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It's record-breaking hot in Toronto as I write this post, and it's days like this I long for a pool. Of course, ideally the pool would be surrounded by a large yard, beautifully landscaped and designed perhaps by Mark Hartley? But in this heat the offerings at Canadian Tire are looking just fine.

I think it's so inspirational to see people doing creative things with items meant for another use. Case in point: stock troughs. What is a stock trough? Well, it's a galvanized steel tub made for the livestock industry to hold drinking water — and I want one. As far as I can tell, they come in round, oval and vertical trash can-type shapes. But let me just say, this option versus a plastic Dora the Explorer pool? It's a no-brainer, but remember to factor in storage.

The smaller troughs come in a 2-feet to 10-foot diameter (drainage plugs at bottom) and I've seen some clever people converting them into small shallow pools. I love it! Have a look below, and stay cool.

If a crowded beach isn't your thing...

Option A: Clean lines, durable...

Option B: Plastic, decorated with under-sea life...

Now this is clever — a tank built into a deck as a modern pool option. What a desert oasis!

For more ways to beat the heat, try one of these delish barbecue recipes from our Summer Grilling Guide.

Photo credits:
1. Massimo Vitali
2. Steel trough, Loomis Tank Centers
3. Sea Life Pool, Toys "R" Us
4. BigBang Studio

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