The City is working to develop a modern, multi-purpose recreation complex which will include: 

  • 25m swimming pool and warm water leisure pool
  • Gymnasiums
  • Fitness track and multi-purpose rooms
  • Branch location of IDEA Exchange (Cambridge Public Library)

The facility will be located on city-owned land in the south of the City, and along with two elementary schools will form a community hub.

Recreation Facilities Improvement Strategy

On June 18, 2019, Council decided to move ahead with a strategy to:

  • Construct a recreation complex 
  • Expand and improve the Preston Memorial Auditorium to make it a twin pad facility
  • Plan for decommissioning of John Dolson Centre Pool, Karl Homuth Arena, Duncan McIntosh Arena and Dickson Arena as new or improved facilities become operational
  • Review a proposal from Buckingham Sports Properties about expanding the Cambridge Sports Park to be a four-pad facility
  • Work with municipal and other groups in the Region to explore opportunities for a 50 m pool within the Region of Waterloo

Read Mayor McGarry’s statement on the decision. This decision was made by weighing the collective feedback received from the community through extensive public consultation while also keeping top of mind that the end result must be an affordable and timely solution that is in the best interest of taxpayers, sports and recreation groups and the community.

*Buckingham Sports has submitted a proposal to redevelop and modernize the existing twin pad facility located at the Cambridge Sports Park and add two new ice pads. 

Photo Gallery: Proposed Community Joint Use hub including Recreation Complex and Public Library will appear here on the public site.

Progress to date

 Recreation Complex
  • Work is underway with area developers and school boards to prepare lands for construction (grading and servicing started in summer 2020).
  • The City is exploring opportunities for shared amenities or a joint facility with the School Boards.
 Ice Facilities

 To address the need for newer ice facilities in the city, the following actions are in planning:

  • Expansion of and improvements to the Preston Memorial Auditorium to make it a twin pad facility. Decommissioning      of Karl Homuth Arena will occur once the new ice pad is operational. 
  • Discussions continue with Buckingham Sports Properties about expanding the Cambridge Sports Park to be a four-pad facility. Decommissioning of Duncan McIntosh Arena and Dickson Arena will occur as new or improved facilities become operational.

Ice facilities update

Buckingham Sports has submitted a proposal to redevelop and modernize the existing twin pad facility located at the Cambridge Sports Park and add two new ice pads. Buckingham will fully fund the capital, operating and ongoing maintenance costs of this project.

On March 3, 2020, Council directed staff to negotiate the terms and conditions of a potential agreement that would allow the City to purchase ice time at the expanded facility to serve the needs of our local groups.  This potential agreement will be brought back to Council for a final decision.

The proposal includes:

  • four ice pads with new spectator seating,
  • new team change rooms,
  • new common areas,
  • options for sledge hockey on one pad.

If the City and Buckingham do not agree on terms, the city has the option to expand the Hespeler Memorial Arena to a four-pad facility or build two ice pads at the Southeast Galt location.

 50m pool

Staff will continue discussions with Waterloo Region Sports Hosting Office and others regarding a regional facility with a 50m pool.

Upcoming work

  • Undertake a feasibility study to investigate opportunities to share amenities or facilities with the School Boards.
  • Establish a Project Steering Committee and stakeholder groups for detail design of the facility.
  • Complete the site plan process and detailed facility design; this typically takes between 18 and 24 months.
  • Construction of a recreation facility is expected to take between 24 and 30 months, once detailed design is complete. 

Documents, reports and updates


The site evaluation Task Force process resulted in three reports to Council on December 12, 2016, March 20, 2017 and June 27, 2017. The June 27, 2017 report includes comprehensive information for the short listed sites and detailed project analysis, specifically speaking to splitting the facility, improving existing facilities and opportunities to partner with other service providers.

In October 2017, Council directed staff to explore partnership opportunities for recreation facilities. Request for Expression of Interest (RFEOI 2017-56) was issued to request proposals from community organizations. In December 2017, Council directed staff to enter into discussions with Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Discussions were to explore the potential to locate recreational facilities at the Cambridge Centre. Council resolved to cancel the RFEOI 2017-56 in February of 2019 and thank Morguard REIT for their participation in this process.

The City remains focused on ensuring an affordable solution that is in the best interest of taxpayers, sports and recreation groups, youth, and the community.