Rotary Park Pool
Client : City of Toronto
Completion : May 1997
MJMA inaugurated the outdoor pool and change pavilion at Rotary Peace Park—one in a string of small waterfront parks surrounded by single-family residences in Etobicoke, in West Toronto—in 1997, replacing an existing pool from the 1960s. Its completion followed a lengthy community consultation process to determine its location and space requirements, with due consideration to the environment, budget, and security and visibility.
In a wedge-shaped area at the north end of the park, the pool facilities include a 25-metre training pool and a children’s wading pool; to the south, outside the fenced pool area, is a splash pad capable of independent operation when the main pool is closed. Surrounding the pool area and pavilion, a rainwater management system feeds into the lower park, minimizing strain on the drainage system.
Running north–south along the west side of the pool area—screening the pool from the adjacent roadway—is the 400-square-metre seasonal pavilion. At its north end are enclosed change areas for families, men, and women, with peaked skylights to reduce the need for electric lights, and a corridor topped by a ridge skylight with operable panels. The Pavilion’s interior walls extend only 2.4 metres above the ground to boost air circulation.
To the south is an open glass lobby protected by a sliding wooden screen closure, keeping the building as transparent as possible; south of the lobby is an open breezeway topped by a continuous sloped roof. The breezeway, used for dry-land swimming instruction, is enclosed by pivoting glazing toward the prevailing winds and by louvres toward the east, optimizing flow-through for ventilation and minimizing the need for extraneous mechanical systems.
The breezeway leads onto the wading pool area of the pool deck, where a pergola gives parents a shaded space for the supervision of children overlooking the playgrounds to the south. Following consultation with the City’s Forestry Department, the pavilion’s placement was partially determined by a pair of ancient trees at the south end of the pool site, as well as the pool itself, which was confined to an area of stable soil to minimize excavation.
Despite opening well over 20 years ago, the Pool requires minimal maintenance and has retained its aesthetic appeal—one reason it is consistently graded one of the top 10 public pools in Toronto.