Davidson Centre pool needs accessibility improvements


By Barb McKay

The Davidson Centre swimming pool is unusable for many individuals with disabilities and improvements are desperately needed, according to Kincardine’s Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Committee Chair Sharon Woods attended the Jan. 11 Municipality of Kincardine council meeting to give an update on the committee’s activities and make council aware of issues with the public pool. The committee tours the municipality’s facilities annually and takes note of where improvements for accessibility are needed.

“When we come together every month we all seem to come up with the same issue and that is the Davidson Centre pool,” she said.

Woods said improvements are needed to the accessible change room and the accessible ramp and a new pool lift is urgently needed. She said she has heard from individuals who can no longer use the pool because they do not feel safe. The committee has submitted applications for grants for a new lift, but will ultimately need municipal funding.

“When you are developing operational and capital budgets we want you to consider accessibility,” Woods said. “We want this pool to be accessible for everyone.”

Councillor Maureen Couture sits on the Accessibility Advisory Committee and agreed that the pool needs attention.

“Persons with disabilities use the pool for therapy as well as enjoyment and we need to keep that in mind. I would hate to see them denied access to it.”

Woods noted that great strides have been made to improve accessibility in the municipality, particularly at Station Beach where a beach wheelchair is now available and Mobi Mats were installed last summer, thanks to Bruce Power and the Kincardine Rotary Club, which allow individuals with mobility equipment to access the beach.

As well, the Accessibility Advisory Committee worked with the Kincardine BIA and students at Kincardine and District Secondary School to create Stop Gap ramps that are being used by eight downtown businesses to make their shops more accessible for individuals with walkers and wheelchairs.

Other areas the committee would like to see be made more accessible include the Tiverton Sports Complex, Tiverton library, municipal administration building in Kincardine and the Dunsmore Park washroom.

“I know we need more, but we are making good progress and will see what we can do this year,” said Mayor Anne Eadie.