THE BEST BATHS IN TOWN
By Tom Parker
The title suggests they’re traditionalists, but what Brunswick and Carlton Baths have in store for the summer is not your average splish and splash.
Its 101st summer beckons and Brunswick Baths has bold structural plans in place to celebrate whereas Carlton Baths, ready to face its 99th swimming season, has all but fulfilled its major infrastructural goals.
With its street art-laden walls, cyclist step wall feature just past the 25m mark and translucent waters, the eccentricity of Brunswick Baths’ 50m outdoor pool corresponds ideally with the Brunswick market.
Now they are ready to capitalise on two more developments.
The facility’s “outdoor training zone” prepares to face its second summer and the Active Moreland Active Week is coming into its second year as well.
Centre manager for Brunswick Baths, Ash Bartholomew, says they are more prepared than ever to capitalise on these assets.
“We have the outdoor training zone which only really came online late last year so we didn’t get a chance to really program and advertise it,” he said in an interview with The Northsider.
“It’s quite unique, you can do your gym workout outside so we put out all the gym equipment and have a trainer out there between the hours of 4pm and 7pm.”
Bartholomew also noted the desire to cultivate the area into a social domain.
“We would like to see that developed into more of a social area on weekends, in running outdoor boot camps and maybe even movie nights down the track.”
In the last week of February, Active Week will take place and is intended to get more Moreland people moving.
“It’s designed to marry up with the Active Moreland’s vision which is to get more people, more active, more often,” he says.
“It will start with a fun-run this year and will finish with a swim-a-thon through the YMCA and the activities during the week will involve opening up group fitness classes to give people the opportunity to come and try.”
A hop, skip and a jump down Rathdowne and it is a completely different story.
Carlton Baths is undergoing the largest redevelopment in its 99-year history with the complete restoration of the 25m outdoor pool and surrounding area, among other changes.
It began on April 17, 2015 and is expected to be finished by early January just in time for the heat of the summer.
Aaron Christiansen, the marketing coordinator for Carlton Baths, welcomes the change highlighting pool safety is now far less of a concern than what it used to be.
“The new layout of the pool is really family friendly, we still retain the grass area where people can relax but the new kids area makes it really enticing for young families to come down,” he said in an interview with The Northsider.
“It’s also very safe with some vision point changes for the lifeguards and parents to be able to see and actively supervise kids. We’re big on safe water practice, so some of those things have really driven the new shape of the pool.”
The redevelopment of the pool forms the second stage of a broader strategy to refurbish the entire facility.
Stage one was completed in March 2013 and involved the restoration of the gym and front reception, once stage two has been completed only minor tweaks will remain.
“There’s always things changing like the usage of space, in order to stay relevant and respond to members and the community’s needs,” he said.
Tom has just completed a sports journalism degree at La Trobe University. Residing in Brunswick East, he has a strong grasp of everything happening in the northside, whether it be music, sport or even fashion.