New Westminster's new aquatic and recreational centre gains Indigenous name

Jun 23 2021, 11:31 am

The new replacement facility for Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre has been named the təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre.

This name was chosen by the City of New Westminster’s naming advisory panel, composed of members of local First Nations and urban Indigenous representatives.

təməsew̓txʷ is said to be a combination of two words that mean sea otter and house. According to the city, the panel wanted a name that reflected the facility as a gathering place, and considered the names of animals that used to live in the, particularly aquatic animals.

Reflective of the facility, the otter was selected for its “playfulness and joyfulness,” and for being a social animal that symbolizes a connection between communities and people.

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

Construction began on the $107 million facility this past spring on a timeline that would set it for a completion in late 2023. The facility is being built immediately adjacent to the 1973-built pool completed for New Westminster’s hosting of the Canada Games, and the 1967-built community centre completed in time for Canada’s 100th anniversary. Both existing facilities will remain open during construction.

The new facility spans a total floor area of 114,600 sq ft, featuring a 50-metre swimming pool with eight lanes, including two bulkheads and a movable floor to enable elite training and competition event purposes.

The main pool also has space for temporary grandstand seating, and two diving platforms, with the highest platform at a height of five metres.

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

The aquatics centre component also includes a 25-metre leisure pool with three lanes, a lazy river, spray toys and tot zone, two whirlpools, steam room, sauna, and accessible gendered and universal change rooms.

Other recreational components in the complex entail a fitness gym spanning two levels overlooking the aquatic centre, spin room, multi-purpose fitness rooms for aerobic and yoga classes, and two gymnasiums.

As a community centre, the facility offers childcare for up to 45 kids, meeting rooms, and multi-purpose activity rooms for art, parties, and special community events, as well as health and wellness space for physiotherapy, massage, and chiropractic services.

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre Canada Games Pool

Artistic rendering of the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, replacing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre. (HCMA/City of New Westminster)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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