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Water activities have long been popular in Summerland

Lakefront recreation opportunities abound in Summerland
In 1909, the Summerland Boy Scouts conducted swimming lessons at Crescent Beac h in Summerland. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

With its location on the shore of Okanagan Lake, water sports and water safety have long been important in Summerland.

In the early 1900s, the Summerland Boy Scouts offered swimming lessons at Crescent Beach.

In the 1950s, the Summerland Rotary Club offered free swimming lessons at Powell Beach

Waterfront amenities in the community include the Summerland Yacht Club and the South Okanagan Sailing Association, as well as several public beaches along Okanagan Lake.

Today, swimming lessons are offered at the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

The facility, on Kelly Avenue, was opened in 1976 as a joint project with the Summerland School District and the Municipality of Summerland.

The Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre was officially opened on March 27, 1976, on the same day as the Summerland Arena was opened.

The cost for the two facilities was estimated at $2.4 million, according to figures from the municipality at that time. Taxpayers were responsible for $1.159 million, with the remainder coming from a recreation facilities grant, a shareable grant from the school district and public donations.

Since that time, the building has been expanded twice, in 1988 and 1996. 

A recent report presented to the municipality said all major building, mechanical, electrical and pool systems have exceeded their expected usable life.

In the fall of 2023, a referendum was held on borrowing up to $50 million to replace the aging pool. The referendum was rejected, with 1,943 in favour and 2,682 opposed.

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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