Inaugurated on July 12, 1940, the Verdun Natatorium was the first outdoor pool in Montréal. During the first years of its construction, the Natatorium was considered to be the largest outdoor public pool in all of Canada, until parc Jean Drapeau and its Aquatic Complex were built.
The Natatorium bears witness to the City of Verdun's economic and demographic growth, following a difficult period marked by unemployment and housing shortages during the 1930s. In order to counter the effects of the Great Depression, the government of Québec encouraged public works and infrastructure construction projects. In 1938, the City of Verdun received a grant of approximately $500,000 to carry out two large-scale projects: the construction of an arena (the future Auditorium de Verdun) and an outdoor pool: the Natatorium.
A remarkable Art Deco style building
With its Art Deco style, the Natatorium could initially accommodate 1,150 swimmers at a time and had one pool for swimming and another for diving, including 5 diving boards. In the first years, there was a refreshment area on the roof and a terrace where hundreds of swimmers crammed together to lounge around. Today, the terrace is closed, but a little restaurant is still there. The diving pool was demolished as well, due to its non-compliance with current safety regulations. Since 2005, the Natatorium also has a heated wading pool that can accommodate up to 250 children.