There’s been backlash in the last few weeks over the city’s plan to demolish Hamilton’s iconic pool. Built for the first British Empire Games, held in Hamilton in 1930, it was named after “Mr. Swimming,” its beloved swim director, in the 1960s. (Another story here)
Generations of children have learned to swim there and tens of thousands have watched swim meets from the 1,200-seat viewing stands. The city says the pool needs to be torn down for a new recreation centre. But heritage advocates, including Jimmy Thompson’s family, say the pool should be preserved.
Jimmy Thompson – known as “Mr. Swimming” – was hired as the city’s pool manager in 1932, and taught more than 60,000 children to swim. After Thompson’s death in 1966, the city renamed the King Street East pool in his honour.