Public pools are taking on a whole new meaning.

By Jess McHugh
October 20, 2016

Parisians and visitors to the City of Light will be able to take a dip in a city canal by 2017, as the mayor moves forward with plans to build three pools along the Quai de la Loire in northeastern Paris.

The Quai de la Loire is on the banks of the Bassin de la Villette, a body of water that connects the Canal Saint-Martin to the Canal Ourcq in the 19th arrondissement. The water for the pools will come directly from the basin and the town hall plans to vigorously monitor the water quality.

“We are working on it. We have already given the first proof that swimming in Paris’ water is possible,” adjunct mayor Jean-François Martins told French publication 20 Minutes. “We want to show that we have the know-how, that we are keeping our promises and that our plan isn’t science-fiction.”

The planned project, set to be officially announced in November, follows on the success of several open swimming events this past summer (some authorized and some not). Thousands of participants dove, swam and frolicked in a swimming race that took place in the Bassin de la Villette in August.

“I think that this project will be very well received by the Parisians,” a spokeswoman from the mayor's office told Travel + Leisure. “It bears witness to how Parisians are re-appropriating public spaces.”

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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo lauded the plan on her Twitter account, writing “City swimming: promise kept! 3 pools on the Bassin de la Villette starting next July 15.”

The project will include one pool standing at a depth of 40 cm (approximately 16 inches) for children, along with two larger pools for adults.

Construction will cost approximately $1.4 million, and once completed it will be able to accommodate 1,000 people per day, according to the Paris mayor’s office.