The City is planning a new community recreation centre at the southeast corner of Sorauren Park, adaptively reusing the existing former Canadian Linseed Oil Mills Ltd. building (1910).

  • Summer 2018: Public Meeting to introduce the project
  • December 2019: Design team hired
  • Summer 2020 to Early 2023: Community engagement and design development
    • Summer 2020 to Summer 2021: Phase A, Building a Vision
    • Fall 2021 to Fall 2022: Phase B, Exploring Design Options
    • Fall 2022 to Early 2023: Phase C, Setting a Direction
  • Spring 2022 to Spring 2023: Detailed design
  • Summer to Fall 2023: Hire a construction team
  • Winter 2024: Construction starts
  • Spring 2027: Construction complete, community recreation centre opens

The timeline is subject to change. Text in bold indicates the current project phase.

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 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:

  • an indoor pool
  • a gymnasium, and
  • flexible multi-purpose program spaces

Background and Technical Reports

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 Ashley Wilson, Senior Project Coordinator, at 416-392-3592.

Indigenous Advisory Circle

As part of the design consultation process, an Indigenous Advisory Circle was established. The goal of this advisory group is to ensure the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre is welcoming to Indigenous Peoples and uses, and reflects the historic and ongoing presence of Indigenous Peoples.

If you are an Indigenous community member interested in joining the Indigenous Advisory Circle please call 416-318-1887 or email Alex.Lavasidis@toronto.ca.

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This section is organized as follows:

  • What Happened in This Phase
  • Project Vision, Design Principles and Big Moves
  • The Angler Building Placement
  • Community Engagement Meetings and Events

What Happened in This Phase

  • Established a vision, design principles, and “Big Moves” (key goals) for the centre’s design.
  • Presented and collected feedback on site design options for the size and placement of the new centre in Sorauren Park. “The Angler” was selected as the site design option to be further refined through continued community engagement.
  • Established and met with the Community Resource Group (CRG), which included representatives from local community organizations. The CRG serves as an advisory body to the project team at key decision points during the community engagement process.
  • Established and met with the Indigenous Advisory Circle to ensure the new centre is welcoming to Indigenous Peoples and uses, and reflects the historic and ongoing presence of Indigenous Peoples.

Project Vision, Design Principles and Big Moves

The following project vision, design principles, and big moves will direct the centre’s design moving forward. These were developed and refined based on multiple rounds of community and stakeholder consultation.

Project Vision

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.

Design Principles

  1. Physically design spaces to support equitable access for all people, regardless of income, race, gender, ability, age, culture, housing status, religion, or spoken language, and to ensure all feel welcome, a sense of belonging, and do not experience barriers to participation or access.
  2. Recognize the site’s history and preserve elements of built and cultural heritage. Research and recognize Indigenous presence on the land; consult with Indigenous Peoples on how this is best accomplished. Collaborate with Heritage Preservation Services to retain and restore the chimney and principle facades, and any significant heritage elements of the Linseed Oil Factory as required.
  3. Incorporate ambitious Net-Zero emissions (energy) goals and environmentally-progressive design and processes throughout the construction and operations of the new Centre.
  4. Support the community-building activities that the Town Square and Field House provide, while allowing for physical changes to both.
  5. Incorporate community meeting spaces and the ability to host arts-based uses into multipurpose and outdoor spaces whenever possible.
  6. Design to encourage access through active transportation and transit, and providing a limited amount of parking as the site allows.
  7. Ensure integration between the building and the park. Provide integration between indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the year, as weather permits.
  8. Design for the future by building for the recreation needs of a growing and changing community through flexible spaces, integration with future community assets (e.g. connection to the West Toronto Rail Path), climate resilience, advances in technology, and emergency-preparedness.

Big Moves

  1. Provide the full community recreation centre program as mandated by Council (indoor pools, gym, and multi-purpose spaces), requiring an addition to the existing Linseed Oil Factory.
  2. Connect the recreation centre to the larger site and park by providing integration between indoor and outdoor spaces to support recreation and community activities throughout the year, as weather permits.
  3. Design to maintain and support the social and community-building activities of existing public spaces.
  4. Collaborate with Toronto Heritage Preservation Services to retain and restore the chimney and principle facades and any significant heritage elements of the Linseed Oil Factory as required.
  5. Build a targeted Net Zero Emissions/(Energy) Building.

The Angler Building Placement

Based on community feedback and input from the City’s operational staff, “The Angler” was confirmed as the site design option to be further refined through continued community engagement.

The images and description of the Angler site design option displayed here were presented during community engagement events from spring to summer 2021.

Aerial layout of the Angler Site Design option. The new addition is north and above the existing factory building.
Site plan.
The Angler design option Building Massing and Placement. Top image shows massing view from southwest looking northeast. Bottom image shows massing from Wabash Ave looking northwest. The building is about 4 stories with the new segments located on top and north of the existing factory.
Design plan.

Angler: Building Massing and Placement

  • Building massing is expected to be 4-storeys in height.
  • Aquatic building components to be located at grade and located north of the historical building.
  • Multipurpose and Administrative components to be in the historical building occupying the first storey adjacent the Town Square and second storey.
  • Gymnasium and Running Track to be located on the third and fourth storey and will extend from the historical building to the north over the Aquatic building component.
  • Lobby / Atrium areas will connect the historical and new building addition and serve as a link between the new parking area and the Town Square.

Angler: Relationship with Park

  • Town Square will remain in its current location and will be integrated into the overall development through new hardscaping and park connections.
  • The building mass creates an eastern edge to the Town Square and a transition landscape to the park following the railway corridor.
  • Dogs off-leash area will remain in its current location with a 20 per cent reduction in size.

Fieldhouse structure is not impacted by the proposed building option.

