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Ground broken for expansion of Town Park Recreation Centre in Port Hope, Ont.

Ground was broken on Friday for expansion of the Town Park Recreation Centre in Port Hope, Ont. Breaking ground were, from left, Dalren Construction's Kevin Clement and Matt James, Coun. John Bickle, Deputy Mayor Les Andrews, Mayor Bob Sanderson, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini and MP Philip Lawrence. Municipality of Port Hope.

Ground was broken Friday morning to launch the Town Park Recreation Centre in Port Hope, Ont.

Municipal leaders were joined by Northumberland-Peterborough South’s Conservative MP Philip Lawrence and Progressive Conservative MPP David Piccini for the official ground-breaking ceremony on the $3.4-million facility, which will replace the Ruth Clarke Activity Centre (RCAC) as part of the town’s Strategic Plan.

Opened in 2002, the Town Park Recreation Centre on McCaul Street has been a key site for many recreational programs, activities, a youth centre, day camps and the annual Port Hope Fair.

Read more: Town Park Recreation Centre in Port Hope receives $2.2M in government funding for expansion project

The federal government is providing $1.2 million and Ontario $1 million for the project — funding announced in March 2021 — after the municipality applied in November 2019 via the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The municipality is providing more than $800,000 toward the project. The municipality had committed $800,000 in both the 2020 and 2021 municipal budgets. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2023.

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Expansion will include 6,225 square feet of new program space for the centre. Plans include:

  • three multipurpose rooms
  • accessible washrooms
  • welcoming lobby and customer service space
  • additional staff offices and storage
  • a new kitchenette
  • an outdoor courtyard area for future development

“We are excited to move into the next step of this project with (contractor) Dalren Limited and see the plans for the expansion of the centre come to fruition,” said Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson. “The long-awaited expansion project is in response to the growth of the older adult population and will provide improved facilities to serve our seniors and all other residents of Port Hope.

“We’ve coined the tagline ‘growing together’ as our project theme, which points to our growing population, the expansion of the facility, and the increase of our multi-generational community opportunities.”

Peter Huffman, chair of the RCAC’s seniors activity centre board, says he’s thrilled to see that the expansion of the Town Park Recreation Centre includes space for seniors’ programs and increased programming for all ages.

“The creation of accessible, appropriate spaces for programs to meet the current and future needs of Port Hope’s seniors is exciting and we look forward to the opportunities this new space will present,” said Huffman.

The Town Park Recreation Centre in Port Hope will undergo a $3-million renovation project. Municipality of Port Hope

Lawrence and Piccini both said Port Hope has an active and vibrant senior population that will benefit from the expansion of the recreation centre.

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“Government works when we work together,” said Lawrence. “That is why I am so pleased to have worked with my provincial and municipal counterparts to get shovels in the ground for the Town Park Recreation Centre Expansion Project. I am excited to see the programming that this expansion will bring to Port Hope.”

Added Piccini: “Our government is proud to work collaboratively with partners at all levels to get it done for seniors in Northumberland-Peterborough South. The Town Park Recreation Centre has always been a focal point of our community. This expansion will create more programs and will allow for more participation, keeping seniors healthy, engaged and social.”

The municipality says current programming at the recreation centre will continue with “anticipated minor disruptions” during construction.

Updates on the project will be available on the municipality’s website.

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