Financial Summary


Numerous options exist to cover the additional cost of construction without requiring the City to absorb the cost.  It is predicted that the operating subsidy for a 50m pool at Harry Jerome will be the same as the current operating subsidy for the 25m pool.  This will not affect the Rec Commission’s operating budget, or negatively impact taxpayers.


Construction of a 50m pool is estimated to be $4.6 million more than a 25m pool (July 23 2018 report to Council).  This differential is a small cost to get the equivalent of two 25m pools or three separate pool areas, depending on the need.  Since the development of the Harry Jerome Development Lands will generate a projected $180 million in lease payments to the City, it is likely that the City could get an entirely new facility for very little taxpayer dollars. It is worth noting that the City of Port Coquitlam taxpayers are paying $100 million to refurbish two hockey rinks and add a third one.  So, by comparison, the City is getting an entirely new Recreation Centre for a bargain basement price.

The population growth in the City of North Vancouver has accelerated in the past few years, exceeding predictions in the Official Community Plan.  Based on the 2016 census, the population has increased 1.9% per year – triple the increase of the District of North Vancouver.  If this continues, then the City will need a second 25m pool to meet the needs of its growing population within the next 10 years.   The City will face increased costs to build a second 25m pool – possibly as much as $40 million more in 10 years (based on rising costs of 9% per year).

There are a number of ways to cover this cost differential now without the City paying the entire additional amount.

  • Land sales
  • Corporate sponsorship
  • Naming rights

Operating Subsidy

Information available for modern Metro Vancouver 50m pools indicates that the operating subsidy is currently in the range of $870,000 – $1,200,000 (NSAS Business Plan, 2017), or roughly the same as a 10-lane, 25 metre pool ($1 million for Penticton).  In a study of fifty-two 50m pools across Canada, Asbell Management Innovations Inc. (2007) noted that 50m pools operate for roughly $350,000 to $500,000 per year.  This suggests that the range of $200,000 to $1 million more than a 10-lane, 25m pool (City staff report to Council, March 4) to operate a 50m pool at Harry Jerome is grossly inflated.

The only 50m pool that is comparable to the proposed 50m pool at Harry Jerome is the City Centre Aquatic Complex (CCAC) in Coquitlam.  CCAC includes the features proposed for Harry Jerome (except the 5m dive tower) and is conveniently located within Coquitlam (close proximity to traffic corridors and bus routes).  Harry Jerome is centrally located near a major highway and transportation corridor, a mere 15 minute drive from any subdivision in North Vancouver.  It is also in one of the fastest population growth areas in the City of North Vancouver.  Based on the 2007 Asbell Management Innovations Inc. report and the close resemblance to the physical features of CCAC, it is felt that a new 50m pool at the Harry Jerome site should operate like CCAC and with a comparable operating subsidy.   The operating subsidy for Harry Jerome in 2010 was $770,000 or virtually the same as the CCAC, a 50m pool, which had an operating subsidy in 2010 of $780,000 (currently at $880,000). Management staff could also consult with the pool operators of the Kamloops 50m pool to learn how the 50m pool there is operated for $750,000 per year. For example, revenue generating activities such as lane swimming, aquafit/aquacize, and family swim can be run simultaneously in a 50m pool, but not in a 25m pool.

If, however, the operating subsidy should exceed the current budget, then the City has a number of options to deal with this and ensure no impact on the North Vancouver Recreation Commission’s annual operating budget.

  • Parking revenues and more flexible Admission price packages
  • Increased programs = increased revenues
  • Increased public usage = increased revenues
  • On-site commercial property taxes
  • New residential property tax revenues (e.g. $600,000 based on ~$1500 taxes/unit for 5 each of 5-storey and 3-storey condominiums); this doesn’t include all the residences in the proposed towers
  • Event hosting (pool rentals generate > $100 thousand)
  • Health Club fees of on-site condominiums could include an additional fee for access to recreation centre (as is currently done for the Atrium condominiums to allow access to Pinnacle pool).