Nearly $155 million budget and contractor approved for Whitby Sports Complex

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Published July 27, 2023 at 11:21 am

The proposed design of the Whitby Sports Complex.

The Town of Whitby’s new Sports Complex is getting ever closer to launch with the approval of a nearly $155 million budget and the selection of the contractor to build it.

The Whitby Sports Complex has been in the works since the spring of 2020 when the Town launched the project after their Culture, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Strategic Master Plan learned the public wanted a new facility.

The town learned this through a ConnectWhitby engagement session which resulted in one of the Town’s largest community feedback results and found 80 per cent of respondents strongly agreed that sport facilities were a key contributor to the quality of life in Whitby.

The three most popular amenities identified in the public session were; outdoor areas, gymnasiums, and aquatic facilities. Respondents felt that the Complex should accommodate space to play, for community events and to socialize as their most important priorities.

After this feedback was collected the Town added two lanes and a second-floor viewing area to the pool, a double-sized gymnasium and new space for outdoor activities like skating. These alterations better aligned the Complex design to residents’ favoured desire for an open “Active Plaza” design.

As a result the Complex will feature;

  • an aquatic centre, featuring a ten-lane pool, second-floor viewing area and a separate lounge pool, set to be the largest pool in Durham Region
  • the double gymnasium with a three-lane walking track,
  • an arena with two ice pads (85′ and 190′ respectively)
  • “flexible” spaces for community events, meetings and cultural and arts activities, and
  • a cycling pump track,
  • a skatepark,
  • pickleball, tennis and basketball courts,
  • a multi-use sports field
  • a playground, and
  • a water play area

The town selected a site on Baldwin Street South, just south of the intersection with Hwy. 407 and opened contractor bidding back in March. On July 27, town council approved a $154.9 million budget to construct the Complex. This funding mostly came from developement charges the town required developers to pay in order to build in town.

This resource may not exist much longer, however, as the Ontario Government slashed development costs last fall. Towns like Whitby depend on these fees to fund infrastructure spending and without them may have to raise taxes to offset the lost revenue. Whitby already has the highest tax bill in Ontario adjusted for average house price. As a result Mayor Elizabeth Roy called the cut “unacceptable.”

That same day they set the budget, council chose Ledcor Construction Limited to build the place.

“I am very pleased that council has approved the investment necessary to support the construction of the Whitby Sports Complex,” said Roy, “Getting this new facility built is a key action item of our new Community Strategic Plan and will help ensure that we can meet the recreational needs of our growing community for years to come. Public input has played a major role in shaping the design for this new facility and I can’t wait to see it come to life as construction unfolds.”

Whitby estimates the Complex will begin construction later this year with a Groundbreaking ceremony early next.

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