Interesting Facts about Swimming Pools in Canada

Borden Natural Swimming Pool :: City of Edmonton
Image: Borden Natural Swimming Pool (City of Edmonton)

With the weather warming up, it seems like summer is right around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about opening up your backyard pool, grabbing your sunscreen, and enjoying some relaxing days in the water. In case you haven’t started planning that far ahead, this compilation of interesting swimming pool facts is sure to get you in a staycation state of mind.

  • The first heated swimming pool was built in 1st century Rome by Gaius Maecenas. Maecenas is best known as the patron of the famous poet Virgil and the political advisor to the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus. The pool was heated through a furnace-based central-heating system and was surrounded by lush gardens, villas, waterfalls, and other luxuries. 
  • The most expensive pool ever built is the swimming pool at the City of Stars Sharm El Sheik Resort in Egypt. At 23.83 acres, the City of Stars pool also measures to be the largest pool in the world. It’s filled with saltwater from nearby underground wells and is big enough for swimmers and sailboats to occupy it. With natural landscaping and sand surrounding the pool, it truly is a paradise.
  • The first natural pool in Canada opened in 2018 in North Edmonton. The Borden Natural Swimming Pool cost $14.4 million to build and became the first chemical-free outdoor pool in Canada. An interesting fact about the pool’s water is that it does not use any chlorine or salt; instead, it fully relies on plankton, aquatic plants, gravel, and sand for cleaning.
  • The Queen Elizabeth Pool, built in Edmonton in 1922, is the oldest swimming pool in Western Canada. After undergoing extensive renovations in 2011, the pool remains open today for public use.
  • Statistics show that the swimming pool industry took off in the 1950s. Although luxury hotels in Canada began to install indoor swimming pools for the enjoyment of guests in the 1920s, the Canadian pool industry gained traction when the demand for privately owned backyard pools in Canada grew in the 1950s.
  • A backyard inground pool can add about 8 percent to a home’s real estate value. Statistics show that a swimming pool can add a six-figure increase to a home’s resale value. This is especially true if the home is higher priced and in a neighbourhood with a large number of inground pools.
  • Swimming is the most popular organized sport for children in Canada. Over 1.1 million children are enrolled in swimming programs at local pools yearly. This is largely due to the valuable safety training and life skills gained from swimming lessons and the low cost.
  • Kitsilano Pool in Vancouver was opened in 1931 and remains the longest outdoor swimming pool in Canada and North America. Because it’s built ocean-side, the amazing view of the water makes it a perfect swimming pool destination. It even offers a shallow section for children, a deep end for casual swimmers, and roped-off lanes for swimming laps.
  • Quebec has more swimming pools per capita than almost anywhere in North America. Swimming pool statistics in Canada show that Quebec accounts for over 40 percent of pool installations nationwide. For reference, with one in every 26 houses equipped with a backyard pool and about one pool for every 15,000 residents, Quebec boasts more pools per capita than California.
  • Swimming has a multitude of health benefits! The Canadian Red Cross states in their brochure, “Facts and Figures Canada”, that swimming pools can provide restorative and healing environments. Besides being a good outlet for exercise, swimming engages every muscle group and can help develop good posture, alleviate stress, and even provide low-impact therapy for some injuries or health conditions.