A Canadian man is complaining about what he describes as “excessive nudity” in the men’s changing room at his local public pool.
Norm Waddell goes to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre in Duncan, British Columbia, for physiotherapy. He told staff the men’s locker room is packed with elderly men letting it all hang free. Waddell admits they’re not doing anything illegal, but insists the lockers are for public use and everyone should feel comfortable in them.
“I don’t think it’s right that these men make it so uncomfortable for others with their nudity,” he said. “I have a son who is not comfortable with it either. There are separate cubicals and shower stalls in the change rooms so these men should be made to use them.”
North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure admits his office has occasionally receives complaints about behavior in the pool’s locker rooms. But, he says, being naked is basically built in to the whole experience.
“People changing from clothes to bathing suits is part of using the pool. For people who are sensitive, we have separate cubicles and showers that they can use by themselves.”
Waddell isn’t alone apparently: Last fall, a pool in suburban Montreal banned nudity in the locker rooms following complaints.
In a November newsletter, officials in Brossard, Quebec advised residents that walking around naked in the changing area and showers was now prohibited.
Eric Leuenberger, Brossard’s director of aquatic activities said he received numerous complaints “from parents who didn’t want their kids exposed to nudity and adults who were ill at ease.” “It might be a generational question, but we received many,” he added. “I’m not saying [nudity in changing rooms] is wrong. Ten years ago, we might not have said anything. But this is where we are now.”
Longtime resident Roland Berard told the Star it was “regressive” to ban nudity in a locker room.
“I don’t agree with having to cover up in the men’s locker room when I’m changing and when I’m taking a shower,” said Berard, 67. “I agree to be discreet.”
A new $45-million swimming pool opening in the town next year will actually do away with gender-specific lockers in favor of a unisex changing area.