Sunnyside dreamingWednesday, February 24, 2016
Even though it is currently sleet-snowing, I really can't complain about the cold this winter, but even mild winters mean that swimming is relegated to humid, chlorine-y pools. These grey, slushy days, (and even the cold, bright ones), have me dreaming of swimming outside. Most specifically at Sunnyside pool, on the very edge of Lake Ontario in Toronto's west end, and it is, in my humble opinion, the greatest pool in Toronto.
First off, it's big. Not quite Kits Pool big, but way bigger than your standard 25m variety. And such a big pool means tons of people and tons of people means tons of people watching, which on the pool deck is nothing short of fascinating! So many tattoos! So many different kinds of bathing suits! So many different ways of getting into the water! So many different ways of being in the water: you've got the swimmers, and the floaters, and the canon ballers, and the sun tanners, and the kid wranglers. It is the most wonderful cross-section of people in Toronto.
It's open every day from the end of June until Labour Day from 10-3:45, then then 5-8. It's open till 11 on extreme heat alert days. Those late night dips? One of the very best things to do in Toronto in the summer.
Though the width isn't a full 25m, there is always length (or width!) swim in the very centre of the pool and because the shallow end is so big, there is so much space for kids of all ages to play. The super shallow end is filled with babies in PFDs and little kids just learning to float, where closer to the deep end, it's the older, splashy kids playing frozen tag.The deep end hosts older ladies in bathing caps doing breaststroke, tangled couples, and epic diving competitions.
On a really hot day, deck space is at a premium (especially deck space without fence shadows to ensure prime tanning!) What I would give for some Sunnyside deck lying right about now.
The countdown to June begins in earnest...
PS: the pool also has an amazing history!