Jim Watson running again for Mayor = shortened fitness classes

Jim Watson running again for Mayor = shortened fitness classes
Posted on April 13, 2014 | Maureen Korp | Written on March 29, 2014
Letter type:


Ottawa Citizen

Note that our mayor will run again. After all, he's brought such light and delights to our city. Look again. Another sinkhole. Just last week I cheerfully renewed my annual membership at Jack Purcell Community Centre. I attend classes there two to three times a week, per doctor's orders.

How so? I am one of the increasing numbers of pedestrians in this town who have been hit by motor vehicles while crossing the street. Jack Purcell's aquafitness program provides me with ongoing therapy and chronic pain management.

The Jack Purcell pool closes for its annual cleaning on Monday. When it reopens April 22, all of its 25 scheduled pool fitness classes are to be shortened by 15 minutes. Each of these classes had been an hour. The classes are designed to address differing needs and conditions, including chronic pain, aquatherapy, fitness, low impact, etc. Why this cutback? Staff said the decision was made by "someone at city hall."

One instructor said she will eliminate "stretching" and "cool-down" in order to keep the "cardio" component intact within the 45 minutes now permitted. She hopes our class will do be able to do the our usual "stretching" and "cool down" portions on our own.

On our own? Sure. I note the centres all have defibrillators handy. Will there be more need of them this year? Hope not. Concerns are rising.

Maureen Korp

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Maureen Korp, PhD is an independent scholar, curator, and writer whose home base is Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Author of many publications, Dr. Korp has lectured at universities in Europe, S.Asia, and North America on... More


Maureen, do you have any idea of how much money is being saved by cutting the fitness classes short?

Maureen Korp

I do not know how much money is being saved by shortening fitness classes by 15 mins. on each hour. But, I was truly startled to learn the City's fitness instructors are paid by the quarter hour for their work--yes, by the quarter hour. Chintzy, isn't it?

Danny Handelman

The sinkhole makes modes of transportation other than the automobile more competitive. The municipality would not as heavily discriminate against pedestrians if the rural areas were not overrepresented in the municipal legislature, non-citizens and those under the age of 18 were enfranchised and if those of lower economic status had a similar voter turnout as those of higher economic status. The provincial and federal governments would not as heavily discriminate against pedestrians with similar changes.


Two things. First off, be glad that you have access to a therapeutic aquafitness class in a warm pool close to your home. I believe Jack Purcell is the only community pool that offers such a class since this city is very low on therapeutic pools (don't get me started).

I would benefit greatly from such a program but am unable to get downtown and am not near a pool that offers these classes. There is discussion of adding a therapy pool to the Sawmill Creek complex when it is renovated but that is a few years away.

While I agree that it's a shame that the classes have been cut by the 15 minutes, it may have been a choice between that and raising the cost to the users which would have been seen as perhaps to onerous to many people. This way you still have the core of the service without the increased fee.

Likely the instructors will still be employed doing other classes in the newly opened timeslots.