Working together to strengthen communities
Core Neighbourhood Rec Centre
Quint Saskatoon | January 13, 2016

Core 
  Neighbourhood Redevelopment
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Core Neighbourhood Rec Centre

Intended to serve the King George, Riversdale, and Pleasant Hill neighbourhoods, the rec centre is still in the very early planning stages. The City of Saskatoon, YMCA, and Saskatoon Tribal Council are working together to see if the project will be feasible.

  • City Council identified a recreation facility located in one of the core neighbourhoods as a 4-year priority. 
  • The Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study for a proposed city centre recreation facility was completed in July [3]. This study along with an overview of next steps was presented as information to the City's Planning Committee and to City Council in September.
  • The partners met in September to begin discussion on clear decision milestones and financial contributions, both capital and operating, for a new facility.

The organizers hope to have a working agreement in place by the end of the year. The project would then be designed, and a location would be mapped out. If everything goes well, the project will be built in late 2018, at the earliest.

Potential locations suggested in the Study are the White Buffalo Youth Lodge and the vacant land across from Station 20 West, both on 20th Street West in the west side core neighbourhoods. Regarding the possible location, the report prepared for the partners noted:

"Community members from the core neighbourhoods want to see the facility located within a core neighbourhood, outside of the downtown core, to allow for easier access for community members. STC and White Buffalo Youth Lodge staff indicated that a location near or at the existing WBYL location would be ideal as it already is convenient and known to their members who access programs and services there. Likewise, the YMCA staff and Board suggest a location near the existing YMCA for the same reasons." [3]

"There will not be one location that is ideal for all parties and members or users of the facility. The critical success factors regarding location choice will need to consider:

  • Accessibility–vehicle and walking distance from high percentage of the population
  • Parking
  • Public transportation access
  • Corridor/route from downtown to the new facility (via walking, biking, public transport, personal vehicle)
  • Safety of the location
  • Best Practices and Lessons Learned
  • Willingness / ability of the closest population to purchase memberships or pay for services."
There are many questions to be answered before the neighbourhood development project can proceed -- one of the most important being what do you think should be in a rec centre that serves the core neighbourhoods. What would you like to see?

Info sources: 

1 2015 Corporate Business Plan Third Quarter Report July 1 to September 30, 2015.
2 CBC News Residents brainstorm about core neighbourhood rec centre.
3 Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study for a Proposed New Joint Use Recreation Facility; Prepared for YMCA of Saskatoon, City of Saskatoon and Saskatoon Tribal Council, by MNP, June 30, 2015 [the report is on pages 32-162 of the document].