Bronson Centre, Centennial Park renos among Ottawa projects slated for millions in public spending

City of Ottawa employees will have until Nov. 15, 2021 to get double vaccinated against COVID-19 after the deadline was extended. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Two community institutions and 30 parks across Ottawa are set to receive millions in combined infrastructure spending from the three layers of government over the coming years.

The nearly $8 million in funding announced Tuesday will see renovations to the Bronson Centre and the Carlington Community Health Centre (CCHC), as well as a new skate park and two basketball courts added to Centennial Park. In addition, 29 other parks in Ottawa will receive upgrades to make play structures, benches and other seating in the outdoor amenities more accessible.

The total funding is made up of $3.5 million from the federal government, $2.9 million from Ontario and $1.4 million from the City of Ottawa.

The Bronson Centre and CCHC are meanwhile footing part of the bill for their planned upgrades and the Manotick Culture Parks and Recreation Association has raised funds for the Centennial Park project.

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Work is already underway at the Bronson Centre, a community hub in Centretown that sees roughly 20,000 people pass through its doors on a monthly basis in non-pandemic times.

Corey Mayville, the centre’s executive director, said during a press conference Tuesday morning that residents can expect to see scaffolding out front of the building on Bronson Avenue within the next week as work begins on making the historic structure’s entryways more accessible and touching up the brickwork on the south- and west-facing facades.

The original Bronson Centre building was constructed in 1928, with the “youngest” of its four structures finished in 1962.

“It does need some TLC,” Mayville conceded.

Others on the call recalled their memories taking languages classes or attending public events in the Bronson Centre’s theatre over the past few decades.

The CCHC will use its funding to finish up work started a few years ago on a new building at the corner of Merivale Road and Coldrey Avenue, with a primary care clinic on the bottom floor and 42 affordable housing units added above.

Carina Duclos from the city’s infrastructure team said work on upgrading the 29 other city parks in Ottawa will take place “over the next few years,” with eight or so projects ready to start renovations this summer.

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The public funding stems from the feds’ Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream, which will see more than $700 million in spending between the federal and provincial governments over the next decade.

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