Obscure former City of Scarborough bylaw closes apartment building pool

News Apr 14, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Wendy Gilbert Rees loves to use the swimming pool in her Scarborough apartment building - or did, until an obscure bylaw shut it down.

Rees moved into 45 Livingston Rd. in 1995, when it was still an “adult” building.

That sort of seniors-only restriction for apartments is no longer legal in Toronto, and six mothers with young children moved in.

One day last October, a city inspector came to 45 Livingston and noticed a child there.

“She immediately got documents to close our pool,” recalled Rees.

The building had been caught breaking an old City of Scarborough bylaw, still in force, which said any rental apartment’s pool needs a lifeguard if at least one of its residents is under 16.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Rees, who chose her Guildwood-area home because swimming in the pool could help control her rheumatoid arthritis.

“If we disobeyed and opened the pool, we would be fined up to $1,000 a day.”

Other parts of amalgamated Toronto follow a provincial statute that says rental buildings don’t need a lifeguard if signs are posted warning swimmers they use the pool at their own risk.

In Scarborough, for some reason, that’s not the case.

The owner of 45 Livingston tried hiring lifeguards three hours a day - the minimum shift - on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, to give people a chance to swim.

It didn’t work, and on Jan. 31 the pool was closed entirely.

“People were not happy and not many people were able to use the pool during those hours,” said Rees, who called the city, lawyers, and even a judge to find out what could be done.

By then, she and many other building residents were in touch with Paul Ainslie, their local councillor, who took letters opposing the bylaw to Toronto’s Board of Health last month.

Ainslie told the board the Scarborough regulation, which doesn’t apply to condominiums, “no longer has any use,” and has forced other buildings to close pools or restrict swimming hours because the cost of lifeguards is too high.

“It’s kind of flown below the radar screen,” Ainslie, who hasn’t been able to find out why the former city introduced the lifeguard rule, said in an interview last week.

Rees, among the residents who spoke to the board, said her health has deteriorated since the pool closed, and she is having trouble walking.

But she’s hopeful the board will recommend rescinding the bylaw during its April 27 meeting, which a vote by city council could confirm on May 5.

“If all goes according to plan - hallelujah! - we should have our pool open by mid May,” said Rees.

“It’s been a long struggle. For me, it’s worth it.”

Obscure former City of Scarborough bylaw closes apartment building pool

Councillor calling on Toronto Board of Health, council to rescind bylaw requiring lifeguards

News Apr 14, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Wendy Gilbert Rees loves to use the swimming pool in her Scarborough apartment building - or did, until an obscure bylaw shut it down.

Rees moved into 45 Livingston Rd. in 1995, when it was still an “adult” building.

That sort of seniors-only restriction for apartments is no longer legal in Toronto, and six mothers with young children moved in.

One day last October, a city inspector came to 45 Livingston and noticed a child there.

“She immediately got documents to close our pool,” recalled Rees.

The building had been caught breaking an old City of Scarborough bylaw, still in force, which said any rental apartment’s pool needs a lifeguard if at least one of its residents is under 16.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Rees, who chose her Guildwood-area home because swimming in the pool could help control her rheumatoid arthritis.

“If we disobeyed and opened the pool, we would be fined up to $1,000 a day.”

Other parts of amalgamated Toronto follow a provincial statute that says rental buildings don’t need a lifeguard if signs are posted warning swimmers they use the pool at their own risk.

In Scarborough, for some reason, that’s not the case.

The owner of 45 Livingston tried hiring lifeguards three hours a day - the minimum shift - on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, to give people a chance to swim.

It didn’t work, and on Jan. 31 the pool was closed entirely.

“People were not happy and not many people were able to use the pool during those hours,” said Rees, who called the city, lawyers, and even a judge to find out what could be done.

By then, she and many other building residents were in touch with Paul Ainslie, their local councillor, who took letters opposing the bylaw to Toronto’s Board of Health last month.

Ainslie told the board the Scarborough regulation, which doesn’t apply to condominiums, “no longer has any use,” and has forced other buildings to close pools or restrict swimming hours because the cost of lifeguards is too high.

“It’s kind of flown below the radar screen,” Ainslie, who hasn’t been able to find out why the former city introduced the lifeguard rule, said in an interview last week.

Rees, among the residents who spoke to the board, said her health has deteriorated since the pool closed, and she is having trouble walking.

But she’s hopeful the board will recommend rescinding the bylaw during its April 27 meeting, which a vote by city council could confirm on May 5.

“If all goes according to plan - hallelujah! - we should have our pool open by mid May,” said Rees.

“It’s been a long struggle. For me, it’s worth it.”

Obscure former City of Scarborough bylaw closes apartment building pool

Councillor calling on Toronto Board of Health, council to rescind bylaw requiring lifeguards

News Apr 14, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Wendy Gilbert Rees loves to use the swimming pool in her Scarborough apartment building - or did, until an obscure bylaw shut it down.

Rees moved into 45 Livingston Rd. in 1995, when it was still an “adult” building.

That sort of seniors-only restriction for apartments is no longer legal in Toronto, and six mothers with young children moved in.

One day last October, a city inspector came to 45 Livingston and noticed a child there.

“She immediately got documents to close our pool,” recalled Rees.

The building had been caught breaking an old City of Scarborough bylaw, still in force, which said any rental apartment’s pool needs a lifeguard if at least one of its residents is under 16.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Rees, who chose her Guildwood-area home because swimming in the pool could help control her rheumatoid arthritis.

“If we disobeyed and opened the pool, we would be fined up to $1,000 a day.”

Other parts of amalgamated Toronto follow a provincial statute that says rental buildings don’t need a lifeguard if signs are posted warning swimmers they use the pool at their own risk.

In Scarborough, for some reason, that’s not the case.

The owner of 45 Livingston tried hiring lifeguards three hours a day - the minimum shift - on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, to give people a chance to swim.

It didn’t work, and on Jan. 31 the pool was closed entirely.

“People were not happy and not many people were able to use the pool during those hours,” said Rees, who called the city, lawyers, and even a judge to find out what could be done.

By then, she and many other building residents were in touch with Paul Ainslie, their local councillor, who took letters opposing the bylaw to Toronto’s Board of Health last month.

Ainslie told the board the Scarborough regulation, which doesn’t apply to condominiums, “no longer has any use,” and has forced other buildings to close pools or restrict swimming hours because the cost of lifeguards is too high.

“It’s kind of flown below the radar screen,” Ainslie, who hasn’t been able to find out why the former city introduced the lifeguard rule, said in an interview last week.

Rees, among the residents who spoke to the board, said her health has deteriorated since the pool closed, and she is having trouble walking.

But she’s hopeful the board will recommend rescinding the bylaw during its April 27 meeting, which a vote by city council could confirm on May 5.

“If all goes according to plan - hallelujah! - we should have our pool open by mid May,” said Rees.

“It’s been a long struggle. For me, it’s worth it.”