A sign on the main floor change room of the newly renovated Maple Ridge Leisure Centre has become quite a conversation starter this week.
It reads, ‘no nude zone’ and asks patrons to use the private stalls to change.
The sign defines nudity as being uncovered from the waist down, and also reads, “All individuals have the equal right to a bared chest in designated change areas and on the pool deck only.”
Christa Balatti, recreation manager- health and fitness for City of Maple Ridge Parks and Culture said when the centre went through renovations, they created a universal change room for anyone to use.
While there are still gender-specific change rooms on the facility’s second floor, pool users might often choose to use the closer universal change room.
“A big component of creating these change rooms were to enhance the safety and security of those change spaces and in doing so we created individual change stalls, so everyone can go into their individual space, and lock the door behind them,” she said.
“Most of the change areas have their own shower, and a change bench, so it’s completely private and secure.
“And then when [patrons] come out, [they] need to be clothed from the waist down.”
The change room was decided upon when first designing the renovation.
Balatti said feedback has been mostly positive.
“Since we opened on February 3, we’ve had many customers come through, and obviously trying it for the first time,” she said.
“We’ve had some fantastic feedback, and we’ve also had some feedback where folks are taking some time to get used to the change.
“It is a change from what we had, but once they have an opportunity to get in, and actually see the space, and get a sense of how it’s going to work for them, they seem to really enjoy it.”