The City is planning a new community recreation centre at the south-east corner of Sorauren Park, adaptively re-using the existing former Canadian Linseed Oil Mills Ltd. building (1910).
Timelines are subject to change.
The design of the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre will build on 20 years of planning and consultation work by both City staff and the local community, which has played a strong role in driving this project forward.
The City first identified the Wabash site in a 1999 report as one of five historically under-served areas. The site, including the former Canadian Linseed Oil Mill factory, was purchased by the City in 2000 in order to develop a community recreation centre.
Thanks to the advocacy and fundraising by Friends of Sorauren Park and the local community, several improvements were made to the site, including renovations to the Field House in 2008, and the construction of the Town Square in 2014.
The City’s new 20 year Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan again identified the community recreation centre project as a priority for the City, this time specifying that it should include:
The site of the future Wabash Community Recreation Centre is bordered by Sorauren Park to the west and north, Wabash Avenue to the south and the CPR Railway corridor to the east. It is 6,734 square metres in size (outlined in red in the preceding image).
Over the past 20 years, a number of background and technical reports by third-party consultants were completed to inform the development of the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre. Given changes that have occurred to the neighbourhood and to City policies over time, these reports will be used to inform the new design where findings are still valid and applicable.
Full background and technical reports are not available in an accessible format and are therefore not posted to the project website. Instead, an executive summary of each report is available, with a reformatted and accessible copy of each executive summary also available.
To request a copy of any full report, please contact Doug Giles, Senior Project Coordinator, at 416-392-0989 or Doug.Giles@toronto.ca.
The following project vision, design principles, and big moves will direct the community recreation centre’s design moving forward. These were developed based on multiple rounds of engagement, and refined through consultation with the community and stakeholders in Fall 2020. They will be finalized after additional feedback from the Community Resource Group in early 2021.
The Wabash Community Recreation Centre will be a space where all community members, regardless of income, race, gender, ability, age, culture, housing status, religion, or spoken language can come together, feel welcome, feel belonging, and participate in recreation and community-building activities. The social and community-building activities of both the Town Square and Field House are fundamental to the success of the new Centre and any physical changes to these features will continue to support these activities. The Centre will be physically accessible to all and prioritize environmentally sustainable design by targeting Net-Zero emissions and energy use. The design will recognize the site’s history, from the historic and enduring presence of Indigenous Peoples on the land to the recent industrial history. Multi-season use, multi-functionality, and integration between indoor and outdoor spaces will be considered throughout the design to ensure community members have access to flexible and functional spaces they can use for a wide range of activities throughout the year, and as the needs of the community change over time.
Feedback collected through the survey helped the project team refine the project vision, design principles, and big moves, which guide the design of the community centre moving forward. The survey closed on October 5, 2020. Download the October 2020 online survey summary.
Virtual small group meetings, similar to in-person round-table discussions, took place on September 28, 2020, between 6 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Participants were able to select a 45-minute time slot to share their thoughts and hear from others.
Download the discussion summary.
A virtual townhall took place on September 22 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feedback collected through the Townhall helped the project team refine the project vision, design principles, and big moves, which guide the design of the community centre moving forward.
Due to a technical error, a meeting recording is not available. Instead, the written transcript provides a record of the meeting events and the feedback collected.
The purpose of the first meeting was to kick off the Community Resource Group by reviewing and confirming the Draft Terms of Reference, introducing the project and the project team, and by presenting and seeking feedback on the draft proposed vision, design principles, and design goals/Big Moves.
Download the CRG meeting 1 summary.
This round of public consultation will:
From August to October, the project team held calls with various community stakeholder groups to resume the community engagement process for the new recreation centre, introduce the project team, understand community priorities and interests in regard to this project, and share the public engagement process and upcoming public engagement events.
Download the summary of these conversations.
Through a proposal call process, the City has hired the award-winning architectural firm of Diamond & Schmitt Architects Incorporated as prime consultant, along with their team of sub-consultants (Engineers, Heritage Architect, Landscape Architect and Public Engagement consultants), to begin the design process.
City staff hosted a public meeting to introduce the project to the community and to hear initial ideas on potential facility programs/features the community might like to see for the recreation centre. Feedback from this meeting helped to inform the scope of work and hiring of the project’s Consultant Team.
Download a summary of the meeting.
An important part of the planning process includes obtaining feedback from the community to ensure that diverse voices are heard and all ideas and recommendations are considered. The City is working with Swerhun Inc. – consultation and engagement specialists – to ensure that community members and stakeholders are involved in the Wabash Community Recreation Centre planning process.
Engagement for this project will look different than in the past. As we follow guidelines around COVID-19, we will be hosting online meetings, and collecting feedback through online surveys, by telephone, and through the mail.
Check out the Project Progress section to read about past engagement opportunities. New opportunities will be posted here when they are available.
The City has formed a Community Resource Group (CRG) with representatives from various local community organizations to serve as an advisory body that acts as a sounding board to the project team at key decision points during the consultation process. The CRG meets multiple times throughout the design process.
The application process for the CRG is now closed. If you have any questions about the CRG process, please contact Khly Lamparero, engagement team from Swerhun Inc. at email@example.com or call 416-642-6605.
CRG meeting summaries are located in the Project Updates section.
Type (don’t copy and paste) your email into the box below, check the box next to the e-update description and then click “Subscribe”. You will receive an email with instructions to confirm your request.