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Dorset Recreation Centre

Due to ongoing construction and plumbing work at the Dorset Recreation Centre, the public water refill station located beside the centre may be intermittently unavailable to the public. The Township will do its utmost to ensure these interruptions in service are as brief as possible. Thank you to residents for their patience and understanding as we move toward completion of this important project.

February 15, 2024

Progress continues on the Dorset Recreation Centre Rehabilitation Project! New walls, flooring, electrical and plumbing and components have been installed in the facility. There is a new ventilation system, and work on a new washroom and lobby area on the building's main floor is underway. A new fire exit passage has been constructed on the building's lower level.

Mold has been remediated from the centre, with air-testing showing favourable results. Following excavation work around the DRC's periphery, sub-contractors performed waterproofing on the facility's foundation walls. With that work now complete, backfilling and grading has also been performed around the building. 

Council will soon review designs for a new entranceway. It is anticipated the project will be completed in early 2024, and Council is discussing plans for a grand re-opening celebration later in the year. Dorset residents will continue to see plenty of action at the DRC!


The Gonneau Group is completing the required work at the site. During a May 18 meeting, Travis Wilson of Engage Engineering Ltd., a firm retained by the Township to assist with the project, told members of Council a proposal from the Gonneau Group was very thorough, and that the company had completed similar projects in the area previously. Five companies pre-qualified to make bids on the job, with a single bid received by the Gonneau Group. 

During a December 8, 2022 meeting, Council chose a design-and-build model for the rehabilitation project at the rec centre. A report from that Council meeting can be found here.  Discussion on the project is a standing item on the agendas for meetings of Algonquin Highlands Council. 

We know the closure of the Dorset Recreation Centre has been frustrating and that the facility is a vital and well-loved asset. We all look forward to the work getting underway. Continue to watch this space for ongoing updates and timelines. 

The Township of Algonquin Highlands has hired a project manager, and part of the role of this staff member is overseeing the work at the centre. 

The discovery of issues at the DRC came in 2021 during a small-scale removal of a moisture-damaged area in the downstairs bathroom, and further investigation found the issue was widespread. The Township undertook a professional assessment to provide recommendations and cost estimates to repair the problem areas. As well as addressing insulation and waterproofing, pandemic-related provincial direction on ventilation requires improvements, with overall estimated costs of some $900,000.

To help alleviate the costs, the Township applied to the Ontario Trillium Fund for the mold/moisture related issue, a process which took four months. Unfortunately, that application was unsuccessful, so Council directed the costs be included in the 2022 municipal budget, specifically from Reserves. Luckily, the ventilation portion of the project has successfully received $100,000 in funding from the separate Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure Grant fund.

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