The City is building a new Community Recreation Centre (CRC) in the Don Mills corridor communities, located at 844 Don Mills Rd., near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Don Mills Road. This facility and the new park that will be developed beside the CRC, were secured by the City as part of the approval of the Celestica development proposal in June 2018.

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  • Fall 2021: Hire a design team
  • Winter 2022: Community engagement process starts
  • December 2022 to April 2023: Community Engagement Phase 1
  • Spring to Summer 2023: Community Engagement Phase 2
  • Fall 2023 to Spring 2024: Community Engagement Phase 3
  • Winter 2024: Detailed design
  • Spring 2026: Hire a construction team
  • Summer 2027: Construction starts
  • Winter 2030: Construction complete, Community Recreation Centre opens

Level of Engagement

This project has been classified as a Collaborate project based on the International Association of Public Participation Spectrum. This means we aim to partner with the public, stakeholders and rightsholders in each aspect of the design process, including the development of design options and the identification of a preferred design.

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Community Advisory Committee

This project has a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of representatives of the Don Mills community. The CAC’s mandate is to provide a forum for feedback, guidance and advice to the project team at key decision points during the community engagement process. The CAC will meet approximately one to two times per phase of the project. The CAC is not a decision-making body and does not speak on behalf of the entire community.

Indigenous Advisory Circle

This project has an Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) made up of representatives of the city’s Urban Indigenous population. The IAC’s goal is to inform Indigenous placemaking opportunities and provide feedback and guidance on the overall design for the community recreation centre. The IAC will meet once per phase of the project. The IAC is not a decision-making body and does not speak on behalf of the entire Don Mills community or the city’s Urban Indigenous population.

Youth Ambassadors

This project has Youth Ambassadors ages 15 to 24 that will represent the interests and needs of local residents within their respective neighbourhoods and communities. Youth Ambassadors will meet with the project team at every phase of the community engagement process to help inform the design process. Youth Ambassadors will lead a creative project to engage their communities about the designs and generate excitement for the project.

In this phase of the community engagement process, the City worked with the community and project advisory groups to define an overall vision for the new Community Recreation Centre (CRC). This phase also included opportunities to shape the CRC’s guiding principles (previously called design principles) and big moves, which will guide the development of design options in Community Engagement Phase 2.

Vision Statement

A vision is co-created with the community to describe the ideal future park or facility. It is a big-picture statement that should inspire everyone toward a common understanding of the project’s overall goals and objectives. The vision statement for the new CRC is:

The Don Mills CRC will be a modern, welcoming, sustainable, functional and flexible space where everyone feels like they belong. It will invite the community to engage, participate, learn, grow and come together while prioritizing safety and accessibility for people of all ages and walks of life.
Multifunctional spaces with diverse and intergenerational programming will accommodate visitor needs, foster a sense of community, and create a meeting place that supports health and wellbeing.

Guiding Principles

The guiding principles are high-level directions that reflect the community’s most important values and ideas for how the park or facility should look and feel. They help to clarify the vision statement and guide how the park should be designed by describing desired outcomes.

  1. Ensure the design supports equitable access and inclusion, creates a sense of belonging and lowers barriers to participation.
  2. Create opportunities for connection and integration between the building, the park, the public realm and the people from the surrounding community.
  3. Incorporate ambitious Net-Zero emissions (energy) goals and environmentally progressive design and processes throughout the construction and operation of the new CRC.
  4. Meaningfully include diverse community voices throughout the design process, including Indigenous community members and Treaty Holders (including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation).
  5. Design multipurpose spaces that are flexible and can meet the diverse and evolving needs of the current and future local community.
  6. Create a space that makes safety a priority for all staff and users

Big Moves

The big moves communicate the main priorities of both the community and the City for the design of the park or facility. They are specific directions for how the physical design can achieve the vision and guiding principles.

  1. Connect the CRC to the larger site and park by integrating indoor and outdoor spaces to support recreation and community activities throughout the year.
  2. Design the CRC to maintain and support the social and community-building activities of existing public spaces.
  3. Build a targeted Net-Zero emissions (energy) building.

Community Engagement Meetings and Events

April 2023

Youth Ambassador Meeting 1

On April 24, the first meeting with the Youth Ambassadors took place virtually to onboard the youth selected for the project.

March 2023

Public Youth Meeting

On March 22, an in-person public youth meeting took place for youth ages 15 to 24 to learn about the project and the opportunity to become a Youth Ambassador.

Download the March 2023 Public Youth Meeting summary.

