November 14 marked the groundbreaking for Mississauga’s newest park and community centre, located in Ward 10, at 5320 Ninth Line north of Erin Centre Boulevard. As yet unnamed, the park project is referred to as North West Community Centre and Sports Park or Park 459.

“I am so thrilled that we are getting to this stage of the project,” said Ward 10 Councillor Sue McFadden, at the groundbreaking. “It’s been a long process with a lot of complex planning issues, but construction is about to begin, and that marks a major milestone toward having a much-needed recreation facility here to serve the residents of Ward 10 and beyond.” The park and community centre are scheduled to open by the end of 2019.

Public engagement sessions were held by the City of Mississauga to gather ideas and feedback from residents on the uses and recreational amenities for Park 459. Focus group meetings were held May 2015 with various sports groups, community groups, youth and older adults.

Many participants requested a swimming pool to be included in the community centre, noting that other pools in the area are not conveniently located and are operating at full capacity. Other key features requested by the groups throughout the process included gathering/meeting areas, a diverse mix of family-friendly, all-season activities, and that the park and centre provide welcoming and inclusive experiences for all ages and cultures. Other items of importance were safe, easy pedestrian access to and from the site and buffering of noise and pollution from the adjacent Highway 407.

The proposed 65,000-square foot community centre will feature a gymnasium, six-lane pool with therapy tank, plus various meeting rooms and gathering spaces.

“I’ve seen preliminary designs of the building, and this community centre is going to be spectacular,” said McFadden. “The architecture and design have really captured the environment, history and cultural flavour of the area in a beautiful way.”

Architectural firm MJMA received an Award of Merit at the 50th annual Canadian Architects Awards in November for the design of the centre.

Phase one in developing the surrounding 55 acres will include two lit artificial turf soccer fields (one with a seasonal dome), multipurpose trails including a measured loop with fitness stations, and a temporary dog leash-free zone. Plans for future phases with additional amenities are dependent on available funding. Amenities under consideration include a playground, spray pad, tennis courts, a basketball court and a skate park.

For information: http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/parks-park-459

Image: a concept rendering of the community centre at night, courtesy of MJMA.