Backyard pools making a splash with London homeowners

Data shows that the demand for swimming pool permits went up 33 per cent in Ontario in 2021. (Source: Municipal Property Assessment Corporation)

While the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in lumber prices and home renovations, it also saw upgrades to the backyards of homeowners – namely, in the form of swimming pools.

According to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), swimming pools were the most popular home improvement option for Ontarians in 2021.

An analysis of Ontario home building permits revealed that there were a total of 9,059 swimming pool permits in 2021, which was an increase of 33 per cent over the previous year. Between 2019 and 2020, there was an increase of 53 per cent.

“The pandemic likely continued to put a focus on the home,” said Carmelo Lipsi, MPAC vice president and chief operating officer. “Whether it’s because people were staying close to home due to restrictions, or were uncertain about future travel, many property owners invested in a pool as part of creating a backyard oasis to enjoy with family or friends.”

So where did the City of London rank?

Out of 10 municipalities, London ranked fifth in the list of Ontario cities with the most swimming pool permits.

In 2021, there were a total of 286 swimming pool building permits issued in London.

For the second-straight year, Ottawa was Ontario’s swimming pool capital, with 1,372 pool permits issued in 2021, a jump of 47 per cent.

Rounding out the top three was Hamilton and Oakville, with 566 and 315 permits issued respectively.