Leo Lafleur Waterpark Plan

Leo Lafleur Waterpark, Kingston, OntarioNot that I’m complaining, but there were very few days where we were forced to endure sweltering conditions, and poor air quality this past summer.  As someone who stubbornly refuses to buy an air conditioner, I’m constantly gambling my comfort in the name of energy and financial savings.  For the most part, I’m able to enjoy air conditioned offices during the day, while I’m forced to rely on cold beer and showers to stay cool at home.  On one particularly hot day last month, my wife and I tried to convince ourselves that it was safe to go swimming somewhere along Kingston’s shoreline.  Since neither one of us is in need of a third eye, we erred on the side of caution and stayed out of the watery stew.

Kingston’s lack of safe swimming holes got me thinking about alternatives such as the new splash pad at City Park, and the derelict pool attached to the Memorial Centre.  The latter is known as the Leo Lafleuf Waterpark, which could receive some impressive upgrades as a part of the overall renewal of the Memorial Centre grounds.  Highlights of the long list of proposed improvements include:

  • A large swimming pool, and a smaller/seperate pool for children;
  • Zones within the main pool for teaching, diving, AquaFit and therapeutic leisure;
  • A slopped, beach-like entrance to the main pool to enable access for wheelchair users;
  • Fun elements including tumble buckets, t-cup spray, swim against the current, and a bubble seat;
  • A meandering, lazy river with multiple routes/speeds, and
  • Fully accessible indoor shower and change room facilities.

The suggested upgrades to the Leo Lafleur Waterpark will cost an estimated $6 million, while the City reports that $2 million would be derived from Federal and Provincial government funding.  Considering the popularity of the splash pad at City Park, I believe that this ambitious proposal has the potential to be hugely successful.  Further, if the plan is implemented in it’s entirety, this small slice of the Memorial Centre grounds will definitely be revitalized during the warmer months.  In case you feel strongly about this project, you might want to attend tonight’s public consultation at 7pm in the Hall Area of the M-Centre.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

6 thoughts on “Leo Lafleur Waterpark Plan

  • Looks like a pretty fun plan… I really like the idea of a lazy river. It have often thought though that it’s sad that you really can’t swim anywhere near the downtown. It’s especially sad when you consider that Kingston is touting its sustainability… what about the quality of its water?

  • This looks like an amazing plan/idea…As someone with kids who lies close to the Memorial Center I would love to see them initiate this type of plan for that property…Does anybody know of any other plans involving the Memorial Center property?

  • @michaelwc The only other proposal for the M-Centre, which I linked to somewhere up above, can be found here. The waterpark is mentioned therein, but this looks to be a more indepth plan. That said, there is no word as to what will happen to the remainder of the grounds, including the arena.

  • I usually agree with you guys, but I can’t agree with writing off swimming in the lake. Check out http://www.waterkeeper.ca/.
    I swim in the lake almost everyday in the summer my whole life, not one problem other than people from Toronto saying the water is disgusting.

  • I find it interesting that so many people are ‘afraid’ to go in the Lake. Sure if you are a fish and filter all the contaminants into your lungs every minute of your life, it might not be great, but for the most part, the Lake is not bad. Like Bill, I swim in the lake a lot. It’s great, and a perfect fix for those hot days. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to let my kids swim in there either.

    I’m no expert on the topic, but I reckon that the contaminants we breath everyday, via the cleaners we use, the indoor air quality, dust, etc… plus the chemicals on the food we consume etc… are far more likely to have long-term negative impacts on our bodies than spending a few cumulative hours over the summertime in Lake Ontario.

  • I have also swum in the lake in Kingston but it took some convincing. I’m from Hamilton (insert jokes here…) and I loved growing up there but there is no way I would have gotten into the lake on that end. I think Torontonians say it’s disgusting because it IS there.

    But back to the topic at hand, I would love to see this plan come to fruition. I just hope it’s well secured when closed so it remains as clean and lovely as I’m sure it will be.

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