New Moody Park Pool: Joy of play never stronger

When I was a kid, I loved the water – on TV mostly. In real life, it was something to akin to a lurking creature looking to choke the life out of me. I have no idea how I got this fear of water, which had me taking beginner lessons at the late age ofRead More

A beach ball floating in a pool. Photo: Duncan Snow
A beach ball floating in a pool. Photo: Duncan Snow

When I was a kid, I loved the water – on TV mostly. In real life, it was something to akin to a lurking creature looking to choke the life out of me. I have no idea how I got this fear of water, which had me taking beginner lessons at the late age of thirteen. But, wherever it came from, it’s not a dominant gene passed along by me. My three (almost four!) year old daughter is in love with the water, particularly this summer when the default position of what we do that day is go to the pool.

Luckily, Moody Park Community Pool was good enough to open last month; an outdoor oasis to be found at the Southwest corner of the park. We weren’t there on opening day, but we were dutifully lined up a few days afterward, with all of the children in their swimming finery waiting as patiently as they could before the pool opens (1:15PM – 7:55PM ,with free admission on weekends).

The pool boasts a full lifeguarding staff, tiled changing areas including family changing rooms, deck chairs and plentiful places to sunbathe, a paddling pool for toddlers and babies, and a good-sized main pool complete with slide in the middle section and diving in the deep end. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an asset to the area, and a great place for me and my daughter to spend some time together having fun and learning how to move in the water and have fun while doing it.

The facility is definitely centred around parents with their kids. I was instructed to keep my Girl within arms reach at all times, given her age. But, there seem to be the requisite gaggles of older kids that don’t seem to have an awareness of their surroundings, throwing balls, inner tubes (!), themselves, this way and that without looking around first. The lifeguards seem unaware of this, or are perhaps less uptight than I am. That’s not the way they made lifeguards when I was a kid, but I digress.

The thing that really counts of course is not curmudgeonly dad and his ‘hey you kids get off my lawn’ attitude. The real question is: does the Girl get a kick out of it. And boy, does she ever. There is something about a community pool which brings out the enthusiasm in every kid. And the wide smiles, the gales of laughter, and the joy of play is never stronger than when she and I go to Moody Park pool. It’s been the highlight of our summer together, while she splashes around, and I ponder the little flashes of bittersweet reality that she is becoming more the girl and less the baby I once knew, every time we go.

Life begins in water, and I suppose it makes sense that a lot of growth happens while we’re swimming, too. And what better thing is there than a swim in the summertime, anyway?

And because I’m a music geek, here are five swim-related tunes for your consideration and enjoyment:

Rob Jones

Rob Jones is a writer, music fan, and dad. He has been interested in cities and urban life ever since he first visited Toronto as a child, living there later as an undergraduate at York University. He later moved to London England, and then to The Lower Mainland. He is passionate about sustainability and community. Rob is the editor and writer of thedeletebin.com, a music blog and he will make you a mixtape with very little provocation.

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5 comments

  1. Thanks for reading, Franci!

    It is a great place to relax, and not too crowded for the most part, although the density of swimmers tend to build around mid-afternoon in my experience.

    As for the laws of physics and the diving board, I don't know if there is a means of testing that sort of thing before a diving board is installed, but if not there should be.

    The diving board isn't much of an issue for me personally, since I've never gone into the deep end. The Girl wants to, though. I try to explain to her that she needs to learn to swim first. But, that doesn't dampen her ambition, and certainly not her bravery in the water. It makes me proud of her, like so many other things do.

    Thanks again for comments!

  2. I still haven't made it down to the pool – in part because of togs issues (at seven months pregnant my watermelon-sized belly doesn't fit my usual togs, but I have so little time left at this size that it seems silly to buy a whole new swimsuit!). I'm really glad to see it in the neighbourhood though, and hope to make more use of it next summer!

  3. I love the pool too Rob! Typically I will alternate exercise in water (just keep moving, whatever) with studying Spanish on a chaise lounge.

    Just one thing – no “diving”. That is a jumping board in the jumping “tank”. The board is so springy that adults weren’t having enough room with their dives before the pool bottom gets more shallow.

    Hope we can keep it open into September!

  4. @Briana,

    Without getting into too much detail, there were plenty of women on Saturday, some in your condition and some not, with a distinct disregard for swimsuit sizing of the type you’re talking about. Perhaps they were just very optimistic.

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