Amphibious Assault

1 May 2022


I live about 25 minutes away from the largest training establishment in the Canadian Armed Forces, CFB Borden, and have known for awhile that they have a pool on the base that gets opened for community recreation and lane swimming. Unfortunately for me, I learned about this pool just about the time the COVID pandemic hit, so the pool has either been closed completely or closed to community members for much of the last two years. Thankfully, they have reopened as this was an awesome find.

From the outside, the building doesn't look all that impressive. There's nothing particularly wrong with the "curb appeal," but it just appeared old, encased in a rather drab red brick. Not that the military is necessarily known for "design" and "flash," but I made the "judge a book by its cover" assumption that the pool would be old and worn, not up to snuff. I paid my very reasonable C$5 entry fee, assisted by the quite cheerful front desk staff and then was stunned when I walked onto the deck:

I don't know if they've just maintained the pool well, or renovated it at some point, but it looks and feels far newer than the building. This pool is a swimmer's pool:

  • 8 x 25 meter lanes

  • The shallow end is easily 4' deep and maybe closer to 5'

  • The deep end seemed close to 8' deep (I forgot to read the markers)

  • Analog pace clocks at both ends of the pool

  • Natural light coming in from three directions supplemented by good artificial light

  • And ... the pièce de résistance: they put in ALL of the lane ropes. (Canadian pools are notorious for setting up lap swim times with double-wide lanes, which I always find annoying).

I had a lane to myself for an absolutely delightful swimming experience. The facility doesn't have a lot of community hours, but I'm certainly going to put this into my rotation whenever I want to mix things up from my LA Fitness yards routine,

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