Expanding Recreational Programming Spaces in Vanier 

There is potential in every corner of our community. And that has never been clearer than when you look at a community’s needs and the spaces around it. 

The key is to find a way to make the two coincide. 

This past Spring, my team and I met on site with City staff and the head of education at the Ottawa Catholic School Board to review the potential for community use at two OCSB properties on Lajoie Street (next to Assumption school). The goal is to explore ways between the City and the School Board to allow two underused facilities to be transformed for the community’s benefit. 

Through this work, we are identifying the needs and shortfalls in Vanier as they relate to recreation spaces. This work will help to chart the way to a future redevelopment of the Lajoie properties into a modern and welcoming community Centre, complete with improvements to the large yard between the properties, which could meet our community’s needs and aspirations. 

In the meantime, we are very excited to share that the City has so far secured evening time blocks at Assumption school to bring evening drop-in programs to the heart of Vanier. Staff are also exploring bringing daytime programs for young parents and seniors to the other unused gym spaces at Lajoie. Moreover, we have a new City staff leader at Centre Richelieu, Samantha Head, who we can go to with ideas on how to meet the programming needs of the neighbourhood best. 

We look forward to continuing the conversation with the school board to explore the uses of relatively underused facilities to benefit the community. Through this work, we are identifying the needs and shortfalls in Vanier as they relate to recreation spaces. We have also well positioned our community through the City’s recreational facility masterplan to ensure future investments are launched in our priority area.