Southern Ontario is home to numerous sprawling suburbs that are indistinguishable from one another. Different in name yet alike in composition, its suburbs share a penchant for strip malls, big box stores and intersections with gas stations on each corner. Amidst the uniformity, suburban homeowners try to distinguish their abodes by splurging on the newest stucco finishes, expensive landscape treatments and import cars parked atop custom, interlocking stone driveways. However, the true pièce de résistance of the suburban success pageant is the possession of the private swimming pool. Why? Because nothing says "I've made it" like coring an artificial, concrete micro-lake full of toxic brine into your yard and showing Mother Nature who's boss.


While swimming pools are relatively easy to construct, their maintenance is a whole other ball game. All 80,000 liters of pool water must be treated with chemicals, its floors must be vacuumed free of debris, its walls must be scrubbed free of sludge, its 240,000 BTU heaters must constantly fire, its pumps must constantly circulate, its filters can never clog and its skimmers must be cleared of hair clumps, dead squirrels and band aids. Plus, come autumn pools must be winterized so their equipment, plumbing and rigid structure won't crack.


Given all the maintenance that pools require, many pool owners make the grave mistake of entrusting their pool's upkeep to pool maintenance companies. Hilariously, many of these companies are fly-by-night operations staffed by under trained 'technicians' with little to no knowledge of actual pool maintenance. Even scarier is that despite all the plumbing, electrical, gas work and chemical handling associated with pools, the pool maintenance industry is completely unregulated and full of 'technicians' that lack formal certification.


Pool Dudes is a collection of photographs that were taken in Southern Ontario in 2005. They appeared on Vice's website the following year. The photos capture the anarchy, hooliganism, drug abuse, failed maintenance and complete disregard for safety that defines the pool maintenance industry and its 'technicians'.

Service Call. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Maintenance (diptych). Mississauga, ON. 2005. 

info
×

 Faulty Equipment. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Skimmer Pitch. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Jackhammering in Sandals. Oakville, ON. 2005.

info
×

Hot Wire. Burlington, ON. 2005.

info
×

Hole in Van Floor. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Cruising. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Company Work Yard (diptych). Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Cocaine. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Pool Drain (diptych). Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Bad Sticker Placement. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Pool Owner's Instructions. Oakville, ON. 2005.

info
×

Green Pool. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Cannon Ball. Oakville, ON. 2005.

info
×

Trevor (diptych). Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Dirt Toss. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Coming to Work. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Boss' Desk. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Co-Worker's Proud Achievement. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Leonard with Porn in his Work Truck. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Chemical Burns. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Hood Ornament. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Van's Spare Tire. Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×

Able Pools Rules! Mississauga, ON. 2005.

info
×
Using Format