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Sports & Play

A guide to pool hopping in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 26, 2014

toronto pool hopping mapThis summer has been a total bust for heat lovers. Last year, the City of Toronto issued 13 official heat-related alerts, six of which resulted in pool hours being extended into the night. This year, there have been no alerts, and no officially approved late night swims. Just five days remain before the pools close on Aug. 31.

For dedicated pool hoppers, mild weather, chain link fences, and padlocked gates are no obstacle to an illicit dip. It might be against the law for swimmers to break into Toronto's 58 outdoor pools (you've been warned), but the practice is relatively widespread, particularly at Christie Pits.

toronto pool hopping mapWith that in mind, dedicated hopper Randy ("Just Randy. Like Cher," he says) has assembled a graphical guide to pool hopping at Alexandra Park, Christie Pits Park, and Stan Wadlow park at Woodbine and O'Connor. It includes the height and location of fences and recommended escape routes, information which is sure to draw the ire of authorities.

"This guide is the result of wanting to share what we learned with others who might be intimidated by these late night adventures," he says. "These specific pools ... were chosen because of their ease of entry, escape, and enjoyability ... there's nothing better than playing sports with friends then taking a dip afterwards to cool down on a summer night."

Randy says he's distributing the posters near city pools for people who want to "scratch off pool hopping from their bucket list."

Something tells me the ad campaign won't last long.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.



Duchess of Danforth / August 26, 2014 at 01:55 pm
Thank goodness the better pools to hop at aren't on this list.
Marc / August 26, 2014 at 02:11 pm
Is this a west-end thing?
Deepthroat / August 26, 2014 at 02:23 pm
Still silent on the real pool issue facing the city, BlogTo? #Swimfurther and the illicent attempts to misrepresent the sizes of our cities pools is a far bigger issue than some people enjoying a mid night swim for a criminally undefined lenght. WHEN WILL YOU BREAK THE SILENCE?
Rob / August 26, 2014 at 02:33 pm
Ah, this reminds me of the time when CityTV took cameras to Christie Pits and broadcast topless teenaged girls swimming...
Paul / August 26, 2014 at 02:43 pm
Ok, I'll break the snarky continuum here and say that THAT'S A GORGEOUS MAP!! Well done, Randy.
chester / August 26, 2014 at 03:14 pm
Sunnyside still the best hands down!
Sophie / August 26, 2014 at 03:52 pm
The pools in the downtown core of Toronto are disgusting.
If you're ok with bandaids and clumps of hair getting stuck on your body, then I suppose you'll find the pools acceptable.

Babies with diapers .. GROSS.
Jackson / August 26, 2014 at 04:17 pm
Riverdale pool, best entrance is on southeast corner with a not so difficult fence, cops rarely come
Ken Sington / August 26, 2014 at 04:46 pm
Christie Pits pool is WAY easier to hop from Crawford - there's even trees that make getting over the fence super easy.
AJG / August 26, 2014 at 08:29 pm
While I think activities such as pool hopping are probably an inevitable part of summer, I think it's highly irresponsible of BlogTO to do a how-to piece.
Drowning continues to be the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age. According to the Life Saving Society of Canada's 2014 drowning report, older teens and adults in their early-to-mid-20s (i.e. the main pool hopping demographic) are among those most likely to drown, and, factors such as swimming after dark and alcohol consumption (key elements, I assume, in most pool hopping trips) were shown to be key factors in, respectively, more than one-third of all drowning deaths between the years 2007-2011.
Let's let people continue to do fun but ill-advised things, but perhaps it's not BlogTO's place to encourage them, especially when they're demonstrably quite deadly. Just think what the comments would be if BlogTO published a Torontonian's Guide to Street Racing.
iSkyscraper / August 26, 2014 at 09:03 pm
For those of us who design pools, idiots like Randy are why we have to surround everything with tall ugly chain link fences, waste money on security, and dumb down the amenities. Not cool.
Dre replying to a comment from AJG / August 26, 2014 at 09:05 pm
Agreed. Sneaking into city property should not be promoted. Some are going to do it anyway as they always have, BUT a how to guide?
Challenged / August 26, 2014 at 09:10 pm
How much water and ice (electricity used to create ice) has been wasted on the ACS challenge. I thought water was at a shortage in the world and y'all freezing it and dumping it over your head?
Bob replying to a comment from Sophie / August 26, 2014 at 10:26 pm
Funny how you talk about downtown pools being dirty.
I bet your bathtub is dirtier than a downtown pool could ever be.
Mayor McCokehoover / August 27, 2014 at 11:12 am
Way to blow a good thing, moron.

A few friends of mine have an uncanny talent of being able to slip into almost any concert, going on almost 15 years now. Think I'm going to reveal how? Not a chance. You stay mum on a good thing, or else it goes away.

Next summer I expect to see barbed wire at City pools, asshats.
Sal replying to a comment from Mayor McCokehoover / August 29, 2014 at 02:04 am
Is this is what its come to? My parents and my Grand Parents would never had called the Mayor of the City of Toronto Mayor McCoke Hoover. A mayoral position is only one of respect.
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