The history of the High Park Mineral Baths in Toronto
From 1913 to 1962 a dip in the High Park Mineral Baths restored health and wellness to Toronto residents and drew crowds on hot summer days in the city.
"Going by in the streetcar, you could hear the yells and screams of children playing and jumping off the diving board," retired teacher and historian Doug Taylor told Toronto Life in 2018.
The mansion that housed the High Park Sanatorium at 32 Gothic Avenue still remains, but is now converted into condos. The mineral baths, nicknamed the "Minnies", were removed in 1962 to make way for the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
The water from the spring ran cold but it was heated for the bathers to about 22 C, Taylor, who died in July 2020, wrote in his history blog. In 1915, the rectangular-shaped pool was enlarged and opened to the public.
Different hours were reserved for men, women and mixed bathing and during the summer the baths were open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to Taylor.
The baths were advertised as the largest open-air tank in Canada with a capacity of 150,000 gallons. By 1917, a second pool was built and an old diving tower was replaced with diving boards.
After the expansion, the spring water wasn’t sufficient and was replaced with regular municipal water.
During the 1920s, the mineral baths remained popular and in 1924, they hosted the Olympic Swimming Trials.
By the 1960s Toronto was growing and a new subway line was planned. Land on the southwest side of the baths was needed for the subway construction so the pools closed in 1962.
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