The City is planning for new recreation facilities to serve the three growing communities along the Don Mills corridor for the next 50 years and beyond.
When planning for future recreation facilities, the City takes into account:
The communities along the Don Mills corridor (Don Mills-Lawrence, Don Mills-Wynford, Don Mills-Flemingdon) are diverse, with a wide range of incomes, cultures, ages and needs. The corridor will see significant growth in the future, with more 14,000 residential units and approximately 25,000 new residents. More than 75% of that growth will be concentrated at Don Mills and Eglinton. The new facility(s) must serve residents of all ages and abilities, accommodate a wide mix of programs and services and have large gathering spaces to support communities year-round.
The City is recommending a large, integrated facility that would be located on the Celestica Lands north west of Eglinton Avenue East and Don Mills Road. The City also sought feedback on an alternative proposal. Both scenarios are outlined below.
The preferred 125,000 square foot integrated facility would provide a large leisure and six-lane pool, double gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms and a twin ice pad that converts to a multi-use indoor sports fields. This facility would offer a seamless user experience in a single location and provide the community with a wide range of year-round facilities, programs and services in a one-stop shopping model.
This option is an opportunity to build a unique recreation facility, located in a park setting, allowing programs to spill out into the park and enabling the facility to allow direct access from the pool, gym, and ice pads/sports courts into the park.
The preferred option would also allow for a wide mix of drop-in and registered programming and would increase capacity to serve residents of all ages and abilities from each of the three communities now and in the future.
This facility would be located nearest to the future growth planned for the Don Mills corridor and would be easily accessed by public transit along the planned Eglinton LRT line and the Don Mills bus routes.
In the alternate proposal, a 27,000 square foot community recreation facility would be built at the north west corner of Don Mills Road and The Donway West (966 Don Mills Road) southeast of the existing Don Mills Civitan Arena Building near the Shops at Don Mills, and a second community recreation facility of 100,000 square feet would be built at the Celestica Lands. The 27,000 square foot community recreation facility at the Shops at Don Mills location would include a gym with walking track, multi-purpose rooms and amenity space. The location offers more convenient access to the Don Mills and Lawrence community but is further away from the estimated future growth in Don Mills, as well as the Wynford and Flemingdon communities. The smaller facility size limits the amount and variety of programs that can be offered, and limits the ability to respond to future recreation demand.
The 100,000 square foot community recreation facility at the Celestica location would include a twin ice pad arena, an aquatic facility with a 6-lane pool and leisure pool, a multi-purpose room and amenity space. It would not include a gym with walking track. The lack of gym space and additional multi-purpose rooms will restrict the ability to provide active and sport programming. It also limits the type and variety of programs at the site (such as camps and sports).
This split model would require residents to go to two different facilities based on their program needs, and presents several design challenges, including accessibility requirements and meeting City design standards.
The Don Mills Community Recreation Planning Project has completed the public engagement phase and will be reporting to Council on the results of this engagement as well as a recommended approach. Once a facility option is selected and approved by Council, the City will move forward on recreation facility design targeted for 2020. The design process will allow for additional community engagement for residents in all communities across the Don Mills corridor.
Public engagement has included four stakeholder meetings, six pop-up engagements across the Don Mills corridor, one public open house meeting and an online feedback form. Staff engaged with more than 525 residents and stakeholders.
A public open house was held Monday, May 6, 2019.