A Dip Into the History of the Thornhill Pool

For just over fifty years, the Thornhill Pool has been a welcomed and refreshing feature of the Thornhill community. Its presence here is the direct result of the hard work and determination of many local residents. On Sunday July 11, 2004, the Thornhill Pool was officially re-opened with the dedication of the new pool building facility.
This exhibit takes a look back at the people who invested time and effort to create this facility which we all enjoy.

The need for a community recreation centre came in the late 1940's as the population of Thornhill began to grow. The impetus for the pool came from the initial suggestion of Mr. Gordon C. Leitch, who wanted to see the children of the community have a place to swim under proper supervision.

The Thornhill Lions Club, which had been established in 1947, spearheaded the project to fund and establish the Thornhill Community Memorial and Recreation Centre. Gordon C. Leitch contributed significantly to the financial needs of the project, without whose support this project would have been impossible. The balance of funds were collected by the Lion's Club through door to door canvassing.

The building of the Recreation Centre had three main objectives. First, to teach children the skills of swimming and water safety. Secondly, the pool would provide 300,000 gallons of water for the fire fighting needs ofthe village of Thornhill. This need was realized during the construction of the pool, when the former Thornhill Hotel was destroyed in a disastrous fire on January 25, 1950. The recreation centre would also serve as a memorial to the local men and women who gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars.

On Friday June 16, 1950, the Thornhill Swimming Pool was officially opened by the Hon. Ray Lawson, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. The heavy rain storm, that moved in just as the ceremony was beginning, failed to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of people who came to witness the joyous event.
Mrs. Riddell, whose son was killed at Vimy Ridge, and Mrs. Wice, whose son Russell died at Dieppe, unveiled the war memorial tablets which were donated by the Thornhill Women's Institute.

On behalf of the Lions Club, past president Tom W. Jackson presented the pool to the Police Village of Thornhill, and it was accepted by William E. Anstey, chairman of the village trustees.

This year a new chapter has begun for the Thornhill landmark, which has cooled, entertained, and taught water safety to local residents for 54 years.

Thornhill Pool and Park about 1960 The first Thornhill Pool Building in 2002 The finished new pool building May 2004 The reopening ceremony for the new Thornhill Pool building on July 11, 2004