I am a frequent user of Carleton University's swimming pool. After a month of being closed for major roof work, the pool reopened this week.
I went swimming yesterday. When I entered the pool area, I felt like I was coming home after a long trip. Basically, during the four weeks the pool was closed, I went to just about every City of Ottawa run pool; it provided me with variety and it let me compare the facilities.
Long story short, the city pools seemed a little cleaner. The maintenance schedule includes someone hosing down everything each and every evening. However, without a doubt, the Carleton pool is the largest and most spacious pool in the city: even Sportsplex seemed claustrophobic in comparison, with a much lower ceiling and much less floorspace around the pool. Also, the hours are more suitable, with later evening swims.
The worst change I have seen on the city side of things is what they did in last month's repairs to the Kanata Leisure Centre. This is a pool that has always been "my" pool. However, I don't know that I ever want to go there again, seeing as some manager at the city decided to rip out the nice mercury lamps that were thoughtfully embedded in the ceiling decorations, and replaced them with -- wait for it -- ultra cold, ultra bright, ultra flickery fluorescent lighting. This person should be shot. Everyone hates it: lifeguards, building management, and patrons. They took what used to be a nice warm family-oriented facility and made it feel like a 1970s prison, visually dropping the temperature about 10 degrees. I am all for renovations, but they must provide some improvement if they are meant to be worthwhile. This change was unnecessary.
In contrast, the work on the Carleton pool turned out great. It's good to be home.