Sikome Lake Canada, Calgary

Sikome Lake

The Sikome Aquatic Facility, commonly referred to as Sikome Lake, is a man-made lake in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south-east quadrant of the city, within the Fish Creek Provincial Park, and is part of the Bow River basin. It lies at an elevation of 1,005 m (3,297 ft) and has a surface of 0.4 km2 (40 ha; 99 acres).

First opened in August 1978, it is a swimming area open during the summer as a public beach. Up to 20,000 swimmers a day visit the lake during summer week-ends. The beach is staffed by Alberta Provincial Parks aquatic staff. Until the mid-to-late 1990s, the lake was used as a skating rink in the Winter months. Now, during the winter the water is drained, and it takes three weeks to fill the lake every spring. A filtration system that chlorinates the water supply was implemented in 1988 at a cost of $1.8 million.

For the 2007 season, the lake was closed to public due to construction. It has been closed before, in July 1991 and August 1999, due to excessive contamination from bird droppings and in July 2005 due to flooding. A fence was constructed in 2008 to increase public safety and control unwanted behaviour.

Although there are aquatic staff on duty, policy dictates that it is the responsibility of adults to supervise their children. There are change rooms, a concession stand and a playground in the immediate area of the sandy beach. Barbecues are permitted in the area, as long as they are gas-powered and are used in the lawn areas adjacent to the beach. The lake facilities are open 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day from mid-June to the Labour Day weekend. Pets are not permitted in the Sikome Lake area.

New for 2012, the facility is participating in the Kids Don't Float life-jacket program, a joint partnership between the provincial government and the Lifesaving Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories. The program promotes the use of life-jackets for children six and younger, and aims to increase child and water safety awareness through education. A life-jacket loaner station is available; however families are encouraged to bring their own life-jackets to the facility.