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Orillia’s new recreation facility is taking shape

Posted on Wednesday June 28, 2017

Although it may not be obvious from the view on West St., construction is well underway at the site of the new recreation facility in Orillia. Behind a large mound of soil, construction crews have been hard at work laying the foundation for the new recreation facility.

Mayor Steve Clarke, members of Council and members of the recreation fundraising volunteer group had the opportunity to dip their “steel toes” into the pool, or where the pool will soon be, during a site tour on June 28, 2017.

“What a surreal feeling to be standing where our 25-metre pool will be. To see the foundation poured and walls going up is incredible,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “This project is the biggest in the City’s history. Our residents have been waiting for a very long time for a recreation facility. When complete, the facility will not just be a building for users to swim or workout, but it will be the social heart of our community.”

Acapulco Pools, the sub-contractor completing the aquatic installation is now on site preparing to start constructing the pool basins. In addition, underground electrical work is underway and site grading at the western portion of the building is being completed with the placement of the clay liner and soil.

“The foundations and footings for the building are well underway with much of the pool area complete,” said Kent Guptill, Director of Facilities and Special Projects. “Construction of the footings, pads and walls have been ongoing for the past two weeks in the area of the pool and change rooms and will continue over the next coming weeks.”

The Recreation Centre Campaign Team, comprised of volunteers from the local business community, have set a goal to raise approximately $2 million in donations to help fund the facility.

“I have been waiting a long time to see this facility built,” said Mike Davenport from the Recreation Centre Campaign Team. “It’s very exciting to see the progress first-hand. Having the ability to speak to residents and businesses about the construction activity will certainly be helpful as we begin to ramp up our fundraising campaign.”

Council awarded the construction of the Orillia Recreation Facility to The Atlas Corporation on Aug. 17, 2016. The $53.7 million project includes an aquatic centre (lap pool, leisure pool, and therapy pool), gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, a walking/jogging track, preschool room, office space and fitness centre. Included in the overall project budget is the site naturalization and landscaping of the entire 36-acre site, including trails and a pedestrian bridge that will link the site to the City’s Lightfoot Trail System.

Construction of the facility is estimated at approximately two years, with an anticipated summer 2018 opening. For more information on the recreation facility project visit

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


Kent Guptill
Director of Facilities and Special Projects

Melissa Gowanlock
Manager of Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)