Today, the governments of Canada, Ontario and Brantford celebrated the start of construction for the new Laurier Brantford YMCA athletic facility. The new fitness centre will serve the growing athletic and recreation demands of Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations residents, as well as students from Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford Campus, Nipissing University Brantford Campus, and Mohawk College Six Nations Polytechnic. 

Site preparation for the facility is now taking place, including excavation, lagging, shoring on Water Street and sewer work on Colborne Street. Construction of the centre is expected to be complete sometime in fall 2017. During initial archaeological assessments in October 2014, 1,000 to 1,500 year-old Aboriginal artefacts including stone flakes from the production of tools and pottery fragments were uncovered, and a thorough archaeological investigation of the grounds is now underway. The assessment is expected to be complete sometime in spring 2015. Despite these findings, workers have been able to continue to work away from the three sites where the artefacts were found.

Thanks to funding provided under the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund, the new complex will include an aquatic centre that will meet teaching, fitness, therapy and leisure needs; a fitness centre consisting of multi-purpose spaces for group fitness; and a gymnasium with retractable seating for up to 1,200 spectators. Students and residents will also benefit from social, cultural and educational programming offered at the facility.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has committed $16.7 million through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component for this project.
  • The Government of Ontario has committed $16.7 million and the City of Brantford has approved $5.2 million for the project.
  • Wilfrid Laurier University and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford will be responsible for all remaining costs. Laurier and the YMCA have announced two leadership gifts of $1 million each, as well as a commitment of $3.6 million from the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. Total project cost is estimated at $58.4 million.
  • The Complex, which is estimated at approximately 130,000 square feet and will span five floors, is expected to be completed in 2017.

Quotes

“This project is a game-changer for our community. The new YMCA-Laurier Brantford Athletic and Recreation complex will be an architectural landmark in our revitalized downtown for many years. It will deliver social, athletic and educational opportunities for students and families, and will help ensure that Laurier Brantford has the capacity to grow into a full-fledged university campus.”

Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

“The Laurier Brantford YMCA will become another jewel among Brant’s recreational assets, adding an outstanding quality of life component to our community. The addition of this facility to Laurier’s campus will enhance Laurier Brantford as a destination of choice for new post-secondary students. Infrastructure investments like this also promote economic growth and job creation.”

The Honourable Dave Levac, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brant 

“We are very excited that construction on this state of the art facility is now underway in Brantford. The Laurier Brantford YMCA athletic complexwill be a major attraction providing significant benefits to citizens, students, and visitors, while further contributing to the successful transformation of downtown Brantford. We look forward to the opening of a new Brantford landmark that will enrich and improve the health and wellness of the people in this community for years to come.”

Chris Friel, Mayor of Brantford

“This project is vitally important to Laurier’s expansion plans in downtown Brantford.  With this new facility, Laurier students will have access to one of the finest athletic centres in the country.”

Dr. Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University

“After much anticipation, we're realizing a future centre of community that will improve the health of local Brantford, Brant County, and Six Nations residents as well as Laurier students. We appreciate the continued commitment and support of our federal, provincial and municipal partners as well as local donors who are key champions for this project.”

Jim Commerford, President & CEO, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford

Associated Links

Governments Support Laurier Brantford YMCA Athletics and Recreation Complex: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/media/news-nouvelles/2012/20120907brantford-eng.html

To learn more about the Building Canada Fund–Major Infrastructure Component (MIC) visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/prog/bcf-fcc-eng.html.

For additional information on the New Building Canada Plan, visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/plan-eng.html.

To learn more about the Government of Canada's focus on jobs and the economy consult Canada’s Economic Action Plan at http://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/home-accueil-eng.html.

 

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Contacts

Vincent Rabault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
613-943-1838

Christina Crowley-Arklie 
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
416-326-6082

Maria Visocchi
Manager of Communications
City of Brantford
519-751-9900 ext 214
mvisocchi@brantford.ca\

Kevin Crowley
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070
kcrowley@wlu.ca
Follow Laurier on Twitter at @lauriernews

Kyla Kumar
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford
905-529-7102 ext. 7311
Kyla_kumar@ymca.ca
Follow the YMCA on Twitter at @ymcahbb

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
media@infc.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter at @INFC_eng