City Plans Meeting for Public Engagement on Dease Pool

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

THUNDER BAY – The battle to save Dease Pool is ramping up. Supporters of Dease Pool say that they have 6,000 signatures on their petition as well as an affordable plan to restore Dease Pool. They also say that the loss of the pool was really felt in the Dease neighbourhood.

The City of Thunder Bay says the pool is old and needed to be closed. This decision has, at least sofar been fully endorsed by Mckellar Ward Councillor Brian Hamilton.

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 the 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 the City of Thunder Bay Administration decided 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.

Last December after City Council voted to close the pool, a determined group of activists starting fighting back.

Here is the NNL coverage of their efforts

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 6-7 pm 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

For More information contact: Kelly Robertson – General Manager, Community Services, 625-2964