Frequently Asked Questions

Our team has compiled a list of frequently asked questions along with the related answers based on what our patrons have been asking us. Be sure to come back and visit this page for updates.

About UBC Aquatic Centre

The design of the UBC Aquatic Centre put a large focus on the management of both air and water quality. Note that given the large volumes of water and air being managed in the facility, temperatures are variable. Find below the temperatures that you can generally expect within the facility. Water temperatures:

  • The leisure pool is 88-90°F (31-32°C).
  • The hot tub is 102-104°F (39-40°C).
  • The 25m recreation pool is 80-82°F (26-28°C).
  • The 50m competition pool is 78-80°F (26-27°C)

Air temperature:

  • 76-78 °F (24-26°C)

Note: Due to the realities of a large and complex space, patrons should expect variations in these temperatures at any point in time.

The facility has four tanks, each with different depths:

  • The shallowest part of the leisure pool is 0.90 metres; the deepest part is 1.22 metres.
  • The hot tub is 0.90 metres deep.
  • The shallowest part of the 25m recreation pool is 1.07 metres; the deepest part is 4.5 metres.
  • The shallowest part of the 50m competition pool is 2.4 metres; the deepest part is 2.5 metres.

Based on the water and air filtration systems in place, both air and water quality is optimal for an aquatic facility. UBC Okanagan researchers, working on a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) project, have also partnered with UBC Aquatic Centre to assess the presence of chemical compounds in the natatorium. This research will help us meet UBC’s mandate of energy efficiency and inform the design of future aquatic facilities in Canada and around the world. For more information, see UBC Okanagan’s website.

A disinfection system that uses pressurized diatomaceous earth (DE), chlorine, and UV is what provides the water quality for the facility.

Yes, the UBC Aquatic Centre has gender-specific change rooms for men and women. Facility patrons are invited to use whichever change room they most identify with.

UBC believes everyone in the community should be provided with inclusive spaces that are welcoming and respectful of all identities. A universal change room is for everyone and welcomes all genders and includes private change cubicles and private washroom/shower stalls as well as lockers. It allows patrons to share the common amenities while having a private space to change and provides parents to bring children of all genders into the common room. It is also intended for people with disabilities who have an attendant of a different gender. UBC already has dozens of gender-inclusive washroom facilities for students, staff, and faculty on campus. A list of those locations can be found here.

The UBC Aquatic Centre targets LEED Gold certification. Recycled materials, certified wood, and regional materials were used in the build. As well, the UBC Aquatic Centre has water-efficient landscaping and innovative water management. A 1.3-million-litre underground water cistern harvests rainwater from the facility’s roof to replenish evaporated pool water, as well as help manage stormwater runoff and flooding.

No, the focus of the building design was on the aquatic environment and amenities. UBC Athletics & Recreation offers a fitness centre at the Student Recreation Centre and the ARC. 

Planning Your Visit

Whether by bus, bicycle, car, or on foot, there are a number of ways to access the UBC Aquatic Centre. Due to construction in the area, there are changes to pedestrian and vehicular access. The main entrance to the facility is accessible via Student Union Blvd to the west of the Student Recreation Centre. We encourage patrons to review details on our Contact Us page and to allow for extra time for their trips. The UBC map for road closures and construction information is updated weekly and can be found at: Campus + Community Planning's Construction Updates.

To coincide with the opening of the UBC Aquatic Centre, UBC has made changes to the parking and drop-off options in the area. The closest parkade to the facility is North Parkade. For more information about drop-off, short-term, and long-term parking, visit the How to Get Here section on the Contact Us page. The UBC map for road closures and construction information is updated weekly and can be found at: Campus + Community Planning's Construction Updates.

Operating hours for the UBC Aquatic Centre can be found on the Contact Us page. All hours and details are subject to change; we encourage patrons to visit this website for regular updates.

Please see detailed rates information here. UBC students can access the facility for free and there are also discounted rates for CSC and UNA cardholders.

Using UBC Aquatic Centre

A thorough shower (ideally with soap) helps to remove sweat, body oils, cosmetics, hair products, and traces of urine and fecal matter on the body. Keeping these substances out of the water reduces the risk of waterborne illnesses and allows our water and air filtration systems to work more effectively, ultimately leading to a facility that is cleaner, and generally reducing the quantity and frequency of chemical use (chlorine) to treat the water.

Breastfeeding is welcome anywhere in the facility. The UBC Aquatic Centre is an inclusive space, and we support and respect people breast feeding their children. Due to BC Ministry of Health guidelines, the UBC Aquatic Centre does however want to provide all guests with the context that should vomit enter the pool (note: current BC standards do not distinguish between ‘spit up’  or ‘vomit’) the affected area(s) will be immediately cleared of all guests and remain closed until water quality is restored. Resource: Lifesaving Society of Canada

Shoes pick up bacteria, dirt, and fecal matter when worn outside. In order to prevent these substances from entering the pool, all shoes must be taken off before entering the pool deck or shower areas. We allow bare feet, aqua shoes, or deck sandals only. Thank you for doing your part to help in keeping our facility clean.

