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Trail Blazers: Keepin’ it cool

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives
C.W. Wright Pool in the 1960s. (Trail Historical Society photo)

With the pandemic closing civic pools this summer - such as the Trail indoor pools and the Warfield outdoor pool - taking a look back at what were once popular swimming venues in the city is quite timely this week.

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Named after “Mr Trail,” as Dr. C.H. Wright was known to many, was the C.H. Wright Pool.

It was an outdoor marvel on Columbia Avenue - featuring a high diving board for those with the fortitude to jump from such a height - located on the present-day grounds of the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

“The outdoor pool opened on July 6, 1961,” began Jesslyn Jarvis, collections coordinator for the Trail Museum and Archives.

“It offered open hours throughout hot summers, as well as swimming classes, and a diving club.”

Like so many recreational amenities in the city, the C.H Wright Pool was made possible by the efforts of dedicated volunteers who back then, worked together as the Trail District Recreational Projects Society.

“Charles Wright, who the pool was named after, was the president of the society for many years and was known as ‘Mr. Trail’ for devoting so much time to community projects, clubs, and organizations,” Jarvis said.

“Dr. Wright passed away in 1960, just before construction of the pool began.”

Besides the Wright pool, was another swimming hole that prior to the 1960s, was the place to be during the dog days of summer.

This outdoor public amenity was called the Jubilee Pool.

It was located on Victoria Street beside the former Trail Legion Hall (where Lordco Parts Ltd. now stands) and across the street from the Trail-Tadanac Hospital, or the property where A&W is located today.

Jarvis dug up a few firsthand accounts of the Jubilee Pool, indicating that admission was 5 cents for an entire day in the 1930s and 40s.

Comparably, if the indoor pool was open today in the aquatic centre, the daily drop-in fee for a Trail resident sits at $2.75 for a child, $5.45 for a student/senior and $6.60 per adult.

The Trail District Recreational Projects Society also assisted in the development of the Trail Memorial Centre, the Butler Park lights and grandstand, the Trail library, the Gyro Park Outdoor Theatre (torn down many years ago) and beach improvements, as well as several community halls.

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Jubilee Pool. (Trail Historical Society photo) Jubilee Pool in 1954. (Trail Historical Society photo)
Birds-eye view of Victoria Street with Jubilee Pool to the right. (Trail Historical Society photo)

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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