Stanley Park Swimming Pools and The park in wartime

By 1932, there were two seaside, saltwater pools in the park, one at Second Beach and one at Lumberman’s Arch. These “draw and fill” pools used sun-warmed water from the ocean. Once a week the pool gates were opened at low tide to release the water back into the ocean, before the next high tide of clean water.

For many years, children could take swimming lessons for free at Lumberman’s Arch under the Vancouver Sun’s Learn to Swim program. The pool was filled in after developing persistent problems and replaced with the current water spray park in 1987. The spray park, the largest of its kind in Vancouver, consists of a series of water geysers, showers, and cannons.

In 1995, after more than 60 years of operation, the Second Beach pool was shut down because it failed to meet new health standards. By 1996, it had been replaced with the current heated pool.

Second Beach pool in 1940.

At both locations, remnants of the old pool’s semicircle shaped outer wall can still be seen.

The park in wartime

In World War I, a gun battery (without a bunker) was placed at Siwash Point (above Siwash Rock) to protect the city from possible attacks from German merchant raiders. It was removed just prior to the end of the war in 1918.

In 1936, when the Empire of Japan began large-scale military repression in northeast China, the perceived Japanese threat resulted in fortifications being erected in Stanley Park, among other areas. In Stanley Park, a watch tower was built on the cliff directly above Siwash Rock and remains intact as an observation deck that is accessed from the trails above.

Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve with the Siwash Point Battery in World War I

By 1940, a gun battery and bunker had been built at Ferguson Point, just east of Third Beach. The military also expanded its use of the park by closing the area around Ferguson Point and Third Beach, where it had established barracks for the battery detachment and was providing training. What is now the Teahouse restaurant was originally built as an officers’ mess. The bunker was buried and battery removed around the end of the war.

The army built several other coastal defence forts for the second World War, as shown in the illustration at right, most notably at Tower Beach in Point Grey. In addition, an examination area was set up where any ships requesting entrance to the harbour had to stop and submit to an inspection.

Source From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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