Pickleball? Dog parks? Ottawa wants to update its rec centres

Ottawa’s aging recreation complexes need major overhauls and the city is looking to residents for what to do and where to start.

Aging facilities need work, city drafting a plan to decide where to start

Matthew Kupfer · CBC News: Jun 14, 2019 

Stittsville Coun. Glen Gower (not pictured) says his residents want more dog parks in their suburb. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As Ottawa looks to overhaul its aging recreation complexes, the city is looking to residents for their opinion on what to do and where to start.

According to a 2017 report, nearly half of Ottawa’s recreational facilities — including pools, arenas and rec centres — were in poor or very poor condition.

The city held four consultations this week to hear what residents want out of the buildings.

“There are some facilities we might repurpose,” said Kevin Wherry, Ottawa’s manager of recreation planning and facilities.

“Perhaps we have a better use to come out of those … Changing trends in recreation might mean we need to rethink how we use our indoor facilities,”

Stittsville Coun. Glen Gower said residents often talk to him about their needs in the growing suburb.

“The top three things we hear about are probably pickleball, ice time for all the different sports that use ice pads, and dog parks,” Gower said.

Stittsville Coun. Glen Gower says the main recreation facility issues he hears about have to do with pickleball, ice times and dog parks. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais said land needs to be set aside in growing communities to make sure there is space for rec centres.

“I think there is a need for more recreation, not less recreation,” Blais said.

“Whether or not the state of that actual building or not leads us to need to do make certain decisions, we’ll let the process and the experts on building management define that.”

One possible emerging trend could be an increase in demand for basketball because of the Toronto Raptors championship run, Blais said, since after the Toronto Blue Jays championship run in the early 1990s there was a greater focus on baseball fields.

Content retrieved from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-recreation-centres-wants-needs-1.5174334.

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