Does Muskoka Lakes Township need its own public swimming pool?
That’s the question councillors were considering during their latest general committee meeting.
Councillors heard an update on the Township’s ongoing arena feasibility study. This time, the update included the news that there’s a healthy appetite for a new public swimming pool in the Township
Susan Lennox of Lennox Architects provided the council with an update on Phase Two of the arena feasibility study, which involved a closer examination of community needs. To determine those needs, Lennox said they had interviewed various user groups and collected the results of 250 surveys.
Their findings indicated that people are generally happy with the current arenas in Bala and Port Carling and their upkeep and maintenance. Opinions were largely split between maintaining the existing arenas or building new ones. Regardless of whether new arenas are built, the majority indicated maintaining an arena in both Bala and Port Carling was vital.
Some 81 percent of respondents indicated that maintaining ice in the summer was not important. However, Lennox qualified the findings by saying the majority of respondents were pickleball players who likely preferred to have the rink space used for pickleball in the summer.
Likewise, the majority of those surveyed indicated their top priorities for any new facility were:
1. Indoor courts for volleyball and pickleball
2. Fitness/gym facilities
3. Ice rink
4. Swimming Pool
The idea for a swimming pool was not part of the original study. Council was asked if they now wished to include it as part of the study going forward.
Coun. Ruth Nishikawa said she’s been hearing requests for a community pool for more than 20 years and it should be included in the study.
The majority of the committee agreed and the pool will now be factored into the next phase of the feasibility study.
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