Open City

Dowsing for Pools and Splash Pads

By RTH Staff
Published July 21, 2011

Joey Coleman, a volunteer with Open Hamilton, has prepared an online map of beaches, pools, waterparks, wading pools and splash pads in Hamilton.

You can browse the map for locations, or enter your address to zoom in on it and identify nearby cool spots.

With record-breaking temperatures in this week's heat wave, finding ways to cool off becomes a serious health issue.

The City of Hamilton has been at a stage 3 heat alert since July 19, due to high temperatures combined with a Humidex of over 40. High humidity makes it harder for the body to cool itself through perspiration.

On Thursday, July 21, the temperature in Hamilton reached 36° C (96.8° F) with a Humidex of 48.

Canada's Meterological Service warns that a Humidex over 45 is dangerous and can lead to heat stroke.


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By John Neary (registered) | Posted July 21, 2011 at 22:37:47

One fascinating thing about this map is how clearly it illuminates the holes in this infrastructure. The central/west mountain (if you can call it that), Ancaster Village, and the Meadowlands deserve more pool love.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2011 at 09:08:13

The Spec coverage of Joey and this map illustrate just how beneficial Open Data can be.

In one "simple" map (easy for me to say), Joey Coleman has done more to help all citizens, not just developers and activists, understand the value of giving creative developers access to information than anything that has appeared before. Well done Joey.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2011 at 09:09:35 in reply to Comment 66772

Yes, too bad the city refuses to put this map on their website...

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2011 at 09:14:14

Where can we provide Joey with updated info?

He seems to list Inch Park as a wading pool...not sure the definition of that, I would think it's a full pool...also the city website has times here:

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2011 at 09:59:19 in reply to Comment 66777

I think I know the problem, checking it now.

The wading pool layer is later in the script than the outdoor pool layer.

I likely have the same GPS coords for the wading pool and outdoor pool in this location.

Let me look into this. Thanks so much for flagging!

Inch Park is listed as having a wading pool as well as the outdoor pool:

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2011 at 14:08:09 in reply to Comment 66789

Yes, they were listed as both, and I guess I only saw the one on the map, and only the one came up (perhaps because as you said they use the same GPS coordinates.

Now, my only caveat is, I don't know if the wading pool info is accurate, because they used to have both, a wading pool for toddlers and a real outdoor pool for the "big kids". Now, they've redesigned the place (newly reopened this summer) with one of those "Beach-style" pools, where it slopes to the deep end, and it's wheelchair accessible (maybe that's something to note!). I haven't been there myself, but I don't know if there's a section that's actually considered a wading pool anymore.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2011 at 14:33:04 in reply to Comment 66801

This is the most detailed explanation of the pool I've received. This makes a lot of sense.

The City website lists Inch Park on it's directory of wading pool locations but does not have times on the list of wading pool hours.

I will update.

Thank you,

  • Joey

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2011 at 14:14:37

Thanks for this, Joey. Amazing job. I am sure my kids are out at one of those spots right now. :)

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2011 at 14:28:00

Anybody know if the city is planning on extending the hours at any of these pools?

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2011 at 14:31:48 in reply to Comment 66805

There are extended hours at outdoor pools.

I don't believe I added that info for them. I will do that tonight.

(I did get the extended hours for splash pads, not sure why I didn't do the same for pools.)

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted July 24, 2011 at 09:07:21

Great work, Joey. I was at the Dundas Driving Park yesterday to see Macbeth and like to think that some of the splash pad action was a result of your work.

I'd love to see someone create an app from Environment Canada that negates the need for filler stories expressing amazement at the weather – that it is, for example, wickedly hot and humid in summer or very cold and snowy in winter, or not quite hot enough to be the hottest ever or nowhere snowy enough to merit "snowmageddon" status.

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