Recreation Facility Is A City Responsibility

The City’s Preliminary 2018 Budget does not include any significant capital funding for a South Winnipeg Recreation complex for the next 6 years.

As a point of reference, the new $20M Field House building at Dakota Community Centre took 2 years to construct and 5+ years to secure funding.

To be clear, recreation is a CITY responsibility.  Other levels of government can fund recreation if they choose, but will only do so when the City has identified it in their budget. It is not the Provincial or Federal responsibility to lead on recreation infrastructure for the City.

I will continue to work closely with the South Winnipeg Community Centre to address this serious issue. For more information, please see previous articles I have posted:

Thank you to  the Sou’wester for sharing information on this important story.

Time to get a new rec centre built


This column will attempt to summarize 12 years of work focused on developing a new South Winnipeg Recreation Complex. Additional details can be found at

The City of Winnipeg’s Recreation Policy states 1.88 square-feet of heated recreation space is required per person. In 2005, before a shovel went in the ground for the development of Waverley West, South Winnipeg had the largest recreation deficit in all of Winnipeg at 1.71 sq.-ft./pp.

The 2016 Stats Canada Census population count is resulting in a total of .67 sq.-ft./pp. and by 2020, it will be .53 sq.ft./pp. of recreation space for residents in South West Winnipeg; well below the City Policy of 1.88 sq.-ft./pp.

How can this be? The 2004 City of Winnipeg ‘Public Use Facilities Study’ (PUFS) report recommends when new developments reach 15,000 people, a community centre should be built. The 2005 General Council of Community Centres  “Plan 2025” recommends regional recreation centres be developed in large emerging communities.

Since 2005, Waverley Heights and Richmond Kings Community Centre community board members have been actively working with City to develop a plan, budget and timeline.

In 2014 another study was conducted identifying tremendous community support for a large recreation campus in southwest Winnipeg. Ironically, no land was ever set aside for a recreation facility, large or small, in the planning of Waverley West. Again, how can this be?

Quite simply, no mayor has prioritized the development of a recreation complex in southwest Winnipeg.

Under the current City of Winnipeg governance model, projects prioritize by a mayor receive support of his executive policy committee and move forward. We’ve seen this occur with the current mayor’s priorities; the opening of Portage and Main, wi-fi on buses, a downtown dog park, and other initiatives.

Since elected, this has been my top priority and I’ve managed to secure funding for land ($4 million) a library ($12 million) planning of land and facility development ($350,000) and potentially $5 million towards construction of the facility. I’ve asked for additional $30 million in capital funding to be included in the 2018 budget’s five-year forecast. A recreation facility to support the population of South West Winnipeg is estimated anywhere between $60 million and $100 million.

I’m working with the South Winnipeg Community Centre board to develop a message to help the mayor understand that 68,000-plus residents of South West Winnipeg require an expanded recreation facility to enable a healthy strong community. Residents may be asked to help share this message. Watch for updates.