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Inuvik’s pool now set to reopen in mid-March, town says

Inuvik's swimming pool is pictured in June 2019
Inuvik's swimming pool is pictured in June 2019. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

Inuvik’s swimming pool is now expected to reopen on or around March 18, ending a three-year closure brought on by Covid-19 and prolonged by difficulties carrying out an overhaul.

Grant Hood, the town’s senior administrator, told councillors on Monday that the pool itself is now fully operational after years of problems with leaks, shifting foundations and other issues.

Residents have endured a series of false dawns. The latest reopening date represents a slight delay on the last target of late February or early March.

This time, Hood told councillors, “it’s much, much easier because we know operationally that the pool, the pumps, the heat, everything else right now is working and it’s been working.”



Without that, he said, nobody could use the pool for the training and testing required before it reopens. Having the pool ready for lifeguards to acquire their certification, for example, is a hurdle that must be overcome before the public can be welcomed back.

“We have bodies in the water, training,” Hood said. “It’s taking a little bit longer than we anticipated, but it’s been a number of years since these people have had to be tested and things like that.”

A final health inspection is due on Friday. 

When the pool does open, a staffing shortage is likely to limit the number of people allowed in at once. Hood said the cap may be placed at around 50 people.

“The big thing is, because there are regulations as to the number of qualified lifeguards on the deck, [that] limits the number of people we can have in the pool,” he said.

Yellowknife has had a similar issue finding enough lifeguards. Staff in the city recently called the shortage a “national issue.”