University of Victoria’s McKinnon Pool Closing After 50 Years

by SwimSwam 12

July 04th, 2024 Canada, News, U Sports

Courtesy: University of Victoria

The University of Victoria has made the difficult decision to close McKinnon pool. The facility—a campus fixture for more than five decades—has reached the end of its natural lifecycle and is now too costly to maintain.

McKinnon pool has served as an important training ground for Vikes varsity swimmers and Pacific Coast Swimming (PCS) competitive programs. The pool has also supported the training of nine Olympians and Paralympians—two gold, three silver and four bronze.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the pool has started to show its age and it’s estimated that more than $1.5 million is needed for upgrades.

“McKinnon pool has been a part of campus life for decades and we didn’t make this decision lightly,” says Executive Director, Wellness, Recreation and Athletics, Nicole Greengoe. “While the pool is primarily used by varsity, PCS and some student and alumni clubs, it has low recreational use by students, faculty and staff. The university has to balance the significant cost of upgrading and maintaining the facility alongside investments in infrastructure and programming that benefit the entire campus community.”

The pool will close by September 15 at the latest.

Active, healthy living continues to be a high priority at UVic, and high-quality recreation and competitive sport programming will continue at McKinnon and at the Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA). The Vikes varsity swim program and Pacific Coast Swimming will move to municipal pools in the region, and UVic will assist student aquatic clubs to relocate their activities, where possible. Recreational swimmers can access nearby pool facilities at Gordon Head and Oak Bay recreation centres.

The university is working to determine how best to use the McKinnon Pool campus footprint moving forward. In the short term, access to the McKinnon building’s change rooms, washrooms and showers will continue to be available for commuters to campus, as well as to students, staff, faculty and sport groups who participate in classes and programs in the McKinnon building.

“Although the pool has reached the end of its lifecycle, its legacy will live on through the stories and experiences of those who have had a long relationship with this facility and who have enjoyed the pool, trained and excelled here,” Greengoe says.

Updates on the pool closure will be posted online throughout the summer months.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
14 days ago

It seems to me this is a classic case of decades of deferring maintenance. A pool doesn’t need to have an end of life cycle if it is well-maintained. I just came away from racing as a masters swimmer at the IUPUI natatorium in Indianapolis, a place I raced at over 40 years ago as a teenager. The entire facility is still in excellent shape and the pool is still world-class because that university has maintained it. Shame on UVic.

14 days ago

To say that UVic has no foresight would be an understatement.

Lion Swim
14 days ago

Hope this isn’t a step towards ending support for their varsity team any time soon, though the fact they had one of their worst performances at U-Sports in recent memory can’t be helping.

Reply to  Lion Swim
14 days ago

Doubt that factored in, as an alumni, I’m surprised the pool even made it this long.
Also, yeah not fun following results right now, don’t remember ever finishing 5th at CanWest.
Weird culture going on there right now.

Reply to  Lion Swim
14 days ago

Women at nationals weren’t bad, little lower down the rankings than usual, men’s team not acceptable though, 10th. I paid for the CW stream last season to watch them get beat by Lethbridge, never thought that was possible when I swam there. Maybe this will push all training to Saanich pool though, maybe more LC will help.

Reply to  PCS
13 days ago

6x LC per week means lack of LC probably isn’t the underlying issue. Will be interested to see the direction Clouston takes the team in.

Reply to  PCS
7 days ago

Training more LC when 90% of the races are SC?

Spotted Zebra
14 days ago

First, the University closed its outdoor pool and now its indoor pool. I am devastated. ☹️

Last edited 14 days ago by Spotted Zebra
14 days ago

In other words. Victoria University decided that they wanted to use their pool’s space for something else. So, they’re using the $1.5M repair cost as an excuse. Their endowment is more than $430M.

Reply to  PBJSwimming
14 days ago


Reply to  PBJSwimming
14 days ago

In Canada, are universities allow to just pull money out of their endowments to pay for maintenance expenses?

In the US, by definition, endowment capital isn’t touched.

Reply to  swimapologist
14 days ago

Universities often use endowments for building maintenance and repair (along with other purposes). University of Victoria has specified building maintenance as a specific category of their annual endowment. Although they didn’t allocate enough to cover the pool repairs in their 2024/25 budget.