Orillia Recreation Centre

Located in the pleasant City of Orillia, this state of the art recreation centre houses a large eight-lane 25-metre pool with moveable floor. The aquatic centre has a top of the line therapy pool and leisure pool; as well as a steam room to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of aquatic exercise.

This architecturally pleasing building, is also the home of two very large, FIBA-sized gymnasiums with plenty of space to play basketball, and walk around. Not too far from the gymnasiums, is a 5000 sq.ft. fitness centre offering professional personal training and small groups.

However, magnificence does not come without its share of obstacles. The site of the Orillia Recreation Centre located at 255 West Street South, had a primarily industrial past. The site used to be home to an old forgery that at one time manufactured iron products including buggies; military vehicles; toboggans and snow mobiles. The old industrial uses led to a site that remained vacant and polluted for many years. Being in a central location in the City of Orillia, only blocks away from City Hall, the City was determined to transform this vacant brownfield into a Community Centre and greenspace that locals can be proud of.

The site constraints were numerous. Under a CUP permit issued by the Ministry of the Environment, the site would be developed carefully to ensure it would be safe for public use. The site would have to be capped with a clay liner and covered by compacted earth, with the historic remains of the old industrial building buried for another generation to unearth.

As the site water table could not be disturbed, underground sewer servicing had to be installed above the clay liner to protect from potential cross-contamination. The building would be constructed with a permanent venting system at the foundation level to ensure any below grade gasses would be piped and vented safely. And where underground services could not be constructed due to sub-surface conditions , a stormwater management strategy utilizing predominantly surface drainage features, including swales, channels, culverts and shallow surface depression areas were implemented.

The site would be completed with a large parking lot fronting west street; a maintenance access and parking lot from the newly re-constructed Queen Street, which was also designed by our firm; and carefully graded landscape areas incorporating seedings and native plantings surrounding an asphalt nature walk.