Alexander Robert Duff
April 12, 1887 - December 16, 1952 Chemical engineer, explorer, photographer and superb athlete, Alex Duff was a pioneer in coaching girls' swimming, springboard and platform diving. From 1924 he trained girls exclusively, founding the Dolphinets (Swimming and Diving) Club in 1926. Many that he coached became Canadian Champions and competed in the Olympic and British Empire Games between 1920 and 1950. He developed ornamental swimming (synchronized swimming) and was the Official Coach of the Canadian Swimming and Diving Team at the 1934 British Empire Games in London, England, and Assistant Coach to the Canadian team at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. A charter member of the Toronto Ski Club and early member of the Toronto Camera Club, he died suddenly in 1952. This building is located in part of the old "Christie Sand Pits", the beginning of a ravine system, now mostly buried. A branch of Garrison Creek, which once quenched the thirst of Fort York soldiers, passed through the ravine. In the early 1900's, this area, supplemented by fresh water springs, was a popular swimming hole for neighbourhood children.
entrance to the Alex Duff Pool in Christie Pits Park, Toronto, ON, Canada