Darren, Scott, and Alexandra Park

I used to live quite close to the pool. Just a few blocks away.

Darren O

1995.

Alex Park Pool

Spent every day, one summer, swimming at the pool. I was at the peak of having fun and enjoying my life.

Alex Park Pool

I developed a deep friendship with Scott at the pool. 

For four years in a row I would visit Scott.

Eventually, Scott broke down. Like we all do. 

Darren OAlex Park PoolDarren O-6

The idea of free outdoor pools was a revelation to me, when I moved here from Edmonton.

Darren O

They serve this really great public purpose.

Darren O

This pool manages to bring together a bunch of demographics. The ‘unscrubbed’ hipsters of Kensington. The gentrified area immediately to the west. The engaged residents of Alexandra Park. 

Darren O

And that’s what my work is all about.

Generating community.

Being respectful of other peoples’ space. Taking risks. Play.

Alex Park Pool

Pools are a common denominator. You can’t hide very much.

Alex Park Pool

Thanks to Darren for sharing his story. Check out his arts and cultural planning organization, Mammalian Diving Reflex.

[Editor’s note: Scott was actually a piece of snot that Darren found stuck to the wall of the change room. It remained there over the course of four years.]

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4 thoughts on “Darren, Scott, and Alexandra Park

  1. Scott was this massive booger than someone had wiped on the wall at the urinal. Many women don’t know that men have this strange habit of picking their nose while urinating and (shudder) wiping in on the wall. WTF is with that?! Anyway, Scott was there every summer, always just a little bit less of him, until there was only a trace. But clearly, the walls in that place were never washed. There was also an old guy from Scarborough who would come down every day for a swim. His English was so good and my Cantonese is limited to ‘thank you’ but we became floating pals. I just saw him a few weeks ago down at the Esplanade, he’s living in some public housing, but has injured his knee and can no longer swim, for the moment anyway. I was great to see him again, this time floating past on a mobility scooter.

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  2. Also, the pool plays an important role in my 2004 novel, Your Secrets Sleep with Me (Coach House Books).

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