Orillia Recreation Centre Opens Soon

By John Swartz

Workers are still putting the final pieces in place at the Orillia Recreation Centre. Floors are being polished, trim installed, then office furniture will be moved in and set up. By month’s end user groups like the Channel Cats will be using the pool, and just after Thanksgiving the general public can start running, walking, lifting weights and swimming.

“I would say by mid-October we’ll get some of the programming (running),” Ray Merkely, director of Park Recreation and Culture told those taking part in a media tour Monday afternoon.

Orillia Recreation Centre
One of two full size basketball courts at the Orillia Recreation Centre.

A grand opening will have to wait because at the moment only 50 people per area will be allowed into the building. That means 50 in the pool, 50 in the gym, 50 in the fitness room, and various other areas of the center have been designated for a 50 person capacity.

Until things change regarding pandemic restrictions, people will have to book time to use the center, register when they arrive, and there are various requirements for using/cleaning equipment to be observed.

Mayor Steve Clarke said the cost of constructing the center looks like it will come in just at the original $56 million budget, despite several bumps to the contingency fund since construction started to account for solving soil issues, and various change orders. Construction was delayed, obviously by the pandemic, and also because there were some trades on strike in Ontario and a skilled trades manpower shortage.

Find more details about facilities and user rates here.


See more video here.

(Photos and Video by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)


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