Brock University has broken ground on what will be the focal point of the upcoming Canada Summer Games in St. Catharines.
On Monday, board of trustees chair Gary Comerford put a shovel in the ground that will become Canada Games Park, an athletic facility being built on the university’s campus.
“As we started this journey, it was a thought, a little crystal of an idea,” said Comerford. “We had no idea it would end up where it has, but it takes people with vision, stamina and guts to make it happen. At the end of the day, everyone came through.”
The complex will be built on the southeastern corner of Brock’s main campus. The land, valued at about $12 million, was part of Brock’s contribution to stage the Games. It has previously housed part of Brock’s parking lot, baseball diamonds and unused green space.
Comerford says Brock and its partners — the City of St. Catharines, Thorold and Niagara Region — will own the facility, and the university will join St. Catharines and Thorold in operating it.
Two ice rinks, a gymnasium, an outdoor track, a cycling centre and beach volleyball courts are slated for the space, as well as a research building.
The complex will also be the home of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being.
Niagara Region will host the biannual Canada Summer Games from Aug. 6 to 21, 2021.
The Games are the largest multi-sport event in Canada, with participants from all provinces and territories.
Brock University will be heavily involved in hosting the Athletes’ Village as well as swimming and other events.