Hallellujah. Now this is a pool.
Opened in November 2012 as part of the revitalization of Regent Park, the Regent Park Aquatic Centre is thee destination for downtown indoor family swimming. Beautifully designed, modern, extremely bright and quite clean – as far as public pools go.
The universal change rooms (unisex) are spacious and have lots of large cubicles – plenty of room for an adult or two with a couple of kids, plus some have change tables. The three pools were designed with kids in mind. One for laps and leisure swim (decked out with a Tarzan rope, slide and diving board.) A hot tub (must be over 13-yrs-old.) But la pièce de résistance is the toddler pool.
A wide entrance with three large steps (good for playing on) spill into a pool which at its deepest is three feet. Lots of spraying, gushing, jetting and bubbling water and tons of toys, lifejackets and these fantastic “dingys” where babies can be towed around while older kids are walking on their own (at arm’s length.) And did I mention it’s warm? 86 degrees F (Lap pool is 82 degrees F.) No more blue lips and shivering babies.
FYI – you can rent a party room for birthday parties during leisure swim.
Getting there: If not walkable, take the 505 Dundas Streetcar, get off at Sumach stop or the 65 Parliament bus, get off at Dundas St. E and walk east. Driving, there are some free (yes, shockingly free until 4 p.m.) street parking right on Dundas. Some free residential parking.
Preschool Swim: This is truly amazing for families with kids five-and-under. Check the schedule for timing. The ratio is two kids for one guardian. (Note: Leisure swim is all ages and the ratio is still 2-1 for kids under five and 4-1 for 6-9 yr-olds.)
Lockers: 25 cents to rent one (though I’ve found some can be really finicky – not fun to struggle with when you have kids in tow.) I highly recommend bringing your own lock.
Yes to stroller access: roll them right on into the change room and park them there while you’re in the pool.