$13.5 Million Project Planned For City’s Rec Corridor


One of the recommendations calls for removal of the aging floating stage at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre, shown here during a concert in July, and placement of a new stage, including new public washrooms, green room, storage, canteen, and amenities for Merritt Park. (File photo/Joe Barkovich)

WELLAND – The City of Welland’s Recreation Corridor could see a significant transformation as a result of a $13.5 million project focused on investments in recreation and cultural infrastructure, enhanced programming, and amenities. The city’s Manager of Recreation & Culture, Richard Dalton, presented the vision and the specific project components at last night’s council meeting.

The city recently submitted an application under the Federal/Provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) – Community, Culture and Recreation Stream. The cost-sharing arrangement requires the city to contribute 26.67% of the funds with the remainder split between the Federal government at 40% and the Provincial government at 33.33%.

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, approved by Council in August 2019, provides a road-map to building more inclusive and community-focused public spaces along the Recreation Corridor. The proposed facility updates and developments surrounding the Recreation Corridor advances a number of the master plan’s recommendations. Staff estimate that a majority of the facility updates should be completed by September 2022 if the ICIP funding is approved.

Key Project Highlights:
Floating pool with modular decking and accessible entry ramp to water, including a secure shoreline walkway entrance;
New outdoor multi-use playing courts for pickleball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and beach volleyball, along with canteen and washroom/ change room amenities and enhancement to existing parking in the vicinity;
Removal of aging floating stage at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre and placement of a new stage, including new public washrooms, green room, storage, canteen, and amenities for Merritt Park;
Installation of new age-friendly fitness features along the hard surface trails that align on both sides of the Recreation Corridor;
New two-storey accessible Rowing Centre of Excellence.

These investments in the city’s Recreation Corridor align with other development projects planned for 2020, which include the construction of a new community boathouse to accommodate the city’s Boat Rental Program, washrooms, change rooms, and expanded parking. In addition to the creation of the Rotary Club of Welland Park that will include new signage, additional docks for unsupervised swimming, and a reflection garden to help commemorate the club’s 100th Anniversary in 2020.

“We want to create a harmonious flow throughout the corridor that attracts locals and Niagara’s visitors to quality facilities,” said Dalton. “All proposed facilities in the project portfolio are within a 4 km radius and accessible through our transit system or by-way-of the trails along the Recreation Corridor.”

“The redevelopment of the city’s waterfront continues to be an area of strategic focus for Council and staff,” said Gary Long, Welland’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We’re seeing significant private sector investment in residential and commercial development along our waterway in addition to public sector investment in recreation and cultural infrastructure, and increased programming to benefit our residents and visitors as part of an inter-regional tourist destination.”

The Welland Recreation Corridor is located in the heart of Welland, has 12 km of calm water, 24 km of trails, and houses a variety of city-owned recreation facilities. For more information on City of Welland community projects, visit welland.ca.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

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