Project Background

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

This modern, multi-purpose recreation complex will include:

  • 10 lane, 25m swimming pool and warm water leisure pool
  • 3 FIBA Gymnasiums
  • Running/walking track and fitness area
  • Multi-purpose rooms
  • Idea Exchange library location (Cambridge Public Library)
  • Park amenities

The facility will be located on city-owned lands, adjacent to a new public/catholic elementary school with 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 school boards 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 campus is located north of the intersection of Dundas Street South and Branchton Road.

The Recreation Complex is expected to be completed in 2026.

For more information or to review past reports scroll down to the Documents, reports and updates section on this page. 

Updates will be posted to this web page throughout the duration of the project. To receive an email when an update is posted, click subscribe at the bottom of the page.

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

Progress to date

  • Weekly polls called for feedback on Engage Cambridge from November 2022 until March of 2023. 
  • 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.
  • Council workshop to discuss the concept design took place on March 30, 2023.
  • Council approval of concept design - May 4, 2023.
  • Council approval of schematic design - October 24, 2023.
  • Sponsorship campaign is currently underway - please email all inquiries to 
  • Public engagement campaign -  December 2023.
  • Final design work and cost estimates currently underway.

Upcoming work

  • 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 Description
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. 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.

 Background Documents

Contact Information

Director of Recreation & Culture
519-623-1340 ext. 4512
Project Manager 
519-623-1340 ext. 4567