City of Cambridge moving forward on new Recreation Complex

Posted on Tuesday May 17, 2022

City of Cambridge moving forward on new Recreation Complex

A step closer to expanding recreation services for the rapidly developing community

Cambridge, Ontario. May 17, 2022 – This evening Cambridge City Council provided approval to continue the design development process for the new Cambridge Recreation Complex and Idea Exchange library facility, one of two buildings in the 32.5 acre, joint-use, community hub to be constructed at the south end of the city.

The City of Cambridge plans to issue an RFQ as soon as possible to procure design architects who will complete two concepts of graduated value and undertake public consultation. The concept design and budget will be approved by Council before moving to detailed design, currently scheduled to take place in 2023.

“This is an essential space that will serve as a true community hub, where people can connect, learn and grow. It’s about wellbeing and building an overall sense of community,” said Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “This is an incredible partnership and investing in spaces like this are key to building a thriving, healthy and prosperous city for all.”

“We’re excited to see the project moving forward with the design team,” said Helen Kelly, Idea Exchange CEO. “The new Idea Exchange location in a shared facility will serve as a welcoming and vibrant community destination for the Southeast Galt residents."

Municipalities all over Ontario are experiencing construction market price volatility brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and world events. The Statistics Canada Construction Cost Index indicates a 15.3% increase from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021. These trends are especially impactful to large-scale developments such as the Cambridge Recreation Complex and Idea Exchange library facility and have resulted in timing and budget challenges for the project.

Positive progress is being made and the City, Idea Exchange and project management consultants, Colliers Project Leaders, are committed to a staged and flexible approach to advance the facility to the design development stage — with cost containment measures prioritized to respond to the volatile market.

The Recreation Complex supports the City in the Strategic Plan–Cambridge Connected objective to connect people to services that add to individual and community wellbeing through age-friendly services that are accessible to all.

For more information on the Cambridge Recreation Complex project milestones please visit



Project Background
In February 2021, Cambridge City Council approved a partnership framework to guide the design, development and operation of a vibrant, inviting and multi-generational community hub in southeast Cambridge.

The new Cambridge Recreation Complex, a public library, two elementary schools and a childcare facility are planned for this site. 

Council agreed with the recommended approach to locate two separate buildings on the joint site with shared amenities. The two schools will share one facility, and the Recreation Complex and Idea Exchange will share the second facility. The two facilities will frame a community park.

Additional Resources


Media Contact:

Rachel Ajamzadeh

Communications Advisor

City of Cambridge


About the City of Cambridge

The City of Cambridge is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. With nearly 140,000 residents, Cambridge is the second largest community within Waterloo Region. It is strategically located astride highway 401 in southwestern Ontario, part of the Toronto to Waterloo Region Innovation Corridor. With a multicultural mix and a strong foundation of support services, Cambridge has a diverse economic base with leading industries in advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, nuclear, pharmaceutical, business and financial services.


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