In a city that prides itself on its egalitarianism, the fact that the women’s pool in North Sydney is women-only seems out of place. But it’s a part of the venerable swimming pool tradition here and, with its long history, the women’s pool is not only an enduring symbol of Australia’s past but also serves a purpose in today’s Sydney. The pool is one of the few public pools in NSW where women are allowed to swim, even in their bathing suits.
The reason for the women’s pool is a little more complex than just that. In the late 1800s, local councils and private individuals began constructing ocean pools for recreational swimming. They were a safe option for swimmers because they offered protection from the choppy waves and the risk of shark attacks.
Today, there are more than 20 ocean pools around Sydney and while they may no longer be guarded by lifeguards, most are still a popular destination for people looking to enjoy the sea without being in the dangerous surf. Many of the pools are also home to an abundance of marine life.
The pools are not just for people who want to enjoy the water and beach life, they’re also important to local communities as they provide an alternative to surfing and other sports that would disturb the coastal environment. The pools are also a great source of exercise for many locals, who use them for swimming, walking and exercising.
While the pools are a welcome addition to the shoreline, they have their share of problems. Some of the pools have been contaminated with chemicals that have left their mark on the locals. Some people have suffered respiratory ailments, eye irritation and other symptoms. Others have been forced to leave their homes due to the presence of toxic chemicals.
However, a solution is being sought for the problem. The local government has commissioned the Australian-based firm Andrew Burges Architects to come up with plans for what to do with the beaches and ocean pools.
The new design will include a walkway and lounge areas. It will also feature green space upgrades to nearby parks. The plan is being viewed as an opportunity to rejuvenate the waterfront of Sydney Harbor. It is expected to be completed by 2020.
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