For five decades, the Canada Games Pool stood at the heart of sports and activity in New Westminster. On Monday, demolition crews got to work tearing the beloved facility down.
The pool originally opened on March 9, 1973, with partial federal funding as New Westminster and Burnaby held the Canada Summer Games. It was originally scheduled to be decommissioned in August 2023.
But a flood amid heavy rains in 2021 exposed significant damage, and with just two years left in its lifespan the city decided repairing it would be too expensive with too little benefit.
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Residents who came to watch crews get to work Monday got nostalgic about the venerable building, sharing memories of the pool and surprise at how fast time had passed.
While the Canada Games Pool is no more, the city is already working on its replacement, the 10,644 square-metre təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre, being built on an adjacent site.
The new $107-million facility is slated to open in late 2023, while demolition of the old pool is expected to be complete by summer 2024.