The City is looking for your feedback on the first Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan. The plan will provide a framework to help the City determine what municipal parks and recreation facilities we will need in the next ten years to serve the needs of residents. They provided their Draft Plan at Council on May 26th and I have raised concerns about aging facilities (lack of modern programmable spaces), equity considerations as well as the deficit of investments in existing facilities such as pools, gyms, fields and arenas in the City’s core. 

As a growing population in the downtown core and inner urban areas, there have been no new recreation facilities since the Plant Recreation Centre was built in 2001. This brings into questions the aging facilities in the core and how this affects their programming capabilities and use. A 5-year-old facility in Kanata cannot be seen as meeting the same standards as a 70-year-old facility in the core. I also raised concerns about the population measurements used to arrive at facility recommendations. I am concerned that the growth in our community since amalgamation has not been taken into consideration and that data from the Ottawa Neighbourhood Equity Index is not being embedded in the review. Equal access to these community and recreation spaces is critical. 

The City has now opened a second round of public feedback and you can participate here. With the above considerations in mind, please take the time to share your feedback. Facilitated Zoom events are also being planned for this week. More information here: https://engage.ottawa.ca/parks-and-facilities-recreation-master-plan

Your engagement is needed to ensure our growing population in the core has equal access to our recreation needs, specifically facilities.