Saving Centennial Pool, a tale of two committees | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Centennial Pool as seen from the parking lot, which is now modular housing

Saving Centennial Pool, a tale of two committees

Lake Banook to get some planning love

The city’s Community Planning and Economic Development Committee met on Thursday, Jan. 18, and talked about water sports.

First on the agenda the committee heard from Trevor Brumwell, who was representing the Save Centennial Pool Committee. On top of Brumwell's presentation, there was a slew of public speakers who also voiced support for saving the pool. This support was echoed by members of the Community Planning Committee, councillors Lisa Blackburn and Sam Austin. Since the two committees agreed that Centennial was something good that everyone wanted to keep, Austin wanted to know what brought the pool folk before the committee. Brumwell told the committee that councillor Waye Mason’s request in June 2022 for a staff report included a clause directing staff to look at the “potential disposal of 1970 Gottingen Street pursuant to Administrative Order 50, Respecting the Disposal of Surplus Property, for Economic Development including recommendations to include an affordable housing component.”

This report has not yet come to the committee since requested by councillor Waye Mason at that regular council meeting two years ago. Since Mason is not on this committee Austin explained this clause was likely included so staff would look at that option, and also that this report was exploratory research and not a commitment to action. There was a lot of good discussion about what could or should happen with the pool. All agreed it should stay open, like maybe it could be kept open attached to a neighbouring building with housing? This community group will now likely be engaged as a stakeholder moving forward. This is the bureaucratic way of saying they’ll have input on what gets done with Centennial Pool. All of this because of a slight misunderstanding about the purpose of a clause.

The Lake Banook master plan is moving forward, which is good news for paddlers and rowers in the city, and therefore in the world. Lake Banook is kind of a big deal in global paddling as a recurring venue for the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Sprint World Championship. The requirements to host this international tournament are evolving and becoming increasingly complex. Hosting the tournament in 2022 also taught staff some infrastructure lessons. The city’s been doing planning work around Lake Banook going back to 2007, and instead of redoing all of this work, they’re going to compile and update it instead.

Matt Stickland

Matt spent 10 years in the Navy where he deployed to Libya with HMCS Charlottetown and then became a submariner until ‘retiring’ in 2018. In 2019 he completed his Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College. Matt is an almost award winning opinion writer.
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