The Rossland Pool has provided a phenomenal family service to the Golden City and surrounding Greater Trail area for decades, and invites residents and visitors to celebrate its 90th birthday this summer.
First built in 1932, the venerable swimming hole at 1869 Columbia Ave. is believed to be the oldest outdoor swimming pool still in use in the province.
“As far as we know there have been no gaps, as far as we can tell from our history and the (Rossland) museum’s history, it has been operating at this location since 1932,” said pool manager September Stefani.
A group of volunteers formed the Rossland Pool Society to oversee the construction of an actual pool to replace the original basin filled with water. The City donated the land, while Teck pitched in with a pump, and CP Rail covered the transport costs of the pump from Chicago.
Construction first broke ground in May of 1932 and the pool opened on Aug. 7 that year.
While the opening of the pool in 1932 was welcomed by a noisy regatta that lasted all day, this year, staff invites the public to celebrate its 90th birthday on Thursday, July 14 between 4 and 7 p.m. Entry is only a toonie, and is sponsored by Hooper’s Bakery.
The celebration will feature music from DJ Jazzy Jo and DJ Bass Cat and pool staff will have the slack line set up for those who can combine balance and bounce.
“It’s almost like a trampoline if you can get it going good enough.”
With the recent warm weather, the pool has been on double-guard duty to accommodate the capacity numbers.
“We’ve had surprisingly good attendance with everything, except for the rainy weather in June, but now that has been nice and sunny, it’s been really busy,” said Stefani. “It’s nice to see people come out again.”
The pool society has had numerous challenges when faced with expensive upgrades, overhauls and fixes over the years, and this year was no different.
A 2021 engineering report found that the pool potentially requires millions of dollars worth of repairs.
In February, at the advice of staff, council approved $32,000 for short-term upgrades and $15,000 for maintenance and wages. The much needed overhaul will be included in an upcoming Rossland Recreation Master Plan set for completion in 2023.
Another challenge, but with the same will and determination shown over the years, Rosslanders can expect to celebrate the pool’s potential centennial in 2032.
Rossland Recreation provides a full spectrum of summer swim programs and open swims, such as Red Cross swim/lifesaving lessons, lap swims and Aquafit classes.
The pool is also available to rent for private or community functions.
For more information see the Rossland Rec Program Guide or go online to rossland.ca/recreation.