The Town of Bracebridge made history on April 28 by breaking ground on the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre (MLCC). This state-of-the-art community centre will serve residents for generations to come and contribute to a healthy, vibrant and thriving community.
The accessible, approximately 113,640 square foot community centre includes a 1,000 seat arena, modern library, auditorium, indoor multi-sport fieldhouse, common lobby, 330 parking stalls, outdoor play spaces, and an area retained for a future second arena to accommodate the community’s growth projections.
In October of 2014, the Town of Bracebridge adopted a Preliminary Feasibility Plan for the development of a new Recreation Complex to replace the existing Bracebridge Memorial Arena, built in 1949. At the time, the Bracebridge Public Library was also looking to expand their services and required additional space. Library service at the Bracebridge Public Library began in 1908 and underwent a renovation in 1984.
Shortly after the completion of the 2014 Feasibility Plan, the Town approached Cindy and Monty Goble to see if they would consider a community centre as an appropriate development on a portion of their property in the heart of the town. Cindy and Monte not only gave their blessing for the use of their land for the purposes of building a community centre, they donated the 22 acres required for the new facility.
In September of 2019, the town engaged the services of MJMA architects and their associate firms who, over the past three years, have met with community members and stakeholder groups to design a community centre that will meet the needs of residents and visitors to Bracebridge for generations to come.
“The construction of this transformational community centre facility will give the town the opportunity to develop a program mix that will consolidate community activities and library services to respond to increased density and the demographic and cultural realities of a growing community,” said Mayor Graydon Smith. “The facility will attract users from across all demographics in the region and offer opportunities as a place of convergence, sponsoring new activities and interests, as well as fostering volunteerism and community partnerships.”
The facility is inclusive, using principles of universal design, and provides visual connections between programs and activities, sparking interest and promoting participation throughout the community, irrespective of age, ability, ethnicity or income.
“While infrastructure like this takes time to complete, today we hand over the site from Fowler Construction, who completed the site enabling works, to Aquicon Construction, who is responsible for the construction of the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre,” said Mayor Graydon Smith. “In two years from now, Aquicon Construction will be handing over the MLCC to the Town, and again, we will celebrate all of the hard work and support put in by various departments, community groups and funding partners throughout the years.”
The Muskoka Lumber Community Centre would not have been possible without the generous contribution of $16,862,234 by the Provincial Government. Further, local businesses and community donors have been contributing to the project and supporting it in a tremendous way.
In 2021, Muskoka Lumber and Building Supplies generously contributed $2 million dollars over twenty years for naming rights to the community centre and arena. Since then, 12 more businesses and community donors partnered with the town by securing naming rights sponsorship to locations and amenities in the MLCC. Sponsors to date include Fowler Construction, Quemby Electric, Muskoka Rock, Hoos Law, Muskoka Leon’s, Siftt Electric, Proline Rentals and Bins, Muskoka Insurance, Gilbert and Larkin LLP, Norstar Exteriors, Castle Peak Retirement Residence, and the Hutchinson Family.
The town’s project team, Colliers Project Leaders, MJMA and Aquicon are confident that the new Muskoka Lumber Community Centre will be open to the public by the summer of 2024.
Regular project updates are provided by the town as work on the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre continues. For further information on the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre Project, please visit Engage Bracebridge. For a list of remaining naming rights sponsorship opportunities, click here.