Across Canada, the number of outdoor public pools has declined dramatically in recent years due in part to operational complexities and aging infrastructure of existing facilities. However, the experience of outdoor swimming continues to offer a unique and valuable experience. In an effort to reconcile the decreasing opportunities for outdoor swimming with the public’s ongoing love of swimming in the outdoors, we began to explore ways to provide improved opportunities for publicly-operated outdoor swimming facilities.

Our curiosity led us to research emerging trends in outdoor swimming, and to review precedents from Europe and elsewhere that incorporate these trends and address increasing sensitivities around chemical use in pools. One of the solutions that is growing in popularity around the world are Natural Swimming Pools, which replace traditional chlorination systems with an aquatic, plant-based filtration system.

We invite you to read our new research paper Natural Swimming Pools: The Future of Public Swimming without Chlorine. In it, we provide an overview of the design, operational and Health Act considerations of this new approach to public swimming.

Explore this report and other research and findings in the Open Assets section of our website.