Re: Building blocks for a better community (News, Nov. 13)
For the last 10 years I have lived in Saanich, close to Tillicum Mall. The older I get, the more I appreciate having such accessible facilities close by.
Previously I had always been a resident of downtown Victoria. My grandchildren and daughter now reside with me and we all regularly use the mall, and Pearkes facilities, including new library.
But something I have always thought would be such a good thing would be to add a swimming pool to the facilities at Pearkes arena.
It seems to me there must still be room there for such an addition, and the population density around the mall area could certainly support a pool.
There are four schools within walking distance of Pearkes. And there are plenty of seniors living in the area who would surely appreciate a nearby accessible pool.
With the new apartment building at the corner of Tillicum and Burnside, housing both residential and business uses, density has again increased, and the workers at the forestry centre on West Burnside are also possible pool users.
I see many handicapped people and seniors in the immediate area of the mall, who would probably be very glad to use a pool if that type of user could be accommodated, undoubtedly adding to their quality of life.
I believe many of these people either walk/wheelchair or use public transportation, and the outlying pools are not that easy to get to from here.
My grandson has muscular dystrophy and regularly enjoys swimming. My daughter takes him to Commonwealth pool but prefers the Panorama Recreation Centre, which has an accessible waterslide, but is a long way away. The Esquimalt pool is a fair distance, as is Juan de Fuca.
This appears to be a kind of dead spot for this type of facility, and I think putting a good sized, handicapped accessible pool at Pearkes would be a marvelous addition and would definitely contribute to healthy living for our community.
I hope Saanich will really consider the benefits of this idea and pursue it to its natural conclusion.