Across Canada, residents are feeling the impacts of COVID-19, on their families, their livelihoods, and their way of life. Together, the governments of Canada and Ontario are taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities to ensure community infrastructure is safe and reliable, while looking ahead to see what more can be done in these unprecedented times.
On Tuesday, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt; the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure; Bob Bailey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sarnia–Lambton; and His Worship Jody Wilman, Mayor of the Township of St. Joseph, announced joint funding for 35 recreational and community infrastructure projects across Ontario.
The Government of Canada is investing over $19.1 million in these projects through the Community, Culture, and Recreation Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing over $15.9 million, while recipients are investing over $13 million in their respective projects.
Among the projects announced is the Centennial Grounds Sports and Culture revitalization project in the Township of St. Joseph. The project involves the construction of a new screened room for cultural events, washroom and shower facilities, as well as shade structures to support multiday cultural and sporting events. Work also involves the installation of new topsoil and grass for grounds field and corral areas, and the expansion of a corral area for an additional soccer field. Once completed, this project will allow the Centennial Grounds to accommodate further community sports and cultural events.
In Tillsonburg, funding will support the rehabilitation of the Tillsonburg Community Centre. The project includes replacing the pool area tile floors, upgrades to the pool roof, lighting, health club and sauna. Work will also expand the pool's change rooms to allow for family and gender-neutral accessibility, the installation of a new ramp entry into the pool, and the construction of a new 3,600 square foot outdoor splash pad. This project will improve accessibility and increase the quality of community and recreational infrastructure by providing residents access to an improved and accessible pool and modern outdoor facilities.
The project in Hornepayne will see its community arena transformed into a community centre and hub. The scope of the project includes upgrading the existing hockey arena, curling club, and youth space, and expanding the community centre to add a seniors' socialization space with a community kitchen, a public library, fitness facility and a multiuse gym and meeting space. This work will provide residents with access to increased opportunities for sports, recreation, and cultural activities in an accessible and modern community centre.
Additional investments in other recreational infrastructure projects across Ontario include upgrades to community trail systems and parks, accessibility improvements to community centres, arenas, pools, and sports fields, and upgrades to local theatres and other cultural facilities.
All orders of government continue to work together for the people of Ontario to make strategic infrastructure investments in communities across the province when needed most.
"Ensuring Ontarians have access to recreational infrastructure is vital for community well-being and development. Today's investment in 35 recreation, community, and cultural projects across Ontario will provide thousands of residents access to modern recreational infrastructure where they can come together to create new connections, maintain healthy and active lifestyles and enjoy valued social and recreational programs. Canada's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"Recreational infrastructure is the cornerstone of healthy communities. The investment announced in the Centennial Grounds Sports and Culture revitalization project in the Township of St. Joseph will ensure that our community and others like it across Ontario, can provide residents with state-of-the-art facilities that are both accessible and reliable and where they can stay fit and healthy for years to come."
Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt
"Local and accessible recreational opportunities are so important to personal, family and community health. These investments will help thousands of residents in Ontario reconnect with themselves and each other through indoor and outdoor activities and will contribute to our health, safety and wellbeing in our communities."
The Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure
"Today's investment in the Sarnia-Lambton community will give residents access to modern recreational infrastructure where they can come together to maintain healthy and active lifestyles and enjoy valued social and recreational programs. Ontario's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."
Bob Bailey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sarnia–Lambton
"We would like to thank Infrastructure Canada for its support of our Centennial Grounds revitalization project. This work will update and enhance this multi-use public space which is a prime location for community sports fields, concerts, community events and family celebrations."
His Worship Jody Wilman, Mayor of the Township of St. Joseph