On a hot summer day, Edmonton’s public outdoor pools are packed – that is, except for Mill Creek.
“We looked a couple of days ago to book at any outdoor pool but they were all fully booked so we opted for the spray park instead,” said resident Carla McLean.
McLean and her family live close to the Mill Creek outdoor pool, but it’s been closed since 2019 for rehabilitation. It’s not expected to reopen until summer 2024, and many people, including McLean, are feeling its absence.
“It would be nice to have a few more options. It gets packed, quite quickly.”
Mill Creek was selected as a priority for rehabilitation and code upgrades in 2018. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all outdoor pools were closed down for the 2020-2021 seasons. But this year, four of the five pools have reopened.
Jesse Banford, the city’s Facility Infrastructure Delivery Director, said the renewal work is a priority but there are a lot of projects going on elsewhere, too.
“You can’t shut them all down at once,” he said. “You have to do it in a certain order.”
The city, which just approved the pool’s rehabilitation $7 million budget in June, wasn’t able to jump on the project any sooner, Banford said. The design work was just completed this spring.
“We try to ensure there are other assets open for the enjoyment of the community but we will have shutdowns that happen,” said Banford.
Construction on the pool will begin this month and season-dependent work will be prioritized.