Youth Ambassador Application

From March 10 to March 21, an online application was available for youth ages 15 to 24 interested in applying to be a Youth Ambassador for the community engagement and design process. Youth Ambassadors will represent the interests and needs of local residents within their respective neighbourhoods and communities.

Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) 1

On March 7, project information was shared in local Urban Indigenous community members. Feedback on the vision, guiding principles and big moves was collected.

Download the IAC 1 summary.

Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Site Tour

On March 3, the CAC did a site tour at York Recreation Centre to learn about the successful programming and best practices that could be considered for the Don Mills CRC.

February 2023

Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Meeting 1

On February 1, the first CAC meeting took place at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute to introduce the project to CAC members and obtain input on the draft vision, guiding principles, and big moves.

Download the:

December 2022

Virtual Public Meeting and Online Survey

On December 15, a meeting took place to share information about the project and provide an opportunity for community members to submit their application for the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Additionally, from December 15, 2022, to February 5, 2023, an online survey was available to collect feedback on visioning questions and insights on preferred program options for the CRC.

Download the December 2022 virtual public meeting/online survey combined summary.

Community Advisory Committee Application

From November 25 to December 18, an online form was available for those interested in applying to be on the Community Advisory Committee.

July 2022

Meeting with Recreation Staff

On July 6, the project team met with the City’s recreation staff to share best practices from existing community recreation centres.

September 2021

On September 13, North York Community Council considered the results of the Public and Community Needs Scan of the Broader Don Mills Catchment Area to support an exploration of alternative uses for the site at 966 Don Mills Rd.

June 2019

City Council

On July 16, City Council approved the Preferred Facility CRC and directed the City to proceed with the development of a comprehensive community engagement process to design, plan and develop the new CRC.

This phase was separated into two parts, A and B. In Phase 2A, feedback was collected from the community and project advisory groups on the early draft design. In Phase 2B, feedback was collected on refined draft designs based on feedback in Phase 2A. The feedback will be used to develop a preferred design for the Community Recreation Centre (CRC).

Draft Designs

Main Floor

The image displays a main floor plan for the Don Mills CRC, including a future park, two NHL sized arenas with seating for 200 spectators each, consolidated changerooms, an admin area, and aquatic facilities. It highlights proposed amenities such as program rooms opening to a park, a multi-purpose space with a community kitchen, and a lobby/atrium. The plan also poses community engagement questions regarding activities and design preferences. Notable features include a ramp to parking, universal wet changerooms for the pool, and considerations for making spaces welcoming to diverse groups.
Draft floor plan for the main level of Don Mills Community Recreation Centre.
The image showcases a 3D main floor plan for the Don Mills CRC, bordered by Mike Palmateer Rd., Don Mills Rd., and a future park. The CRC includes two NHL-sized ice rinks with surrounding spectator areas, a large swimming pool, various access points from the park, and a central reception area. The plan indicates parking and drop-off zones, EMS and loading/garbage access, and highlights the main entry.
Draft floor plan for the main level of Don Mills Community Recreation Centre.

Second Floor

The image illustrates the second floor plan of the CRC. It features an outdoor terrace with plantings and direct access to a fitness studio, an open fitness area with workout equipment, two enclosed fitness studios, and a double gymnasium. The layout includes a 250-meter walking/running track with views to the exterior, gymnasium, and down into the arena and pool below. The plan suggests a connection with nature and seeks community input on potential activities and the placement of fitness studios.
Draft floor plan for the second level of Don Mills Community Recreation Centre.
Draft 3D second floor plan of the new Don Mills Community Recreation Centre. the plan highlights the double gymnasium, running track, swimming pool, fitness studio, changerooms, two NHL sized ice rinks, and multipurpose rooms.
Draft floor plan for the second level of Don Mills Community Recreation Centre.

Building Section Views

The image is a sectional architectural rendering of the Don MIlls CRC. From left to right, the lower level begins with a fitness studio, followed by a multi-purpose area, both featuring park views and access. The center includes two large arenas illuminated by generous skylights for natural lighting. At the far right, the section overlooks Don Mills Rd., offering views from within the building. Below the arenas, a visible parking garage provides ample space for vehicles. The architecture demonstrates a thoughtful integration of light and space, aiming to create a welcoming environment for community activities and sports.
Draft design for the main level.
Draft building section view of the new Don Mills Community Recreation Centre. The second floor has the fitness centre and gymnasium. The first floor has a community hall and leisure and lap pools. The first floor has a two story lobby.
Draft design for the second level of the new Community Recreation Centre.

The draft designs for the new CRC were informed by feedback collected in Community Engagement Phase 1, including the vision statement and guiding principles. The draft designs reflect the vision statement by:

  • incorporating natural light, open lobbies and clear views into program spaces, creating an inviting atmosphere.
  • using natural building materials and meeting net-zero goals.
  • providing spaces that allow for diverse activities and community programming.

