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Orillia Recreation Facility on track for summer 2018 opening

Posted on Tuesday September 22, 2015

For immediate release (Sept. 21, 2015) – The vision for the Orillia Recreation Facility at 255 West St. S. is coming to life. The City of Orillia is moving forward with design development of the project, following the successful completion of the schematic design phase. 

“Staff and the project architect have been working diligently to move this project along and I am happy to say we are on schedule for a summer 2018 opening of the Orillia Recreation Facility,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Council made building a recreation facility one of our top priorities and we are moving full-steam ahead on making it a reality.” 

At its meeting on Sept. 21, 2015, Council Committee recommended moving forward with Phase 1 of the Orillia Recreation Facility project, which includes an aquatic centre, gymnasiums, fitness centre, multi-purpose rooms, a walking/jogging track, preschool room, and office space. 

Completion of the schematic design phase determined the location of the building on the site, building foundation requirements, the establishment of a soil management plan, compliance with City of Orillia Zoning By-law requirements, including setbacks, height, landscape requirements and parking, and the confirmation of water and sewer services being able to accommodate the development. It also that confirmed the project is on budget. 

Additional schematic design work was completed for a potential Phase 2 of the project, which would include a single dry pad component and a single 1,000 seat arena. Although design development will only proceed for Phase 1 of the project, it will include the power and municipal services required to accommodate Phase 2 in the future. The upgrades required for Phase 2 are estimated to add approximately $150,000 to the Phase 1 costs, which can be accommodated within the approved project budget of $50.6 million. 

All Council Committee recommendations must be ratified by Council at its meeting on Sept. 28, 2015. 

“Council is balancing the potential future needs of our community with its immediate needs, while placing great emphasis on being financially responsible,” said Mayor Clarke. “We don’t want to limit our recreation options in the future, but without external funding opportunities available, we understand proceeding with Phase 2 would not be the responsible choice at this time.” 

As part of the schematic design process, the City met with major stakeholders in the community including Lakehead University, Georgian College, Orillia Suns Volleyball, Orillia Channel Cats, and Orillia Lakers to reaffirm their input and needs are captured in the Phase 1 design amenities.  Additional stakeholder meetings will take place during the design development phase. 

The design development phase of the project will delve into the detailed design of the facility, including specific costing. Design development is scheduled for completion in early 2016, at which time the project will move onto construction documentation and tendering, with an anticipated construction start date in late spring 2016. 

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 


Mayor Steve Clarke
City of Orillia
Ray Merkley
Director, Parks, Recreation and Culture

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