Community members of all ages came out to celebrate the official opening of the Orillia Recreation Centre at a special grand opening event on Aug. 19, 2022.
The facility, located at 255 West St. S., opened in October 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, an official grand opening was not held at the time to comply with public health regulations.
“The Orillia Recreation Centre was a long-awaited and much-anticipated facility for our community. It has become a hub of activity and provides our community with sport, recreation and fitness opportunities for all ages and abilities,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “This facility is something the entire city can be extremely proud of and we are already seeing the positive impacts this facility is making in our community. I would like to thank everyone who had a part in making the vision of this community centre come to life.”
The grand opening included a ribbon cutting ceremony and activities such as Wibit obstacle course swims, arcade games and bouncy castles, face painting, live music, a scavenger hunt and refreshments and food generously sponsored by Leadbetter Foods.
The Orillia Recreation Centre has become home to local sport organizations such as the Orillia Suns Volleyball Club, the Orillia Lakers and the Orillia Channel Cats, who were on hand at the grand opening event to celebrate the facility and the impact it has had on their organization.
“Swimming in the new aquatic centre has been incredibly rewarding for every age level that swims competitively. Between the 2.5-metre wide lanes, the moveable floor and the state-of-the-art timing system, the Channel Cats are now well positioned to officially set records in a 25-metre pool and, for the first time ever, offer Huronia Short Course Regional Championships with a home advantage,” said Meredith Thompson-Edwards of the Orillia Channel Cats.
The 132,801 sq. ft. facility was constructed between 2016 and 2020 and transformed a once vacant brownfield site into a modern, state-of-the-art recreation facility in the core of the city. The site was selected by Orillia Council in 2015 as part of the City’s commitment to facilitating the redevelopment of brownfield properties across Orillia. The redevelopment has been recognized nationally with a 2016 Brownie Award for the rehabilitation of the brownfield at 255 West St. S.
“The opening of the Orillia Recreation Centre was a significant milestone for the City and the largest municipal project in the city’s history. Staff from all departments participated and contributed to the facility’s vision, creation, and operations and I would like to thank them for their contributions. We are very proud to offer our community so many new programming options as a result of this fantastic facility,” said Gayle Jackson, Chief Administrative Officer.
The Orillia Recreation Centre welcomes approximately 2,000 people per day and features:
- 25 m, eight-lane lap pool with a viewing area;
- Therapeutic pool;
- Leisure pool with play features;
- Gymnasium with two FIBA-sized basketball courts and a viewing area;
- Childcare room;
- Multi-purpose room;
- Fitness centre, including studio fitness rooms;
- Walking/jogging track.
For more information about the Orillia Recreation Centre, please visit orillia.ca/orc.