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The Old Pool

Inside the Park
The Old Community Pool

Story Content

 The low temperature of the Waterton Lakes prohibits their use for swimming. Lake Linnet, a small tarn located half a mile north of the townsite, contained reasonably warm water in summer, and in 1924, a bathing beach was developed there. A building containing dressingrooms for men and women was erected that year on the site of a former hotel. A shallow area was reserved for the use of children, and summer life-guard service provided. Construction of a covered swimming pool in the townsite was undertaken by Isaac Allred in 1924. It was acquired in 1931 by D.H. Ellison. Known as the Crystal Pool, it functioned for more than 20 years, permitting patrons to bathe in water heated by a steam plant. Difficulties, however, were experienced by the owner in the operation of the building, particularly in the maintenance of antiquated equipment in the boiler room, and in complying with the requirements of provincial and park sanitary regulations. Operation of the pool was discontinued after the 1948 season, and later, parts of the roof collapsed from excessive snow loads. The owner surrendered his interest in the property to the Crown in 1956, and following a resurvey of the property, building sites were made available for the erection of a provincial liquor store and a motor association travel bureau. Modern Pool Constructed Continued representations to the Department by residents and visitors to Waterton Park for the erection of a modern bathing establishment were successful when an appropriation for more than $400,000 was included in the park estimates for 1959-60. Consultants were engaged to draw acceptable plans, and a contract for the construction of a swimming pool and complementary building was awarded in March, 1959, following a call for tenders. The bathing complex, including a large outdoor pool, lined with tile, dressing and locker rooms for men and women, and caretaker's quarters, was completed early in 1960. Later that year, landscaping of the grounds surrounding the pool and building was carried out, and a paved parking lot installed. The bathing establishment was formally opened on June 18, 1960 by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, the Honourable Alvin Hamilton. 


*The outdoor pool functioned until 1995, when it was permanently closed and the land redeveloped as the Lodge at Waterton Lakes. The resort has an indoor pool, and one outside stone wall of that building was a wall of the old change room building.* (this paragraph added by Andrea Becker)

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Jerry 7/4/2017
As a former Waterton Park (WP) resident, although I love WP and the townsite for it's small size and how the scenic beauty, natural environment and habitat have been protected, I have some very happy memories spending time with family and friends at the WP outdoor pool.
Carol 10/3/2017
My brothers and sister loved that T-shaped pool with the great diving board in the deep end. And we were lucky to be there a few times when there were raucous swimming competitions. I still remember my aunt standing at pool's edge, fully clothed, yelling for us at the top of her lungs. We won several races, as I recall. In the old days few swam in the lake, but in more recent years it was common to see a few brave swimmers. My dad used to give us a silver dollar if we would retrieve it from the bottom of one of the pools in Red Rock Canyon. Now that was cold!
Renee A. 7/25/2018
Looking forward to visiting August 3 and 4th this year. It's been my dream to see Waterton since I was about 12 years old and saw an article about the area in Canadian Geographic magazine. 22 years later and I'm finally going to get but a glimpse :) I'm hoping next summer to spend a week camping in the park with my daughter.