Regina’s Wascana Pool aims to be Canada’s most accessible
December 11, 2023
When Regina’s Wascana Pool reopened last summer, replacing 72-year-old facilities, it represented an effort to build Canada’s most accessible and inclusive swimming facility, featuring ramp access, tactile wayfinding and universal (non-gendered) changerooms and washrooms.
The team behind the $15.5-million project included HCMA and P3A Architectural Partnership (design), Brownlea Beaton Kreke (BBK) (structural engineering), AME Group (mechanical – pool), MacPherson Engineering (mechanical – building), Alfa Engineering (electrical) and KGS Group (civil). The designers consulted the community and engaged the public and stakeholder groups to develop consensus.
Located in Wascana Park, one of North America’s largest urban parks, the year-round facility intersects with existing pedestrian and cycling paths, offers zero-depth entry to a 700-m2 leisure pool and provides ramp access to a 25 x 25-m 10-lane lap pool, 75-m2 hot pool and dual-flume waterslide.
There is also a two-slide tower with run-out (which is being retrofit with elevator access), a 9-m tall slide tower rising above the tree canopy, toddler slide and play elements, a hardscape deck with outdoor showers and drainage and broad lawn areas with tree shade.
“Wascana Pool was already considered an important part of the city’s fabric,” says HCMA principal Michael Henderson. “The enhancements and accessible facilities reinforce the site as a hub for Regina’s recreational, social and cultural life that is available for all.”
The indoor spaces are distributed across several site-cast concrete pavilions, reportedly inspired by the placement, texture and shape of the park’s elm trees and echoing modernist pavilions around the park and lake.
Since reopening in June, the pool has welcomed more than 100,000 swimmers, according to Regina’s mayor, Sandra Masters.
“Every day sees families and individuals of all ages and capabilities enjoying the new facility,” says P3A principal James Youck. “It has set a new bar in the city and province for aquatic facilities.”