Project Background

The revitalization plan for the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Centre grew out of recommendations from multiple studies conducted over the years, including a Facility Needs Assessment (2015), Condition Assessment (2016), and Feasibility Studies (2017). The Needs Assessment showed that the facility needs to be expanded to provide the activities desired by the growing and diverse community. Key components of Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex were constructed in the 1970s and 1990s.

The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex is the only recreation complex in Campbell River with an indoor pool. The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex contributes to the health and well-being of residents within the City of Campbell River, Electoral Area D, and several other communities, including First Nations and rural communities from the broader region. The main pool in the complex has a significant leak that cannot be repaired without shutting down the pool and disrupting service. Repairing the leak alone would not address the capacity issue, and a service disruption would negatively impact the community.

In 2019, A schematic design report was finalized, which included the aquatic centre, wellness centre, multi-purpose rooms, administration and gathering spaces, and the upgrades to the Rod Brind ’Amour Arena. After presenting the moving forward options to the SRD Board, the decision was made to proceed with the detailed design of the aquatic centre, wellness centre, multi-purpose rooms, and administration and gathering spaces.

The SRD project team has worked with HCMA Architecture + Design and a sub-consultant team of engineers, recreation specialists, and the community to develop a design to address gaps in service provision and aging infrastructure needing upgrading. The plan allows for the existing pool to remain operational while the new pool is constructed.

In December 2022, the detailed design for the first phase of REC-REATE was completed, and the project is ready to move into permitting, tendering and construction once funding has been secured. The facility was designed with a focus on accessibility and inclusivity. Increased amenities, such as a climbing wall, lazy river, and extended indoor waterslide, will draw youth to the facility.

In early 2023, the Strathcona Gardens Commission and the SRD Board voted to add the design and renovation of the Rod Brind’Amour Arena to the project. The design of the Arena will be based on the 2019 schematic design. The schematic design will be validated before the detailed design process begins.

Based on the schematic design for Rod Brind’Amour Arena and the detailed design for the aquatic and wellness centre, the estimated cost to build both REC-REATE phases is $73 million. In October 2023, the Alternative Approval Process to borrow up to $64.6 Million, this amount combined with capital reserves provides funding for the project. The Regional District is moving forward with Phase One, which is entering the permitting and tendering phases, while the design for the new arena is in progress. SRD will continuously assess the project’s cost during the tender and design stages to ensure it aligns with the available funds.

SRD has applied for federal infrastructure grants for this project in 2019, 2020, and 2023 with funding requests ranging from $6 to $70 million. Despite being denied each time, SRD continues to advocate for support from higher levels of government. 

REC-REATE Phase 1 includes:


  • 8-lane 25m lap pool
    • 1m springboard
    • Climbing wall
  • Leisure Pool
    • Beach entry
    • Tot splash zone with spray features
    • Lazy River
  • Wellness pool
  • Hot pool
  • Waterslide
  • Universal and gendered changerooms
  • Lifeguard room and first aid station


  • Aquatic patio
  • Outdoor social heart
  • Improved drop off area
  • New landscaping


  • 3 multipurpose rooms

Wellness Centre

  • Wellness reception and waiting area
  • 5 new treatment rooms
  • 5 new assessment rooms

Fitness Area

  • Large fitness rooms in renovated existing natatorium

Admin + Gathering

  • New administrative offices
  • New reception area with office
  • Renovated lobby & gathering area


  • Purpose-built ice melt pit


REC-REATE Phase 2 will include the renovation of the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

The detailed design process has begun, using the same design team and Construction Manager that worked on Phase One.

The 2019 Schematic design report for REC-REATE included renovation of the Rod Brind’Armour Arena and proposed the following scope. A cost estimate will be completed immediately after the design is finalized.

  • Improved circulation and connection with the rest of the facility to the new Social Heart being delivered in Phase One
  • New Team Rooms, referee rooms, media booth and offices
  • New Multi-purpose spaces
  • New First Aid and Referee Rooms
  • Increased seating to meet Junior A requirements
  • Walking Track
  • Expanded concession services, including a second concession on the 2nd floor
  • New washrooms on both levels
  • Storage space for user groups and equipment
  • New elevator

More details to come!

Project Background