During busy program times (weekdays 3:00-8:00pm, weekends opening to close; specialty Aquacize Classes), facility staff may elect to implement wristbands for patrons to clearly identify those who have access to the water or facility amenities. During peak times, please allow for more time at the operations desk. Thank you for your patience and flexibility.

No, the UBC Aquatic Centre does not have towel service.

Should you be coming to the facility with a baby stroller you are asked to use the space provided in the Leisure viewing area (marked with signage) to leave your stroller prior to entering the changing rooms. The hallway outside of the Universal Change Room is also available for stroller parking, however is not monitored. Given the space available within all change rooms and to help keep our changing spaces clean, strollers are not permitted inside the changing rooms or allowed on the pool deck. Please do not leave any valuables in your stroller.

UBC Aquatic Centre lifeguard staff absolutely want to be of assistance. That said, the primary responsibility of lifeguards is to actively scan the water for the safety of those in the water. On-deck lifeguarding staff may defer your questions to off-deck staff.

The UBC Aquatic Centre rents to campus student groups as well as other community groups outside of public swim times.

Programs and Lessons

A full range of programming is available for students, staff/faculty, residents, and the public. Programming is offered for both adults and youth. We also welcome your ideas and suggestions.

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. UBC Aquatic Centre requires all children under the age of 8 to be under direct supervision at all times. The check-in and check-out procedure for children under 8 ensures your child is safe and accounted for at all times. For a smooth check in/out, please arrive at your class meeting spot 3-5 minutes prior to the start and end of class.

The lifeguards are responsible for everyone in the pool and on the pool deck, and a crowded pool deck makes it difficult for lifeguarding staff to see the water, the decks and respond to emergencies. Our viewing area provides an unobstructed view of the pool area for parents while enabling children to participate and learn in a supportive environment, free from outside distractions. If your child is under the age of 8, please allow yourself adequate time to return to the pool deck prior to the end of lessons to check out your child. 

Lockers

Interested in renting a locker? UBC Recreation has a variety of locker rental options available for rent at the Student Recreation Centre, ARC, and the UBC Aquatic Centre.

Long term lockers are sold on a first-come, first served basis. Spring and summer locker rentals will be available beginning May 1, 2023 at the SRC and ARC or April 24, 2023 at the UBC Aquatic Centre.

Long Term Locker Rentals

Locker Type # of terms UBC Student UBC Faculty & Staff UNA/CSC & Public
Half-height Locker 1 Term $71.50 $82.00 $97.50
Half-height Locker 2 Term $110.00 $130.00 $150.00
Rental term dates: Fall (Sep 1 – Dec 31); Winter (Jan 1 – Apr 30); Spring/summer (May 1 – Aug 31). Please note that the UBC Aquatic Centre will be closed for annual maintenance from late March through the end of April.

Only debit or credit card payment is accepted for locker rentals.

Hourly Use Lockers

Hourly use lockers are available for $0.25 or $1.00 depending on the size of the locker. Lockers are located in the Universal, Women’s and Men’s changing spaces, and have a max usage time of 3 hours.

Hourly Use Lockers Conditions

Hourly and Day use lockers are available in the Student Recreation Centre (SRC) and the UBC Aquatic Centre on a first come, first served basis. The contents of these lockers must be removed by facility closing time. Locks and/or contents will be removed from any lockers that are not cleared-out at the end of each day. The contents of the locker will be bagged and stored for 14 calendar days. Coin lockers are available in both facilities. (Note: The SRC has limited locks available at the front desk free of charge with a valid piece of photo ID.)

 

Working at the UBC Aquatic Centre?

The UBC Aquatic Centre is a student employment centre which provides UBC students the opportunity to work in the core of UBC's Point Grey campus before, between and after classes. You can  gain real-world work and life experience while studying at the University.  Whether you want to work 'dry' as a Cashier Attendant to support our Front Desk operations, or 'wet' as a Lifeguard/Instructor or Shift Supervisor to ensure the safety of the facility users, the student-staff working tell us it is a meaningful, valuable and fun experience working at the UBC Aquatic Centre. Note:  Lifeguard/Instructors and Shift Supervisors are certified as Lifesaving Society National Lifeguards and are trained in Standard First Aid, CPR-C + AED, and as Red Cross Water Safety Instructors.  To submit your application email us at aquatic.centre@ubc.ca. To learn more about working as a Lifeguard/Instructor at the UBC Aquatic Centre - please review the details here.