Grant helps Kingston’s Lakeshore Pool continue regular programming

The main pool at Lakeshore Swimming Pool in Kingston’s west end. Photo via Lakeshore Swimming Pool Association.

Swimmers and those seeking reprieve from the summer heat in Kingston’s west end, rejoice!

The Lakeshore Swimming Pool Association was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund – Operating stream in September 2021. As a result, the pool, located on Henderson Avenue in Kingston’s west end, will be able to offer full programming this year, thanks to the government grant.

The funding, delivered over 12 months by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), is “helping support operating expenses and transform pool programming to provide a safe swim environment during the pandemic,” the association said.

According to a release from the association, the onset of COVID-19 presented a number of challenges for Lakeshore Swimming Pool Association. In addition to paying ongoing operating expenses, Lakeshore developed and managed an online booking system to ensure swimmers could safely social distance during their visits to the pool. In addition, the organization had to purchase new sanitation and protective equipment for the facility, the association stated. Support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation is allowing Lakeshore to cover these expenses and continue serving the community.

In response to Kingstonist enquires, Lakeshore Pool confirmed it was open during the summer of 2021, with capacity limits. “It was quite an undertaking, but we could proceed with our [2021] season without any safety issues,” said Susan Legge, Fundraising Director for Lakeshore Swimming Pool Association. “We are open this summer without the need for the booking system.”

And with the various closures and restrictions at recreational facilities throughout the pandemic, many are eager to access to facilities that allow for those of all ages to get active.

“It’s important for our health that we return to physical recreational activities in our communities and the Ontario Trillium Foundation has helped to accomplish that for local swimmers,” said Ted Hsu, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, in a statement.

Lakeshore Pool is used by hundreds of families and students during the summer months, the association shared. According to the release, they offer a full range of swim lessons for little swimmers right up to teens training to be lifeguards. Local swim clubs, organizations and the Limestone District School Board have used the pool over the last 50 years to learn valuable water safety skills. Due to the pandemic, the Lakeshore pool did not open for the 2020 season.

“This Community Building Fund grant has been timely for our organization,” said Andrew Cotton, President of the Lakeshore Swimming Pool Association.  “This grant has allowed us to transform our operations to meet public health requirements and deliver our swim lessons in a safe environment. Our swimmers missed not having the pool during the summer of 2020 and reopening has given all swimmers some normalcy during a difficult period.”

Founded in 1971, Lakeshore Pool is a not-for-profit volunteer-run seasonal swimming pool facility. It offers leisure swimming and swimming lessons to swimmers of all ages and abilities, according to the release. Visit the website at lakeshorepoolkingston.net to see all of the activities offered throughout the season.

The mission of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. According to the release since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Learn more about the Ontario Trillium Foundation at otf.ca.

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