Vancouver outdoor pools and beaches

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Inscription on wet sand

Starting this Victoria Day long weekend, Vancouver’s outdoor pools and beaches will open with lifeguards and Park Rangers on duty.

New this year, temporary windbreaks have been installed at both Kitsilano and Second Beach pools in order to reduce heat loss and prevent goosebumps.

“A two-week trial in early June last year at Second Beach reduced the pool’s energy consumption by 400 gigajoules of natural gas – a savings of $4,000,” notes the Park Board. “The windbreaks will also protect swimmers and sunbathers from chilly prevailing winds.”

The Park Board’s outdoor pools offer a range of admission options from single drop-in visits, 10 visit passes or monthly “Flexipasses”. Passes can be loaded onto OneCard recreation passports.

For the second year in a row, there is a dedicated Ranger to manage homeless issues and outreach. The public is asked to call 3-1-1 if they need assistance.

All beaches and parks are smoke-free, and dogs are not permitted on beaches and must be leashed in other areas (except in designated off-leash areas). Fires are not allowed in parks or on beaches at any time, though barbecue coal pits are provided for hot coals at certain locations.

Vancouver Beaches

Girls Sunbathing
Image: Girls Sunbathing On Beach via Shutterstock

Lifeguards will patrol the 11 supervised beaches from Victoria Day to Labour Day, from approximately 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, with hours extending until 9:00 p.m. from mid-June to mid-August.

English Bay Beach

English Bay Beach – also called First Beach – is located along Beach Avenue between Gilford Street and Bidwell Street and is the most populated beach in Vancouver’s downtown area. The Stanley Park Seawall, a popular running and biking route, also runs along the east side of the beach.

Features:

  • Concession
  • Cactus Club Cafe
  • Public washrooms
  • Kayak rentals and storage
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day until Labour Day
  • Swimming raft with large slide
  • Two sand volleyball courts
  • Beach wheelchairs for those with physical disabilities
Kitsilano Beach

Kitsilano Beach, known as “Kits” Beach, is located on Cornwall Avenue at the north end of Yew Street. The Seawall runs along side the beach and Kitsilano Pool is at the west side.

Features:

  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • Playground
  • Swimming raft
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
  • Pay parking
  • Boathouse Waterfront Restaurant
Locarno Beach

A designated “quiet” beach, Locarno Beach is located at the west side of Jericho Park on Northwest Marine Drive between Discovery Street and Tolmie Street.

Features:

  • Designated quiet beach (amplified sound is not permitted)
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Six volleyball courts
  • Picnic tables
  • Swimming raft
  • Free parking
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
Second Beach

Second Beach in Stanley Park is located at the junction of Stanley Park Dr and North Lagoon Dr next to Second Beach Pool, an oceanside, heated, outdoor pool. Barbeques can be used at nearby Ceperley Meadow and a picnic shelter can be reserved for private gatherings.

Features:

  • Public washrooms
  • Playground
  • Stand-alone barbeques allowed at nearby Ceperley Meadow
  • Picnic shelter (reservation required)
  • Pay parking
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
  • Heated, outdoor pool
Spanish Banks Beach

Located along Northwest Marine Drive west of Tolmie Street, Spanish Banks Beach is composed of three distinct sections, east, west, and extension. At low tide, the water is one kilometre off shore.

Features:

Spanish Banks East
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Barbeques permitted
  • Picnic tables
  • Eight volleyball courts
  • Free parking
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
Spanish Banks West
  • Designated quiet beach
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Barbeques permitted
  • Picnic tables
  • Eight volleyball courts
  • Dog off-leash area
  • Free parking
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
Spanish Banks Extension
  • Barbeques permitted
  • Free parking
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
  • Dog off-leash area
  • Kiteboarding launch zone
Sunset Beach

Located at the mouth of False Creek, on Beach Avnuee between Bute Street and Thurlow Street, Sunset Beach is a less populated beach close to the West End and downtown Vancouver. It is close to the Vancouver Aquatic Centre and has access to the False Creek Ferry pier.

Features:

  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Designated quiet beach
  • Access to the False Creek Ferry pier
  • Pay parking
  • Lifeguards between Victoria Day and Labour Day
Third Beach

Located at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park, Third Beach is a naturally sandy beach surrounded by trees that shield dippers and tanners from urban noise. This is a great beach for quiet bathing, picnics, and watching sunsets.

Features:

  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Barbeques allowed (with restrictions)
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
  • Pay parking
Jericho Beach

Jericho Beach on the north side of Jericho Park at the west end of Point Grey Road between Wallace Street and Discovery Street. The east side of the beach caters to swimmers and the west side to sailboats and windsurfers.

Features:

Trout Lake Beach

Trout Lake Beach is a fresh water beach at the south end of Trout Lake in John Hendry Park at Victoria Drive and East 19th Avenue.

Features:

  • Swimming raft
  • Play fields
  • Concession
  • Public washrooms
  • Picnic area
  • Barbeques permitted
  • Lifeguards from Victoria Day to Labour Day
  • Dog off-leash area (north end of lake)
  • Free parking

Vancouver Outdoor Pools

Young boy falls into the water
Image: Young Boy Falls Into Water via Shutterstock

The heated seaside pools at Kitsilano Beach Park, Second Beach in Stanley Park and New Brighton Park open Saturday, May 17 and swimmers often line-up to be the first in.

Kitsilano Pool

“Kits” Pool is Vancouver’s only saltwater swimming pool. The outdoor summer pool is located near the beach, cafés, and neighbourhood of Kitsilano.

Features:

  • Café
  • Slide
  • Wheelchair accessibility.
Second Beach Pool

Second Beach Pool is a heated, outdoor pool located near the beach, trails, and forest of Stanley Park. It features a a sloped entry and gradual depths for families, and separated lanes for lap swimmers.

Features:

  • Café
  • Slide
  • Wheelchair ramp access
  • 50m section for length swimming
New Brighton Pool

New Brighton Pool is a heated, outdoor pool in Vancouver’s Sunrise neighbourhood that offers regular length swimming and a sloped, beach-style entry for young children.

Features:

  • Café
  • Slide
  • Wheelchair accessibility.
Maple Grove Pool

Maple Grove Pool is a heated, outdoor shallow pool in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood. The landscaped, summer water park has a maximum depth of 3.5m.

Features:

  • Café
  • Mini island
  • Wheelchair accessible.
Hillcrest Aquatic Centre

Hillcrest Aquatic Centre is part of Hillcrest Centre, a legacy of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The city’s largest aquatic facility includes an indoor pool, outdoor pool, and a fitness centre.

Features:

  • Diving board
  • Slide
  • Sauna
  • Steamroom
  • Hotpool
  • Fitness centre
  • Wheelchair access (aquatic pool lift and ramp access).

Vancouver’s outdoor pools operate through the Labour Day weekend; Kitsilano Pool is typically open until mid-September; Maple Grove Pool opens June 21 and closes September 1; and Hillcrest Centre’s outdoor pool will open in July after annual maintenance and repairs are complete.

For full operating hours, check the pool schedules.

Featured Image: Inscription on wet sand via Shutterstock

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Jeff Clowers is a former Editorial Intern. He is a BCIT Journalism grad and avid sports fan - Go Eagles! Covering all the happenings of the Greater Vancouver area.
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