Community Engagement Meetings and Events

August 18, 2021

Local Indigenous Advisory Circle Meeting 2

The purpose of this meeting was to:

  • Provide an update on actions being taken based on member feedback from the last meeting.
  • Gather design suggestions for the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre, to make sure the space is welcoming for Indigenous community members and uses.

A project update was presented followed by a discussion. Discussion questions included:

  • Do you have feedback about “The Angler” preferred building placement option?
  • What features or uses should we consider to make the indoor multi-purpose spaces and outdoor spaces appropriate for Indigenous uses (e.g. events, programs, meetings)?
  • Do you have ideas for how you would like to see art or plantings reflect the Indigenous history of the area or celebrate the continued presence of Indigenous peoples around the site?
  • How can we make the community centre more open and inviting for Indigenous peoples?
  • Do you have any other feedback or questions?

July 2021

Indigenous Youth Engagement

To ensure the centre is designed to be welcoming for Indigenous youth, the project team held an online youth workshop with ENAGB Youth Board Members. The workshop lasted approximately 40 minutes and was hosted online using Google Jamboards, an interactive online platform that allows participants to vote, leave notes and questions throughout the workshop.

Download the ENAGB engagement summary.

Local Youth Engagement

To ensure the centre is designed to be welcoming for local youth, the project team held online youth workshops with two local grade eight classrooms (Fern Avenue Jr. and Sr. Public School and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School). Each workshop lasted approximately 30 minutes and was hosted online using Google Jamboards, an interactive online platform that allows participants to vote, leave notes and questions throughout the workshop.

Download the youth engagement summary.

June 8, 2021

Community Resource Group (CRG) Meeting 3

The purpose of the meeting was to review and discuss the results of the third phase of engagement and discuss next steps.

Download the:

May 5 to May 31, 2021

Online Survey

Feedback and preferences on various design options was collected in an online survey from May 5 to May 31. The survey received approximately 1,175 responses.

Download the May 2021 online survey summary.

May 27, 2021

Indigenous Advisory Circle Meeting 1

The goal of the Circle is to ensure the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre is welcoming to Indigenous Peoples and uses, and reflects the historic and ongoing presence of Indigenous Peoples. Initial members include representatives from the Treaty Holders, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and two local Indigenous community members.

The purpose of the first meeting was to:

  • Listen to suggestions about how to ensure the new Wabash Community Recreation Centre is welcoming to Indigenous Peoples and uses, and reflects the historic and ongoing presence of Indigenous Peoples in the area.
  • Share information about the project
  • Answer questions about the project

A project overview was presented followed by a discussion with the Circle members.

May 11, 2021

Virtual Public Meeting

A virtual public meeting was hosted on May 11, 2021, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Staff presented draft site design options and collected community feedback.

Download the:

April 27, 2021

Community Resource Group (CRG) Meeting 2

The purpose of the meeting was to confirm the project vision, design principles, and big moves; share and seek feedback on the draft site design option; and, to provide the project team with constructive feedback and suggestions on the draft materials to be presented at the public meeting.

Download the:

October 5, 2020

Online Survey

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.

August to October 2020

Conversations with Community Stakeholders

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.

September 28, 2020

Virtual Small Group Discussions

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.

September 22, 2020

Virtual Townhall

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.

Download the

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.

September 16, 2020

Community Resource Group (CRG) Meeting 1

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.

July 10, 2018

Public Meeting and Workshop

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.

This section is organized as follows:

  • What Happened in This Phase
  • Draft Preferred Design
  • Community Engagement Meetings and Events

What Happened in This Phase

Presented and collected feedback on a draft preferred design for the new centre.

Draft Preferred Design

The draft preferred design renderings were presented at the start of the Phase B: Exploring Options, to gather feedback from community members about how to further refine these designs.

The use of the colour white in the renderings is a placeholder. Materials and colours will be determined through additional study and discussion.


Community Engagement Meetings and Events

March 2, 2022

Community Resource Group (CRG) Meeting 5

The purpose of the meeting was to present and seek feedback on the developing design for the new centre, which has incorporated feedback from the last round of public consultation.

Download the meeting summary.

November to December 2021

Youth Engagement

Project staff held three youth engagement sessions with:

  • City of Toronto Parkdale Youth Group on November 17
  • Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School Grade 9 Students on November 24 and December 3

Download the Youth Engagement Summary.

November 3 to 17, 2021

Online Survey

An online survey was available from November 3 to 17, 2021 to collect community feedback on the draft design for the new centre. Hard copies of the survey were available by request. The survey received approximately 670 responses.

Download the survey summary.

November 3, 2021

Virtual Public Meeting

In this fourth virtual public meeting, the design team presented and collected community feedback on a draft design for the new centre.

Watch the meeting recording. Automatic closed captions are available in many languages.

Download the:

October 20, 2021

Local Indigenous Advisory Circle Meeting 3

The purpose of this meeting was to:

  • Provide an update on the design development
  • Work together to develop design elements:
    • Landscape features including potential sacred fire pit and small water feature for ceremony, and plantings
    • Potential rooftop features
    • Public art opportunities for the site
    • Interpretative signage or other features
  • Collect input to further develop and refine designs, with a focus on:
    • Community Kitchen
    • Multi-purpose rooms
    • Aquatic and gymnasium spaces
    • Other elements of the design

A project update was presented followed by a discussion about the various design features.

October 14, 2021

Community Resource Group (CRG) Meeting 4

The purpose of the meeting was to present and seek feedback on the developing draft design for the new centre.

Download the:

This phase of the community engagement process will start in late fall 2022. In this phase, a final proposed design for the new centre and surrounding landscape (a revised version of the draft preferred design) will be presented to the local community for a final round of feedback and revisions.