Welcoming Pembina Active Living 55+ to Whyte Ridge Community Centre

Photo Credit: Douglas Little Photography

This is excellent overview by the Sou’Wester of exciting new developments at Whyte Ridge Community Centre. I’ve been working with Pembina Active Living 55+ (PAL) for many years trying to secure a home base for their many programming activities. Many thanks to President Curtis Rossow, Sandra Sukhan and all Whyte Ridge Community Centre board members for thinking outside the box and looking at potential ways to add new vitality to the community centre space. PAL has a membership of upwards of 300+ older adults who are very engaged in south Winnipeg. They will be working to upgrade the community centre facilities, both inside and out! Older adults have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and this location brings new hope and excitement to the members with the ability for inside and outdoor program activities.

Whyte Ridge club makes new PAL

By: Susie Strachan     Posted: Mar. 5, 2021

A south Winnipeg seniors’ organization and a community centre are joining forces to keep both thriving.

Pembina Active Living (PAL) 55-plus seniors recently signed an agreement to move into the Whyte Ridge Community Centre, after a five-year hunt for a new home.

Bob Roehle, PAL’s president, said the seniors’ organization’s current home at Grace Christian Church was proving to be too small for programming and drop-in programs.

“The church on Barnes Avenue shut down due to COVID, and we also knew they’re planning a condo development on their parking lot, which would also affect us,” he said. “We wanted a space, when we can return to in-person programming, that would be large enough for our group and have ample parking and outdoor space.”

PAL board member Sandra Sukhan suggested they take a look at the Whyte Ridge club building, located at 170 Fleetwood Rd., as did Coun. Janice Lukes (Waverley West), their local councillor.

“The reasoning was that the community centre needed us, as much as we needed them. When the big recreation campus will be built, that will leave the satellite community centres looking for tenants,” Roehle said.

PAL has contracted to be at Whyte Ridge three days a week, during the daytime, and will have use of an office for their two staff members, a meeting room, multi-purpose room and a small kitchen.

“Storage is a big deal for us,” Roehle said, “and they have lots of space for that. We’ll have room for seniors to drop in for coffee in the main lobby, and that big space for our clubs and activities.”

PAL would like to play pickleball on the three outdoor courts in the summer months and is hoping to have a garden space on the grounds and a patio space for people to sit and visit. The community centre sits on 4.4 hectares of grounds, with walking trails.

“When Manitoba Health says we can meet in groups again, the new site will be there to welcome our members,” Roehle said.

Curtis Rossow, the president of the Whyte Ridge Community Centre, said the club was sitting empty during the daytime, as most programming is in the evening and on weekends. The club often sits empty from late September through to June in a normal year.

The club has recently made its washrooms accessible by wheelchairs, installed new lighting and painted the multi-purpose room.

“PAL has some office and storage renovations they would like to make,” Russow said. “This is exciting for us. It gives us an opportunity to generate some funds, and we’ll be reaching a demographic that is outside of our usual programming, mostly kids’ sports.”