Home > Editorial, Swimming > Edmonton Needs Help With Its Premiere Aquatic Facility Plans

Edmonton Needs Help With Its Premiere Aquatic Facility Plans

In Edmonton, the best aquatic sports facility we have is the Kinsmen Sports Center. It was built in 1968, and played host to the aquatic sports during the 1978 Commonwealth Games. It used to be the home to the most powerful swim club and some of the best swimmers in the country.

It has been a sad slow progression over the past thirty years from the Kinsmen being a premiere high-performance sport facility to one that the City prefers to be used as a public swimming pool for kids and families. The Kinsmen is the only facility in Edmonton suitable for hosting high-performance swimming competitions, and it is the best training facility for aquatic sport clubs in Alberta. The city has a dismal record in recent years of servicing those groups, however, and instead caters preferentially to recreational use. Edmonton has a history of producing world-class swimmers, divers and synchronized swimmers, but that legacy will remain history if the city does not take a more active role in servicing competitive sporting organizations.

The Kinsmen is the only facility we have that is designed for competitive aquatic sports. Let the city’s high-performance clubs use it for that, and encourage the pubic to make use of the city’s other pools for recreation, or build a dedicated recreational pool along side of the Kinsmen.

The city should also give more time to swim clubs at the new Terwillegar pool, and stop preventing swim club access to that facility with the misguided intent of preventing clubs from competing with the city’s swimming lesson programs.

The only alternative is to kiss Edmonton’s storied history of national champion and Olympic swimmers and divers goodbye.

You can weigh in on the City’s plans for the Kinsmen on the Transforming Edmonton website. They have a survey open from February 16 -25 that you can fill out as well. Details of the City of Edmonton’s Master Planning process for the Kinsmen are available here.

Categories: Editorial, Swimming
  1. Sean Maxwell
    2011-02-17 at 12:51


    I took the survey, and looked at things, and while I do not currently live in Edmonton, I find it sad that things appear to have gone downhill for so long. I agree that the facility should be used for its’ original purpose, which I thought was for clubs to train in – swimming, diving, syncro, etc.

    There is a real legacy from the 1980’s to the early 1990’s.

    I guess my other point is that Kinsmen is nowhere near where most people live. There are exceptions, but its’ appeal for families must be limited. We all went to Kinsmen because it was the central place to be for swimming, not because it was the closest. Both major swim clubs in the city had(and I assume still have) development programs which lead toward main facilities, be it Kinsmen or Coronation(now Peter Hemmingway I guess?). And my best memories from swimming come from Kinsmen.

    Hope everyone with the same memories takes the time to respond.

  2. 2011-02-17 at 12:53

    Thanks Sean.

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