Swimming in Nanaimo

Select Local Merchants

Recipient of a British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association award for facility excellence, Watermania shelters aquatic attractions and swimming areas that drench bathing-suit-clad attendees of all ages. Patrons can practice backstrokes in a 57-metre competition pool, leap from 1- and 3-metre springboards, or use a pair of slides to drop into the water with more ease than an inflatable submarine. A wave pool enthralls tykes with a giant play structure boasting sprayers and a large seahorse that dumps water into a massive tipping bucket. Visitors aged 15 and older can relax in the steam room, whirlpool, and sauna. Rigorous workouts come to fruition in Watermania's 3,000-square-foot fitness centre equipped with 20 cardio units, Olympic weights, and exercise balls.

14300 Entertainment Boulevard
Richmond,
BC
CA

Two fields, a soccer shop, five indoor tennis courts, and an outdoor, heated pool. Those are just some of the amenities inside Sportstown Sports Complex, but it's also got something a little unexpected: its own sports bar. In the glow of TVs or outside on the hundred-seat patio, visitors to the kid-friendly Sportstown Tavern find brews, food, and detailed instructions on how long to wait before eating and swimming. If your thirst for competition isn't quelled by beers—or by the Thai curry mussels and housemade pizza—you can keep up the spirit of play with a game of pool or Texas Hold 'Em on Tuesday nights.

4991 No. 5 Rd
Richmond,
BC
CA

The waters of False Creek reach into the city of Vancouver like an arm. For years, the passage of water was used for industrial purposes, but all that changed in 1980 when the city of Vancouver decided to develop Granville Island. One of those developments was False Creek Community Centre.

Today, the centre fills False Creek with an array of recreational boaters, including kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, and whale surfers. Back on land, the facility boasts a pottery studio, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a water park with a large kid's area, and a talented staff of instructors who teach programs and classes for kids and adults alike.

1318 Cartwright St
Vancouver,
BC
CA

The nature enthusiasts at West Coast Outdoor Adventure Rentals supply sportsmen with Hobie kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to explore the protected waters of the Jordan River, Sombrio Beach, and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Needing no prior experience, single explorers or duos propel their vessels with paddles or fully adjustable kayak pedal systems, which leave hands free for photographing scenery, fishing, or manning the onboard crepe stations. Highlights include wildlife encounters with seals, otters, and eagles.

6971 West Coast Road
Sooke,
BC
CA

Saanich Commonwealth Place folds nicely into the District of Saanich Parks and Recreation Department's luxurious recreational centres, which together create a well-rounded outlet for creative and physical activity. Each is unique in its own way, with Pearkes boasting 31,000 square feet of ice rink for skaters and Gordon Head's UV-filtered pools hosting hundreds of thousands of laps swum. Galleries exhibit local artists at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre, and the accompanying recreation centre’s badminton, volleyball, and table tennis have seen more volleys than Tom Hanks at the Castaway reunion. Regardless of its defining feature, each centre seeks to bring the community together with enlightening and enriching fitness and arts programs.

4636 Elk Lake Dr
Victoria,
BC
CA

If there’s a whale breaching on the protected waters of the San Juan Islands, there’s a good chance a passenger on Mystic Sea Charters’ 100-foot vessel will see the splashy spectacle. The company’s five- to six-hour tours have an impressive track record when it comes to spotting the gargantuan mammals, introducing tour-goers to different species of whale up to 99% of the time. Onboard the ship, a naturalist divulges facts about ocean life as passengers watch for whales from the heated cabin or from the deck, which has 4-foot railings so guests can hold on if whales start singing and dancing to the hit song “Rock the Boat.” The company promises that voyagers will see at least one gray, orca, humpback, or minke whale, depending on the season. If not, they’ll receive a follow-up whale-watching tour for free.

819 Commercial Ave
Anacortes,
WA
US