Old swimming pool at Cross St., aerial view

I’ve been asking where’s Welland’s old swimming pool? Well, I’ve found an old aerial photo that shows it.

In the photo, we’re looking roughly northeast over the Main Street bridge. The larger waterway is the canal, with the more winding river passing under it in a siphon at “the Aqueduct.” The river and canal define the wide south end of “the Island,” which holds the water pumping station.

The old pool is a long, narrow offshoot of the canal. For years, there was only a low wall between the pool and the canal. However, a modest berm was put in after a speeding ship slopped canal water into the pool. You can see that the pool is about as long as the Main Street bridge: perhaps 100 yards (90 metres). The pool was also fairly wide: the bridge is 3 lanes wide and the low bridge in the foreground is 4 lanes.

view from the air of Welland Canal at Main Street bridge, showing canal, river, aqueduct, and old swimming pools
The light-coloured square beyond the swimming pool is the children’s wading pool, another wonderful pool. It was only about 0.3 to 1 metre deep but about the size of a parking lot (which is what’s there now). It had a large fountain in the centre that sprayed water about 20 feet in all directions.

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5 Responses to “Old swimming pool at Cross St., aerial view”

  1. Janet Says:

    “paved paradise and put in a parking lot” It’s a shame that some of Welland’s historic sites and points of interest from the past are gone. I’d love to see more photos of those pools where I first swam as a child.
    I think the worst mistake that Welland made was to close off the old canal at the railway line. Imagine what benefits there’d be in tourism and keeping the downtown alive if there was an open waterway for pleasure crafts from Port Colborne to Welland. I just do not understand the logic of the people involved in those decisions. I would love to see that waterway re-opened.

  2. monado Says:

    Too true! I’ve found out that the old pool was closed in 1986 because it would have cost half a million to upgrade it to current health & safety standards. It was opened in the 1940s, I’m pretty sure.

    Now the report on the aging aqueduct says it might cost 1.5 billion to refurbish if it starts to break down. For that price, Welland could build 3 chip fabrication plants and become Canada’s no. 1 supplier of integrated circuits and flash memories.

  3. chasewater stuff Says:

    Love the picture. It looks a lot bigger than our canals, some of which are slowly being restored, hopefully to rejoin the mineral railway at Chasewater, Staffs, UK

  4. Frank Says:

    I’d love to get more real pictures of the pool. I worked there as a maintenance guy in the late 60s – you know the chlorine guy. I think they closed it because the timbers underneath were giving way. I have a bull horn from its early days.

  5. monado Says:

    I was hoping for more pictures, too, kids playing in the pool and whatnot, but the newspaper archive was rather slim on the topic. At some point I might be able to find and scan something from my Brownie box camera.


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