Cyanamid pool was city's most popular swimming spot
boys on diving board at Cyanamid pool

As we enjoy the summer weather, thoughts of cooling off may sometimes cross our minds. Some of us may have fond memories of a few local swimming spots that were once used to beat the summer heat. For more than 35 years, thousands of children and adults made the Cyanamid swimming pool their summer destination of choice.

The idea for this popular swimming pool came about in a rather amusing way. George Emmerson Cox, manager of Cyanamid’s Niagara plant for many years, spied a group of young boys sneaking under the fence to swim in the existing Cyanamid ditch. This ditch was used to bring water from the Hydro Canal into the plant for cooling purposes. The antics of these youngsters made Mr. Cox realize the need for a safe swimming area for the children of Niagara Falls.

The ditch was soon enlarged to accommodate a huge swimming tank that was 210 feet long and 105 feet wide. The tank was shallow at one end and gradually deepened at the other. Many truckloads of beach sand arrived to turn the south side of the pool into a miniature beach. On the north side, many maple trees were planted to provide shade for the large and inviting picnic area. Two stone fireplaces were also provided for cooking purposes. 

It is interesting to note that all of the water in this massive pool was completely changed each and every hour and a half! Anyone who swam in the Cyanamid pool will remember the currents as 500,000 gallons of waters moved from one end of the pool to the other before entering the plant. 

The Cyanamid pool proved to be very popular with locals and tourists alike. Within four years of opening in 1936, the changing rooms were expanded and the emergency station doubled in size. New spaces for volleyball and horseshoe facilities were also added. In the early 1950s, a concession stand was built and proved to be a popular pit stop for many hungry swimmers. 

Some sources say that crowds of up to 150,000 people visited the Cyanamid pool yearly during their opening season, traditionally the last day of school in June until Labour Day. Sunday was the busiest, when daily attendance reached 6000 visitors. Sadly, the pool closed after the 1971 season due to high renovation costs needed to bring the facilities up to new provincial codes and standards.

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