News / Toronto

Tory explains vote against pool funding in letter to Olympian Penny Oleksiak

Mayor was among eight who voted against councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon’s motion to fund community pool at an annual cost of $85,000.

After making a promise to Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Penny Oleksiak to save the pool at S.H. Armstrong Community Centre, the mayor voted against providing funding on Tuesday.

File / Torstar News Service

After making a promise to Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Penny Oleksiak to save the pool at S.H. Armstrong Community Centre, the mayor voted against providing funding on Tuesday.

As far as East End parents are concerned, John Tory failed to deliver the gold.

After making a promise to Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Penny Oleksiak to save the pool at S.H. Armstrong Community Centre, on Tuesday the mayor voted against providing funding.

“We’re obviously very disappointed. We really thought we had that support going forward,” said David Darling, whose two young daughters swim at the pool near Queen and Greenwood.

Council will have the final say on the matter when it votes on the budget next week.

After a proposed version of the city budget tabled various cuts to pool programs, Oleksiak took to Twitter to build support to save the pool.

John Tory responded to say he received the “gold medal message,” and would ask his budget chief to find a way to save the pools.

On Tuesday, he couldn’t live up to the promise. Tory was among eight members of council who voted against local councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon’s motion to fund the pool at an annual cost of $85,000.

Tory’s move left area residents dumbfounded.

“Wow, John Tory against,” one resident wrote on the Facebook group rallying to save the pool. “Tweeting that he'll keep it open, then voting against doing that. Flopping around.”

Darling said closing the pool would be taking away an important piece of the neighbourhood. Not only do children come there to swim, it’s also a meeting place and many parents host their children’s birthday parties there.

“The community is really being underserved with recreational resources,” he said, noting other community centres around the area are “already overused. This is like a hidden little gem for us.”

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