip.

“Well, it’s always a nice activity to do with the family. … I like to go to work out, my kids like to go to play,” West Island resident Rene Pronovost said.

The pools in Pointe-Claire are set to open on July 4.

“The fact that they are not opening, it’s just one thing less that we can do, now with the heat it’s just not an opportune time for them to be closed,”, said Pronovost.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: City of Montreal puts cooling measures in place during heatwave

Over in Westmount, the pools are opening on Monday.

“I think it’s really important that the city allow for the residents to have access to a pool during a heatwave like this,” Westmount resident Danistan Saverimuthu told Global News.

Even with heatwave going on and his children being avid swimmer, Saverimuthu says he isn’t in a rush to be first when in line when pools open.

“At the same time, we are a little bit hesitant about starting right away, once pools are open. We would like to see how things process before we ourselves participate.”

The pool in Montreal West is set to open on June 28.

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