Dease Pool Supporters Claim City Hall Is Not Listening

Ribbons at Dease Pool
The efforts to save and re-build Dease Pool have been ongoing since winter.

THUNDER BAY – Never give up. Supporters of Dease Pool say that City officials are simply not listening to them. With over 6,000 signatures on a petition to get Dease Pool re-vitalized, with a plan presented to City Council to get the historic pool repaired and open for a fraction of the cost and countless meetings and deputations before the city council, it could be easily argued the Dease Pool supporters have a point.

While the City is hosting an open house at Fort William Gardens on November 2nd, Dease Pool supporter Lori Paras says that she can see that there is in her view no interest in listening to the citizens and residents in the Dease neighbourhood.

Dease Pool supporters are planning to picket the meeting.

On social media, the message is a simple one:

“No more talking cause they ain’t listening. We have the picket signs, we just need your body to carry it and stand beside the advocates for the Dease/Vickers community. The community has spoken over the last 10 months and have collected 6000 signatures to make City Council aware they want their pool rebuilt. This council does not care what the people have to say, how hard or how long they advocate. They will just push through their agenda and hope we forget about the betrayal in three years when the next election arrives.

“Stand up for yourself now because they will feel they have three more years to finish their agenda and your community may be next on the chopping block to ensure their legacy project gets built. Come and stand up for all of us on Saturday, November 2 at 5:30 pm outside Fort William Gardens. We picket while Councillor Hamilton and city administration ram through their closure of Dease Pool.

The Plan

City of Thunder Bay Meetings: The City is inviting residents to share feedback on a draft recreational opportunities concept plan for the Dease Pool and Park area. Residents can have their say through an online survey or during two open house drop-in sessions.

“We have developed a draft plan based on feedback from the community, neighbourhood demographics, park infrastructure gaps in the area, and programming delivered to date,” said Kelly Robertson, General Manager – Community Services. “The proposed design is a good mix of active and passive activities and allows for the introduction of new recreational opportunities to the neighbourhood.”

The draft plan, available at www.thunderbay.ca/GetInvolved, incorporates both the Dease pool site and Dease park area. Looking at the two areas together provides more opportunity than the pool site alone which has limited size and is in close proximity to neighbours and roads.

In December 2018, City Council made the decision to close the 106 year old Dease pool facility which had reached the end of its lifecycle. The majority of the pool’s operating budget was redirected to support enhanced recreation programming in the area. Beginning in April, new neighbourhood programming was delivered which included free family skates at the Fort William Gardens, Playground Programs for children, Youth Move activities, Kids Nights in the McKellar Park school gym, and special events such as a movie night and fall festival.

The City is now looking for community feedback on potential future uses of the Dease Pool site and complimentary future recreation opportunities within Dease Park. Residents are encouraged to visit www.thunderbay.ca/GetInvolved to complete an online survey available until Nov. 7, or stop by one of the two in-person sessions:

  • Thursday, Oct. 31, 11 am – 1 pm, Victoriaville Mall Village Green, 125 Syndicate Ave. S.
  • Saturday, Nov. 2, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Fort William Garden Lobby, 901 Miles St. E. (during the 6-7pm family free skate)

In addition to public input, feedback will also be gathered from students at McKellar Park school and from the City’s Heritage Advisory Committee.

A report on the potential future uses of the Dease Pool and Park sites which incorporates the public and stakeholder feedback will be presented to City Council later this year for further direction.

Residents can learn more at www.thunderbay.ca/GetInvolved