On Tuesday June 18, 2019 City Council decided to move forward with:

  • Building a recreation complex at the city-owned Southeast Galt lands with:
    • 25m swimming pool
    • Gymnasiums
    • Fitness track and multi-purpose rooms
  • Expanding and improving the Preston Memorial Auditorium to make it a twin pad facility
  • Planning for decommissioning of John Dolson Centre Pool, Karl Homuth Arena, Duncan McIntosh Arena and Dickson Arena as new or improved facilities become operational
  • Discussions with 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 June 18, 2019 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.

Photo Gallery: Recreation Complex SE Galt will appear here on the public site.

Next steps

 Southeast Galt
To move forward with the recreation complex at the Southeast Galt lands staff will:
  • Prepare a report to Council for financial approval of the project which will include:
    • Capital cost for design and construction
    • Associated tax impact due to debt financing, operation of the facility and contribution towards future repairs and renewal of the facility
  • Establish a Project Steering Committee and stakeholder groups for detail design of the facility
  • Work with area developers and school boards to prepare Southeast Galt lands for construction (Grading and servicing expected to start later in 2019)
 Ice facilties
To move forward with expanding and improving ice facilities staff will:
  • Prepare a project plan for enhancement and expansion of Preston Memorial Auditorium
  • Review a request from Buckingham to expand and improve the Cambridge Sports Park, including meeting with stakeholders to understand their requirements and expectations
  • Report outcome of discussions with Buckingham to Council in Fall 2019

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 initiate discussion with Waterloo Region Sports Hosting Office and others regarding a regional facility with a 50m pool.
 Possible construction timing
There are several steps to prepare for construction. The next step is to 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. 

Documents, reports and updates

Background and notes


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.