A little girl plays in the water at the Thames pool in London. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)A little girl plays in the water at the Thames pool in London. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)

City staff recommend permanent closure of Thames Pool

A summertime staple for families in Old South may soon be no more.

City of London staff are recommending to councillors that Thames Pool be permanently closed, calling it the "most fiscally responsible option."

“In simple terms, Thames Pool has experienced significant infrastructure damage due to its location in the Thames River’s floodplain and ongoing weather events, including severe flooding, impacting the groundwater level,” City of London Director of Recreation and Sport Jon-Paul McGonigle said in a statement issued Wednesday. “This is an incredibly difficult recommendation to bring forward since we know Thames Pool is a popular destination for Londoners of all ages during the summer season."

The pool was closed during the summer of 2022 due to structural issues that the city said required significant repairs.

"In 2022, an external consulting team comprised of aquatic designers, building science engineers and geotechnical engineers was hired to review the condition of the facility and provide recommendations for its future after major infrastructure concerns were brought forward," city staff said. "Following the review, the team indicated Thames Pool has experienced differential movement in the pool floor, failures in the piping systems and a loss of base support likely caused by hydrostatic uplift pressure or frost penetration below the pool floor."

That was on the heels of work on the pool's field house and showers that cost the city more than $2-million in the summer of 2021.

The city says $238,500 has been spent on other repairs to the pool since 2016.

In the report heading to a council committee, staff recommend that the pool be replaced by a splash pad. The cost and timeline of that project is currently unknown. Staff also present four repair options for the pool - the most costly one being a total rebuild which would come in at roughly $12-million.

Others include a partial repair that would come in at $375,000 to $600,000 or a rehabilitation for $4-million.

The pool's future will be discussed at the community and protective services committee meeting on March 21 - and one very high profile Londoner has weighed in with her thoughts.

Olympic Gold Medal winner called Thames Pool "her favourite pool in London" and noted that she trained there in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics where she won three medals including a Gold in the 100m butterfly event.


The pool's future will be officially decided at a council meeting next month.


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