New program provides free transportation and swimming for those affected by London pool closures

With a heat alert in place, there aren’t many places people would rather be than the local pool.

However with the closure of Thames Pool and Glen Cairn Pool, many Londoners are left without a place to take a dip in their neighbourhood.

“We use to go there everyday and we would book the double-swim session for two hours,” says 11-year old Nora Courchaine.

The City of London has tried to remedy that situation by giving people an alternate place to swim for the summer season. They are allowing people to use the South London Community Pool (SLCP) on Bradley Ave.

The City of London is using South London Community Pool as a replacement for Thames Pool and Glen Cairn pools which were closed this summer (Source: Brent Lale/CTV London)

“We know how important these pools are to the community,” says JP McGonigle, the director of sport and recreation for the city of London.

“When we have these types of situations arise, we feel it’s very, very important for us to turn around and respond.”

McGonigle says families can get a swim pass by calling the customer service line or via email. Once information is exchanged they will give you a key tag at the aquatic facility.

“We have handed out so far about 2,200 free recreational swim passes to those impacted by those closures,” says McGonigle.

“Those passes can be used at any pool on any day throughout the city for recreational swim purposes.”

The city is also providing transportation to and from SLCP on Monday and Friday. The bus picks people up at Tecumseh Public School or Glen Cairn Parking lot at 1:00 pm, and the bus leaves the SLCP at 3:30 to return.

families are taking advantage of transportation 1 5983158 1657574139332Families are taking advantage of transportation provided by the City of London to South London Community Pool on Bradley Ave. (Source: Brent Lale/CTV London)

“We would have gone every two days to Thames, and we don’t have a car so that’s really good that they have a bus,” says Nelly Murariau, a parent who lives near Thames Pool and took advantage of the bus program.

The buses have only been running for a week, and are seeing about 20-30 people riding. McGonigle expects that to pick up through the summer. Having a certified school bus driver taking the kids back and forth is reassuring to parent Anna Hendrikx who has to work.

“We are very fortunate it’s two families right now that are on the bus that normally go to Thames Pool every afternoon,” says Hendrikx.

“They just enjoy their freedom away from parental supervision and so it’s nice to have this bus taking them to another pool that is covering for our pool while it’s been fixed.”

The free passes will last until the end of the outdoor season which is at the beginning of September.

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