Best Indoor Swimming Pools to Escape the Cold
If you're tired of chilly weather, head to an indoor pool for a warm, kind-of-tropical afternoon.
Editor's note: This article was updated on March 1, 2017.
Head to one of these indoor swimming pools and you might feel as though you’re in a warm, faraway place.
It isn’t exactly the same as a beach resort, but indoor pools can be fun, relaxing and a great place to get your heart rate up. And, of course, a warm place to defrost.
Indoor pools for a fun afternoon
After a morning of biking, skiing or snow shoeing in Canmore, head to Elevation Place to warm up in the hot tub — or use the waterslide or lazy river if you have the energy. The facility also has an eight-lane lap pool and a leisure pool that simulates a beach edge. If the weather is really cold, you could spend the entire day at this centre. Elevation Place also has a fitness centre, a climbing gym, a library and an art gallery. Single adult admission $8 just for the pool or $15 for access to the full facility.
700 Railway Ave., 403-678-8920, elevationplace.ca
For those who live on the south side of the city, this leisure centre is another great option for an afternoon of indoor fun. The aquatic facility has an AquaPlay structure, hot tub, steam room, wave pool and numerous slides, so it’s easy to spend all day here. Every Tuesday, admission is 50 per cent off, starting at 7 p.m. for the pool. And on Mondays and Wednesdays, admission is just $3 if you're arriving at 9 p.m. Regularly, single adult admission to the leisure centre is $12.50.
2000 Southland Dr. S.W., 403-648-6555, calgary.ca
This aquatic centre is probably one of the most fun in the city. Think wave pools, big slides and a safari-themed water playground. After all, swinging bridges and dump buckets aren’t just for kids. The centre also has a hot tub, dive tank and steam room. Single adult admission $12.50
2623 56 St. N.E., 403-366-3900, calgary.ca
Grab a floatie and enjoy an afternoon meandering down this recreation centre’s lazy river. Don't leave without also trying out the waterslide and the hot tub. Adult drop-in admission $15.
2000 69 St. S.W., 403-531-5875, westsiderec.com
Pools for a relaxing, watery evening
You might come here to use the gym, four-lane lap pool or climbing wall, but afterwards, be sure to treat yourself to some time in their traditional wooden sauna. Single adult drop-in $6.25.
221 12 Ave. S.W., 403-268-2489, calgary.ca
The Trico Centre is another warm and relaxing option if you're looking for a relaxing swim — it keeps most of its pools at 29˚C. And the centre has a steam pool and a brand new hot tub that only opened in September, 2016. (If you find this kind of thing relaxing, there's also a new rain curtain here. It's like it's raining in the pool.) An adult day pass $12.86. The Trico Centre hasn't raised prices since September 2015. It has committed to a price freeze and won't raise prices until April 2017.
11150 Bonaventure Dr. S.E., 403-278-7542, tricocentre.ca
This is the perfect place to defrost if you’re chilled to the bone. The fully wheelchair-accessible swimming pool here is one of the few salt water pools in the city. This is also the warmest pool in Western Canada — it’s always between a tropical 31.5˚C and 34.5˚C. Single adult day pass $7.75.
3304 33 St. N.W., 403-210-1836, vecova.ca
Pools for exercise and training
Those looking for a bit more of a challenge in the pool should head to the Repsol Sport Centre, formerly known as the Talisman Centre. They have two full Olympic-sized swimming pools that have open-to-the public swim times — these pools are 50-metres in length instead of 25 metres. The aquatic facility also has an Olympic-calibre dive tank, a shallow pool for swimming lessons, a steam room, and possibly most attractive after a workout, a huge hot tub. (It can fit 20 people.) For the high-performing athletic types, the Talisman Centre also has a sport performance recovery cold tub that's kept between 12˚C and 14˚C. Adult drop-in admission $15. Or, come for the last 90 minutes of each night and only pay $8.
2225 Macleod Tr. S., 403-233-8393, repsolsportcentre.com
Some swimmers insist that saltwater pools are faster than chlorinated ones. SAIT happens to have a saltwater lap pool, so go for a swim here and see what you think. And, if it feels like it takes you a little longer to get to the end of the pool here, that's because it does. The pool is 35 metres in length instead of the usual 25 metres or 50 metres. Consider it a little extra for your workout. Single adult drop-in rate $12, and includes the parking fee.
1301 16 Ave. N.W., 403-284-8027, sait.ca
For those looking to get their heart rate up, do some laps in the 25-metre training pool here. Or make it a double workout by also visiting the indoor running track, fitness centre or climbing wall here. Treat yourself after working out by spending some time in the on-deck hot tub or in the steam room. Single adult drop-in $14.50.
333 Shawville Blvd. S.E., 403-256-5533, ymcacalgary.org
This is the perfect training pool for the super serious. This pool has a movable bulkhead, meaning the facility has either two 25-metre pools or one 50-metre pool. And as you're swimming, know that you're training in the same pool that some of Canada's top Olympic swimmers once trained in including Morgan Knabe, Mark Tewskbury and Penny Heynes. Adult day pass is $10.50.
2500 University Dr. N.W., 403-220-6755, ucalgary.ca