Frequently Asked Questions

What is this project all about?

The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex is a well-loved and well-used recreational facility that contributes to the health and well being of residents within the City of Campbell River, Electoral Area D and surrounding areas. It provides countless personal, social, and economic benefits to the public, and is integral to building strong communities. Key components of Strathcona Gardens were constructed in the 1970’s. Through studies and feedback from the public, we know that the facility is aging and is in need of renewal. More needs to be done to maintain and enhance this valued public asset.

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) owns and operates Strathcona Gardens. In planning for the future of the facility, the SRD has embarked on the first steps of a revitalization project called REC-REATE Strathcona Gardens. The goal of REC-REATE is to renew the facility to address aging components and to meet the diverse and changing recreational needs of the community now and in the future.

Why is this happening now?

REC-REATE grew out of recommendations from a 2015 needs assessment study. The public was asked to tell the SRD how they are doing and share ideas on how to better meet recreational needs and expectations. Through surveys and open houses with Electoral Area D and City of Campbell River residents, SRD staff heard the existing facility is aging and more can be done to meet the needs of users. A number of potential actions were identified, including operational enhancements, business planning, and redevelopment of the building. High level concept plans and cost estimates were prepared. The Strathcona Gardens Commission, the governing body responsible for making decisions relating to the administration and operation of the Strathcona Gardens recreation complex, supported further investigations and the establishment of a reserve fund for future works. 

In November 2018, a schematic design, which provides greater technical detail, was approved by the SRD board. This design work also included a more detailed cost estimate of approximately $62.1-million. Given increasing costs of construction on Vancouver Island and new tariffs, the SRD anticipates that these costs will increase between now and project completion. 

What does the revised concept include?

This revised concept includes a number of improvements and additions to the facility including:

Aquatic Centre

  • A new 8-lane, 25 m main pool tank with large accessible therapy pool and hot pool
  • Leisure pool with play features and beach-access style entry
  • Lazy river & waterslide
  • Renovated and expanded change rooms
  • New sauna and steam rooms
  • New aquatic supervision and admin spaces

Ice Arenas

  • Arena #1 rebuilding: create a new long-span structure over the existing ice slab
  • Build new team rooms for arena #1 and renovate change rooms for arena #2
  • New ancillary rooms, i.e. first aid, referee rooms
  • Add new seating and increase/expand the seating count with the possibility of creating bucket seats and a more optimal seating arrangement
  • Redesign the entryway for arena #1 to act as a combined multi-purpose space and lobby extension

Wellness Area

  • Creation of a new wellness area which will allow space for physiotherapy and rehabilitative services
  • Moving the fitness centre adjacent to the wellness centre on the first floor
  • Expanding aquatic, wellness and fitness programming, including dry multi-purpose room on upper level
  • Indoor 220m walking track (arena 1)
  • Improved accessibility to the facility
  • Enlarged universal fitness change rooms
  • Additional multi-purpose rooms (four new & three renovated) including a wet room for birthday parties and training as well as better storage areas to accommodate additional programming

What has happened so far? What comes next?

REC-REATE consists of four phases:

  1. The Facility Needs Assessment – completed in 2015
  2. The Project Planning Phase – 2017
  3. The Schematic Design Phase – 2018
  4. The Project Delivery Phase (Funding/Construction) – 2019/2020

The project is currently in Phase 4 – Project Delivery (Funding/Construction).

How much will this cost?

Based on the schematic design approved in November 2018, the current cost estimate is $62.1-million. Given increasing costs of construction on Vancouver Island and new tariffs, particularly on steel, the SRD is preparing for that to increase further. Project financing is anticipated to be covered by grant funding as well as a reserve fund that is already being contributed to by taxpayers.

What will it look like? Are there images yet?

Here’s images of the concept provided by consulting architects HCMA Architecture + Design:



Where can I learn more?

Visit the project webpage at:              
Contact the project team via the project email: