Timeline

The Crystal Pool has been at risk of failing systems since at least 2011. After much delay and years of reports, surveys and assessments, Mayor and Council concluded the best thing to do is to build a new facility with a 50 meter pool. Days before the last city election they asked staff to hold off on the new build and prepare more reports, surveys and assessments. Mean while, the pool is still at risk of failure and citizens may be left without service.

Below is a list of the city’s key decisions and actions beginning in 2011. The dated links will bring you directly to the source document.

July 14, 2011 CEI Architecture Planning Interiors provides condition assessment to the City of Victoria.
November 19, 2011City Election
November 14, 2013• Council advised planned maintenance will not significantly reduce the existing risk of a major system failure.
Council set aside developing options for Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre until detailed information on Fire Hall #1 and the Point Ellice Bridge can be provided to the public .
November 14, 2014City Election
January 9, 2015Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre Life Cycle Upgrades Design Report received (Stantec).
January 22, 2015• The City Manager submitted a report dated January 16, 2015 providing an overview of Capital Projects/Facilities Assessment for ing the Crystal Pool, Point Ellice Bridge and Fire Hall # 1.
Council decided to consider Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre options after a city-wide facilities assessment and public engagement plan are complete.
January 29, 2015        • Council requests a facilities assessment and public engagement project plan.
October 22, 2015• Accessibility review for all the facilities, including addressing accessibility issues with the Crystal Pool washrooms.
• Interdisciplinary team working on improvements to Crystal Pool.
November 19, 2015• Council received a report dated November 13th, 2015, from Parks, Recreation and Facilities on the proposed approach for Crystal Pool’s Long Term Plan.
Council directed staff to report on options for refurbishment and or replacement.
February 3, 2015Council agreed to the following actions and outcomes for the city’s strategic plan:
• 2015 Action: Consult public on desired enhancements to pool and tender improvements by Q1 2016.
• 2016 Action: Invest in public pool and fitness facility
• 2016 Action: Work through Facilities Assessment and community engagement and seek out possible funding partners.
• 2016 Outcome: Crystal Pool will have identified future and appropriate funding.
• 2017 Outcome: Crystal Pool issues are resolved.
• 2017 Outcome: Increase City revenue and recreational opportunities with refurbished Crystal Pool.
February 9, 2016• The deadline for the public engagement plan into 2016 and discussions with the YMCA is extended to 2016.
• $250,000 is put aside for accessibility.
September 22, 2016• Council asks the public tender to for the change-room renovation project be posted again.
December 1, 2016• Council receives the Crystal Pool Feasibility Study three months after completion.
December 8, 2016Staff are asked to do more research, this time on contaminants, piping, parking, and transportation.
• Staff are asked figure out how to limit the pool closure during the build and cut costs. They are told to look for funding, find ways to rent space, and work with non-profits.
• Staff are also asked to figure out how to work with non-profit housing providers.
January 5, 2017Council confirms pool problems will be solved by replacing or renovating it. They declare that Victoria will have a modern, inclusive public pool and fitness facility in a central location, with increased revenue.
February 2, 2017• Staff are asked to renovate the change rooms.
February 16, 2017A new facility is approved at a cost of no more than $69.4 million.
February 23, 2017Council approves $10 million towards the new project between 2017-2021.
• Staff are asked to look for money and figure out how to run a referendum to ask citizens for permission to spend money on the pool.
• Council asks staff to speak to citizens on the new pool and fitness centre design.
May 25, 2017• An application for $6 million is submitted to the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund .
• An application $150,000 is submitted to the Asset Management Practices, Procedures, and Training Plan
June 22, 2017Staff are asked to work the North Park Neighbourhood Association and create a Memorandum of Understanding for the associations use of the new facility.
• ‘Wellness’ replaces ‘Fitness’ in the project name.
August 10, 2017• The Risk Management Approach is approved.
August 10, 2017• Staff are asked to create a procurement plan.
December 7, 2017• Staff are asked to include the Federal Government’s Community Employment Benefits Reporting Framework in the procurement plan.
September 6, 2018 • Staff are directed to consult with the North Park neighbourhood on neighbourhood street parking options
• $40,000 is approved to look at underground parking options in Central Park.
September 2018Next several meetings are closed to public.
October 4, 2018Staff are asked to work with the community on a consultation process for Central Park.
• Council decides to look at new locations. Staff are asked to look at the costs and benefits for
1. the south-west corner of Central Park
2. City-owned parking lot at 1952 Quadra St
3. City-owned parking lot at 940 Caledonia Ave
4. the location of the current facility.
October 20, 2018City Election
November 15, 2018• Council directs staff to continue with plans for their south west corner of central park.
• They ask staff to look into affordable housing, child care, etc plans for North Park in the Royal Athletic Park parking lot.
• The Mayor is asked to look for funding and partnerships for housing, childcare and a pocket park.
• The Mayor is asked to speak to RG Properties about using the arena parking lot for community recreation and housing.
November 22, 2018• Staff are asked to complete the design work
• They are also asked to NOT apply for the Investing in Canada Funding Program.
• Staff are asked to look into a new location; the arena parking lot.
• They are also asked to see if they can get extensions on $1 and $6 million grants and look for other options with the federal government.
Council asks staff to investigate using the Royal Athletic Park parking lot for affordable housing, a pocket park, child care, parking and other complementary uses.
February 6, 2019Council agrees to establish a Community Centre for the North Park Neighbourhood in conjunction with plans for the Royal Athletic Park Parking lot and/or the Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre Replacement Project.
February 21, 2019• Council asks staff to cancel the UBCM the $6 million Gas Tax Grant.
May 23, 2019• Council needs more time to think about what to do.
June 6, 2019North Park Presents to Council and asking that council makes Crystal Pool Replacement Project the first test of this equity ‘business case.
June 13, 2019Staff are asked to develop a new plan that includes:
• no net loss of green space
• an equity lens
• an affordability lens
• collaboration with the neighbourhood
• distributional, procedural, structural and intergenerational equity
• Staff are to look at North Park and Hillside / Quadra neighbourhood locations.
October 17, 2019• Council adds consideration for a library branch to the pool project.
• The Consultant – HCMA – puts forward the assumption that they will re-open size of the main tank, in other words, it may not be 50 meters. Although council had previously committed to a 50 meter pool, you will not see this in the COTW minutes because of the way it was raised. It is worth noting that councillors Young and Loveday objected to the change.
October 24, 2019Council adds the potential addition of a library to the pool
That Council reject the staff report they had requested and direct staff to report back at the February 6, 2020 Committee of the Whole Meeting with all existing site selection information for the new swimming pool and fitness centre, including information on the technical feasibility of siting the previously developed design for the new swimming pool and fitness centre at 940 Caledonia Avenue

Council also direct staff to convene a Community Meeting through the Community Association Land Use Committee (CALUC) process once the preferred location is confirmed, to gauge public input on the siting of the new pool and fitness centre at that location and report back on the results of that meeting make recommendations on next steps to secure funding for the project.
February 6, 2020Council opts to explore more options.