Some of Brampton’s aging recreation centres are about to get much-needed TLC thanks to the 2018 budget.

For years recreation centres in older neighbourhoods, most notably Bramalea, have been falling apart due to neglect.

After the city completed its parks and recreation master plan, which provided a framework for planning and development, reports came back suggesting the closure of at least one of the old centres such as Howden, Balmoral and Terry Miller, among others.

Howden Recreation Centre, in particular, has been under scrutiny for some time. The city has invested over $1 million over the last decade to maintain the 42-year old structure. It also needs another $4.4 million in repairs to be brought up-to-date.

But now it looks like a bunch of them will be getting a new lease on life. The latest budget, which will be approved by council in early December, looks to earmark funds to renovate and expand Balmoral, Chris Gibson, Howden, and Loafer’s Lake in 2018.

Balmoral Recreation Centre – $10 million (design and construction)

  • Expand from 17,000 sq. ft to 30,000 sq. ft
  • Will include a new indoor gymnasium and meeting rooms
  • New large outdoor Splash Pad

Chris Gibson Recreation Centre – $20 million (design and construction)

  • Double the facility size from 55,000 sq. ft.
  • A new indoor gymnasium
  • Another arena ice pad

Howden Recreation Centre – $27 million (design and construction)

  • Demolition of the existing facility
  • Purchase of additional land
  • New facility with 40,000 sq. ft., an increase of 17,000 sq. ft. from the old new
  • New triple gymnasium, fitness centre and studio, and multi-purpose rooms

There’s been a debate for some time about whether the city should focus on building mega recreation centres like Gore Meadows with lots of amenities or focus on maintaining smaller centres that are easier to access. It looks like they’ll be moving forward with the intent to use both models.

Meanwhile, the budget has also earmarked $12.6 million to build a new centre on the east side of the city.

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