Saying Goodbye to the Empire Pool

Effective February 28, 2014, after over 60 years of operation, UBC’s Empire Pool is closing permanently due to a critical system failure. UBC Athletics and Recreation had hoped to maintain and operate the outdoor pool until the new aquatic facility is completed in 2016. Mid-February, an external engineering firm was brought in for consultation based on an internal review of the pool’s current systems.  The ensuing report indicated a number of structural and mechanical deficiencies that require immediate attention. It was anticipated that with these repairs, operations could be expected to continue for another 3 months. However, on February 26, the outdoor pool’s filtration system failed and rendered the existing system beyond repair.
How will this affect me as a pool user?
UBC Aquatic Centre management is working to revise the pool schedules for the remainder of the winter term and the upcoming spring/summer schedule. Rental groups will be affected by these immediate changes, but they are confident that they will be able to accommodate all groups in the indoor pool.

Will this affect the availability of student and public open swim times?
No, the closure of the outdoor pool will not affect the availability of the open swim times or student and community access to the indoor pool.

The Empire Pool operated much longer than its life expectancy as most outdoor pool facilities last 30 to 40 years. UBC’s outdoor pool operated for just over 60 years. Empire Pool was built for the British Empire Games and opened in 1953. The new Aquatic Centre is planned to start construction start this summer and will bring to UBC a world class recreational and high performance pool for students and our community. The new pool will provide a facility with a 50m competition pool, 25m recreational lap pool, leisure pool and a range of amenities such as hot tub, family change rooms, spectator seating and multi-purpose rooms to meet the needs of the UBC community.  More information about the new Aquatic Centre can be found here and here.
UBC Athletics & Recreation Contact
Linda Finch
Senior Manager, Programs and Operations
UBC Aquatic Centre
Tel: 604.822.4704