The city saw last weekend’s heat wave from miles away. Staff put on their thinking caps and even sent out a heat alert.
“Beat the Heat,” advises the warning. Drink lots of water; go to air-?conditioned shopping malls; stay out of the blazing sun; don’t leave old people unattended in cars.
But don’t bother trying to swim at a public pool.Sweat-covered Torontonians had few options when it came to taking a refreshing dip.
“Forty outdoor pools will open on Saturday, June 14,” says Community Development and Recreation Committee chair Joe Mihevc.
That’s great, but where were the pools last weekend?
Mihevc says the big city swimming machine takes a lot of pre-?planning to get moving early. “It’s really hard for us, on a moment’s notice in a heat spell, to start or stop.”
Fair enough, but why couldn’t the more than 70 indoor pools, 20 of which are never open for swims on Sunday, step up for the early-season heat blast?
“We can’t open these pools without the appropriate supervisors on hand,” Mihevc says.
If the staff aren’t there, he says, you can’t really deal with a rare pre-?outdoor-pool-season heat crisis.
That means if heat hits early next year, indoor pools still won’t have more than a few stray hours of midday public swimming, usually restricted to “adult only” or “lane swimming,” on offer to stewing Torontonians.
Outdoor pools stay open late, at the discretion of supervisors, during heat alerts.
If you’re the finger-?crossing type and you don’t mind mixed blessings, the councillor points out that a few years of late-?May or early-June swelters will encourage parks and rec to permanently move up the seasonal pool opening date.