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Posted: January 18, 2023

Major restoration announced for Radium Aquacourt

The Government of Canada today announced it is spending approximately $13 million for the restoration of the Radium Hot Springs Aquacourt in Kootenay National Park.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today stated through this investment, Parks Canada will conserve the heritage value of this popular cultural resource, ensure high quality, meaningful visitor experiences and contribute to the country’s world-class tourism offer. The Aquacourt is a Classified Federal Heritage Building.

The project is part of the Government of Canada’s recently announced funding of $557 million over three years to ensure the continuation of infrastructure projects and maintenance work for Parks Canada’s assets, supporting the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors.

The cool pool and foundations of the building at Radium Hot Springs Aquacourt will be repaired to improve visitor experience and increase the site’s resiliency to flooding by installing culverts under the building to direct water flow and protect the foundation, in addition to other upgrades.

This project will also aid in Parks Canada’s conservation efforts by adding erosion protection to safeguard nearby fish habitats. As well, the cool pool will be improved for visitor and staff safety and accessibility through a number of improvements.

These include: installation of a surface level gutter system to allow visitors to easily enter and exit the pool, allow lifeguards to safely execute rescues, and to provide a smoother, faster swim experience for users; renovation of hand rails for improved stability when entering and exiting the pool; and, installation of a new lift for improved accessibility.

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in Parks Canada places to ensure the sustainability of these treasured assets. Critical infrastructure upgrades to the Radium Hot Springs Aquacourt, a Classified Federal Heritage Building, will improve service quality and accessibility, resulting in tangible benefits for visitors, local communities and businesses and the nation’s tourism industry, while including conservation efforts that safeguard nearby fish habitats,” stated Minister Guilbeault.

The Aquacourt at Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park was one of the first major post-war building projects in the western national parks and opened to the public in 1951. The Aquacourt is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and architectural and environmental values.

Kootenay National Park was established with the signing of an agreement to build the Banff-Windermere Highway (Highway 93 South) connecting British Columbia and Alberta on April 21, 1920. When the road opened in 1923, more than 4,500 vehicles travelled the highway that year. Today, more than 500,000 people visit Kootenay National Park every year. Highway 93 through the park has wildlife mitigations including 15 km of wildlife exclusion fencing and nine underpasses.

e-KNOW file photo


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