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Dorset Recreation Centre

WATER STATION RELOCATION: Please note that as of Tuesday, Aug. 29, the water refill station at the Dorset Recreation Centre will be temporarily relocated to the northwest corner of the Township garage, which is located directly next to the rec centre on Main Street.

September 7, 2023

Work on the Dorset Recreation Centre Rehabilitation Project is underway! Contractors are on the ground and are continuing to conduct air quality testing, as well as taking measurements for HVAC upgrades to the facility. Township Staff have been examining, cleaning and relocating equipment within the centre, and large-scale construction work is set to begin very shortly. Residents should expect to see ongoing activity 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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