UBC Aquatic Centre

The construction of a new, modern Aquatic Centre allows UBC the opportunity to expand and update its current aquatic program. Alongside the need to ensure a new facility can compete with similar facilities in other Post-Secondary institutions, a new Centre will be able to adequately service the growing residential neighbourhoods on campus.  A balance between a competition facility and a neighbourhood leisure facility is a mandate of the final project. Construction is well underway and is expected to be completed late fall 2016. The project will cost approximately $39 million dollars in capital funding. More information on this project is available here.

Latest Updates on the New Aquatic Centre Construction

The new UBC Aquatic Centre construction project reaches major milestone with completion of the roof; one year countdown is on.

January marks a significant milestone for the new UBC Aquatic Centre project as the new facility’s roof is now complete. This benchmark is a key date as the project continues to be on track for completion for late fall 2016.


Lucky Loonies placed in 50m competition pool at new UBC Aquatic Centre. (L-R) Mike Esplin, Heatherbrae Builders, Tom Johnson, Coach – High Performance Centre – Vancouver;, Steve Price, Coach – UBC Varsity Swimming; Tera Van Beilen, Olympian / UBC Thunderbird; Kavie Toor, Dir. Facilities & Development, UBC Athletics & Recreation. (credit : Cherihan Photography)

The rich culture and history of aquatic sport and recreation is about to be greatly enriched with the construction of a new UBC Aquatic Centre given its amenities.  UBC staff and athletes took time out this week to acknowledge the work of the construction crew, some of whom have been working on-site since the start of the $39-million project in August 2014.

“This new aquatic facility will not only be the home of the UBC Thunderbirds varsity swimming programs, as well as be a great amenity for students, but will also better service the needs of residents and the growing UBC community,” shared Kavie Toor, Director Facilities & Business Development with UBC Athletics & Recreation.

The new UBC Aquatic Centre will feature a 10-lane 50m ‘FINA certified’ competition pool, an 8-lane 25m pool with accessible ramp and diving boards, a leisure pool including an accessible ramp, lazy river, along with other key water features. Additional amenities in the new UBC Aquatic Centre are 30-person hot tub, a food and beverage kiosk, and viewing areas at both deck and mezzanine levels. Additionally, the facility is also being outfitted for sauna and steam room capabilities to be completed at a future date.

UBC has long been associated with aquatic excellence. As home to successful varsity swimming programs and many of Canada’s national swim team through Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre, UBC holds rights to 34 Canadian Interuniversity Sport titles and is credited as being home of 40 Olympian alumni swimmers.

With both CIS national swimming championships and the Canadian Olympic and Para-swimming Trials (qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Summer Games) on the horizon over the coming weeks, athletes were keenly excited to participate in the sneak-peak of the new facility.  “It so motivating to see this building literally coming out of the ground in front of us”, said Olympian and UBC student-athlete Tera Van Beilen. “We are so thankful for the work being done as this pool will be a game changer for us and the entire UBC community.”

In an effort to ensure the new UBC Aquatic Centre provides aquatic opportunities for the entire community, UBC Aquatic Centre staff are engaging with the aquatic community, pool users and the public as part of the process of developing programming and services levels for the new facility. The next opportunity to actively engage in the process and share ideas is at a UBC Athletics & Recreation Open House scheduled for Friday February 19th (4-6pm).

Jan 29, 2016 – New UBC Aquatic Centre Press Release

New Aquatic Centre Construction Update

The Aquatic Centre has received approval and the civil works portion of the project will fully commence in early August and site prep work has already commenced. This new facility will provide numerous benefits to the University by providing state of the art swimming facilities for the varsity swim teams and the community. The total budget for this project is $39,900,000 with funding to be raised through land development cost of sales as a community amenity expense (approx. 69%), donor fundraising (29%) and Infrastructure Impact Charges (2%). Construction is expected to take approximately two years and be complete by December of 2016. As a result of the construction project, the War Memorial Gymnasium parking lot will no longer be available. There will still be a servicing / loading area and short term parking / pick / up drop off will be at the GSAB lot. A live webcam feed of the construction site can be found here.

Updated Renderings for the New UBC Aquatic Centre

New renderings from MJMA and Acton Ostry Architects. Click to enlarge.

New Aquatic Centre Overview

UBC’s north end of campus has been under redevelopment for some time. In the last year construction has finished on the new trolley bus loop and the new SUB. Once completed, the new Aquatic Centre will aid in making one of the busiest sectors of campus a revitalized and modern hub of activity.

UBC Athletics and Recreation is taking the lead in planning the project with support from the architectural team of MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) and Acton Ostry Architects. The new Aquatic Centre will be built on top of McInnes Field and will be one of the few facilities in Canada to have a high performance and recreational pool under the same roof. The Aquatic Centre will include:

  • a 50m competition pool,
  • a 25m recreational pool,
  • a leisure pool,
  • spectator seating,
  • a hot tub,
  • universal change rooms,
  • male and female change rooms,
  • a wet classroom,
  • and meeting rooms.

Once the new Aquatic Centre has opened, the current Aquatic Centre will be demolished and make way for the new site of McInnes Field. Take a look at the photos below and check out the Acton Ostry Architects site for more info and pictures.

Photos from Acton Ostry Architects Inc.