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Clearing the way for construction of new recreation facility

Posted on Thursday December 10, 2015
Schematic recreation
Schematic rendering of recreation facility

Progress on the Orillia Recreation Facility continues as the City moves forward with site preparation works on 255 West St. S.

The City is proceeding with the installation of a new construction entranceway, erosion and sediment control, and the clearing and grubbing of all plant material, trees, and stumps in the development area of the site, which includes the building location and naturalized area. These works will prepare the site for construction beginning in late spring 2016.

“Staff are working diligently with the architects to move this project forward on the timeline set by Council,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “With the detailed design of the recreation facility well underway, the site preparation works will keep the City on schedule for the anticipated opening in summer 2018.”

On Dec. 7, Council approved awarding the site grubbing contract to R & D Excavating Ltd. for the tendered sum of $219,684 plus HST. The clearing and grubbing of the development and naturalized area of the site are being completed at this time as required by the Environmental Impact Study completed for the site. Completing the site clearing in the winter months will minimize the impact on nesting birds and wildlife habitat in the development area. Site clearing and grubbing will start in mid-December and finish in April 2015.

Another aspect of preparing for construction is the removal of most of the environmental monitoring wells from the site. Pertinent wells remain in place for the annual monitoring programs required by the Certificate of Property Use (CPU). This work was carried out by Cambium Inc., the City’s environmental consultants. Throughout the entire project, Cambium will oversee work done on site to ensure compliance with the terms of the CPU.

City staff continue to work with MJM Architects to finalize the detailed design of the facility. Part of this phase includes meeting with key user groups to determine their specific needs such as change room amenities, deck space, information technology requirements, and office needs.

“Staff are reviewing every aspect of the building and confirming with our major user groups exactly what they’d like to see in the facility. We continue to work closely with the architects to make sure their final designs meet all of the requirements, while staying within the budget set by Council,” said Ray Merkley, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture.

The design development phase is anticipated to be complete by the end of January 2016, at which time the designs and refined costing will be presented to Council.

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at


Ray Merkley
Director, Parks, Recreation and Culture

Jennifer Ruff
Manager of Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)