Dorset Recreation Centre Update

December 20, 2022

The Township continues to make strides on the Dorset Recreation Centre rehabilitation project.

Algonquin Highlands received Expressions of Interest from five companies regarding the necessary work at the facility. This process was to attain an understanding of the abilities of local contractors and receive their input on project execution. During a December 8 meeting, Council chose a design-and-build model for the project. A report from that Council meeting can be found here.

Engage Engineering Ltd. has been retained by the Township to assist with the project and will soon issue a Request for Proposals to the interested companies able to complete the work.

We know the closure has been frustrating and that the DRC is a vital and well-loved asset. We all look forward to the work getting underway. Watch this space for ongoing updates and timelines. 

The Township of Algonquin Highlands will be recruiting for a newly created Project Manager position, and part of the role of this staff member will be overseeing the work to remediate these issues and complete improvements to the building.

The discovery 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.

Currently, the work plans are being finalized, and when the contract is tendered and awarded, a re-opening timeline can be determined. 

There is still lots happening so please take a moment to review the Township’s online recreation activity. Recreation staff are available to assist.

The costs are not insignificant, and the Township chose not only to fix the identified problems, but also to invest further in this vital community link.

The staff report on this can be found on the Township of Algonquin Highlands website on the September 16, 2021 Council agenda. 

You can find the Activities Calender here


About the Dorset Rec Centre 

The Dorset Recreation Centre is fully appointed with an air-conditioned squash court, weight and fitness room, meeting rooms, two kitchens, showers and a gymnasium equipped with volleyball, basketball, floor hockey and pickleball equipment. The facilities are available for meetings, parties, workshops, dances and weddings. 

The Recreation Centre also offers access to public computers, printing and is a free wireless hotspot.


Facility Hours - Currently closed 

Monday to Friday CLOSED
Saturday and Sunday CLOSED
Closed Statutory Holidays


Squash Court bookings

Bookings are not available at this time.

Contact Information

Dorset Recreation Centre
1051 Main Street, Box 99
Phone/Fax: 705-766-9968


Dorset Recreation Centre Membership Application