Cambridge Recreation Complex

The development of the new Cambridge Recreation Complex and the surrounding area will form an exciting new community hub in the south of the City.

This modern, multi-purpose recreation complex will include:

  • An 8 or 10 lane, 25m swimming pool and warm water leisure pool
  • Gymnasiums
  • Running or walking track and multi-purpose rooms
  • Branch location of IDEA Exchange (Cambridge Public Library)
  • Park amenities

The facility will be located on city-owned lands, along with new two elementary schools and a childcare facility. A neighbouring residential development called South Point is also underway.

The City, the Waterloo Region District School Board, Waterloo Catholic District School Board and the IDEA Exchange recently undertook a Joint Use Campus Feasibility Study to explore and identify synergies between all partners, and evaluate various campus and facility space programs.

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. Both facilities will have access to community park amenity spaces. 

The future joint-use campus will offer educational, recreational and cultural activities for all ages in a rapidly developing community. The 32.5-acre site is located on city-owned land, north of the intersection of Dundas Street South and Branchton Road.

On May 17, 2022 Council directed staff to complete two concepts of graduated value - a full build option at $101 million and a modified build option at $84 million.  Council will be presented with both options and will approve one. The approved concept design and budget will be move into detailed design, currently scheduled to take place in 2023.

The Recreation Complex is expected to be completed in 2026.

Watch the May 17 2022 Council Meeting and read the release

Photo Gallery: Recreation Complex - Joint Use Campus will appear here on the public site.

Progress to date

  • Work is underway with area developers and School Boards to prepare the city-owned lands for building construction.
  • Rough grading of the site was completed in 2020.
  • Construction of roads and installation of municipal services (sewers and watermain) started in December 2020. The construction work completed to date includes:
    • Wesley Boulevard: to be extended from the existing terminus west of Moffat Creek to Faith Street
    • Faith Street: from Wesley Boulevard to Dundas Street
  • A feasibility study was completed and approved by Council in February 2021.
  • Colliers Project Leaders Inc. has been contracted to perform project management duties throughout design and construction.
  • MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) has been contracted to design the new facility and site.

Upcoming work

  • Complete conceptual design and budget review for Council approval in Spring 2023
  • Review the space program to confirm that the facility will meet current and future community needs.
  • Complete the site plan process and detailed facility design.
  • Tender and award
  • Construction of the new recreation facility is expected to take approximately 27 months following contract award.
 Background
In 2014, the City completed a recreational facilities master plan that recommended the establishment of a large scale multipurpose sport and recreational facility to meet current and future recreational needs.

Two Council-appointed task forces were formed to advance the concept. The first task force determined, through considerable public input, what components should be included in the final design of the facility. On May 16, 2016, Council approved a concept plan for the multiplex which included the following functional programming elements:

• Aquatic complex with a 25 metre – 10 lane pool, a warm water/therapeutic pool and a leisure pool with spectator seating

• Triple gymnasium

• Fitness track

• Multi-purpose rooms and display space

• 4 (four) NHL sized ice pads (design 4 pads, construct 2 pads with spectator seating in one arena pad [phase I] and 2 additional pads at a future date [phase II]) - ice facilities have subsequently been planned at other facilities within the City and are no longer contemplated at the Recreation Complex.

In May of 2016 a second task force was established to undertake a community consultation process related to site evaluation and to present information gathered through this process. The task force comprised of 2 members of Council; 2 members of staff; and 5 members of the public and a Chamber of Commerce representative.

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.

In February 2019, Council directed staff to review the viability of locating recreation facilities at city-owned lands in Southeast Galt and/or the improvement of existing facilities. The Southeast Galt lands were purchased in 2007 by the City for joint development to support a new City community centre, a new branch of Idea Exchange (the Cambridge Public Library), and new schools for each of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB). The city-owned lands encompass 32.5 acres. Provincial policy encourages the development of community hubs to co-locate services for the neighbourhood community while maximizing the use of land. When the surrounding neighbourhoods are fully developed, a forecasted population of up to 26,500 is estimated within 1.5 km of the site (about a 15 minute walking distance). The site also known as the Joint Use Campus will be accessible from Dundas Street South, Franklin Boulevard, Myers Road, the Regional South Boundary Road (under construction), and the proposed future Regional East Boundary Road.

In April and May of 2019 staff and Council provided information to the public and sought input on the project. Further, Council invited sports user groups and residents to provide their input regarding the project at two delegation nights on Monday May 13 and Tuesday May 14, 2019.

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

  • Construct a recreation complex at the city-owned lands in South Cambridge 
  • 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

In 2020, City staff initiated a Feasibility Study with the WRDSB, WCDSB, and Idea Exchange (Cambridge Public Library) to explore opportunities to share amenities or facilities on the Joint Use Campus (city-owned lands in South Cambridge). Council approved the Feasibility Study on February 18, 2021 and directed staff to proceed with design of the one campus/two buildings model.

In May 2022, in response to construction market price volatility, Council directed staff to proceed with 2 designs of graduated value - one at $101 million and the second at $84 million. Detailed design and cost estimates will be completed throughout the facility design process to remain on budget.

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.

Documents, reports and updates

Contact Information

Director of Recreation & Culture
519-623-1340 ext. 4512

 

Project Lead - Recreation Services
519-623-1340 ext. 4567