The draft designs reflect the guiding principles and big moves by:

  • accommodating people of all abilities, having spaces for various uses, such as prayer rooms,  accessible pathways and entrances and universal change rooms.
  • having connected spaces that blend multi-purpose rooms with the adjacent new park, allowing for the community to connect with nature while inside the CRC.
  • following standards for adequate sustainability by using natural building materials and striving to meet net-zero emissions in both the construction and operation of the CRC.
  • being informed by community v by collecting feedback from the City’s Urban and local Indigenous population and residents of all neighbourhoods surrounding the new CRC to ensure the new facility meets the community’s evolving needs.

Additional community feedback that informed the draft designs includes:

  • adding design elements that are inclusive and accessible that connect the CRC’s entrances to nearby transit stops.
  • emphasizing accessible health and fitness with programs and dedicated spaces for older adults, women and individuals with disabilities.
  • adding space for food-centred programming by including a modern community kitchen that can be used for initiatives aimed at addressing food security.
  • honouring Indigenous culture by providing cultural spaces for Indigenous-led programs and displaying Indigenous artwork.
  • ensuring safety and privacy with areas that provide privacy for various uses, like Indigenous ceremonies.

    Community Engagement Meetings and Events

    November 2023

    Virtual Public Meeting

    On November 7, a virtual public meeting took place to share information about the early designs for the CRC and collect feedback.

    Download the November 2023 virtual public meeting summary.

    October 2023

    Online Survey

    From October 18 to November 12, an online survey collected feedback on the early designs for the new CRC.

    Download the October 2023 online survey summary.

    Youth Ambassadors Meeting 2

    On October 4, the project team met with the Youth Ambassadors to provide a recap of their role in the project and present the early design options. The project team also helped the group develop a plan to engage their communities.

    Download the Youth Ambassadors meeting 2 summary.

    Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) 2

    On October 4, the project team met with the IAC to share a project update and collect feedback on the early design options.

    Download the IAC 2 summary.

    September 2023

    Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Meetings 2 and 3

    On September 28, the project team met with CAC members to collect feedback on early draft designs for the CRC. Feedback from this meeting informed the development of revised design options. A follow-up meeting took place on October 26 to provide CAC members with another opportunity to discuss the early draft designs with the project team.

    Download the CAC meetings 2 and 3 summary.

    In this phase of the community engagement process, the City will share the preferred design with the community and project’s advisory groups. Once the preferred design is confirmed, the project will move into the detailed design phase, where the design team will finalize the preferred design by working through the technical details and plans for the construction contractor.

    The community engagement activities anticipated in this phase include:

    • Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting
    • Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC)
    • Stakeholder meeting
    • City Disability Committee meeting (internal)
    • Meeting with recreation staff (internal)
    • Youth Ambassador creative report back
    • Youth open house (at a local school)
    • An open house

    The anticipated outcomes of this phase include a refined preferred design.

    A new Community Recreation Centre (CRC) is coming to the Don Mills community, near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Don Mills Road.

    This large, integrated, and multi-component facility will offer the diverse and growing communities of the Don Mills Corridor and beyond a range of year-round programs and services. Located at the former Celestica Lands site at 844 Don Mills Rd., the new CRC will be next to a new large park and all within walking distance of a planned Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (ECLRT) station and is part of the ongoing implementation of the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.

    The proposed CRC will include:

    • An indoor twin ice pad arena/multi-use indoor sports field
    • A large indoor lap and leisure pool
    • A double gymnasium
    • Multi-use community and activity spaces

    This image shows a map of the area surrounding the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Don Mills Road. A red star indicates the location of the future Don Mills CRC, just north of Wynford Drive on the west side of Don Mills Road.

    Previous Community Engagement: Recreate Don Mills

    In early 2019, community and stakeholder engagements were conducted to determine the CRC location that would best meet community needs. Two location options were presented to the community.

    The results indicated that locating a large ‘one-stop’ community recreation centre with arena, aquatics facilities, full gymnasium and multipurpose room uses at the former Celestica Lands (844 Don Mills Road) was preferable to two separate facilities.

    Based on the outcomes of the 2019 community engagement and recommendations by City staff, City Council directed the City to proceed with the Preferred Facility on the former Celestica Lands site.

    Project Scope

    The community engagement and design process for the Don Mills CRC will consider only the amenities, programs and services within the CRC located on the former Celestica Lands.

    Separate community engagement processes will be held for the design and programming of the one-hectare park next to the Don Mills CRC.