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Summary of Findings




·         DmA Planning & Management Services were retained by the City to undertake a feasibility study  to:


(1)            Assess the market for an indoor track and field training facility and,

(2)            Recommend an appropriate approach to providing such a facility in Ottawa.


·         The process included the review of relevant trends in the field; preparation of a community profile and consultation; review of similar facilities across the country; preparation of a market profile and service direction and finally, the development of a facility concept, business plan and implementation plan


Key Findings


The majority of  indoor track and field facilities are provided by or in partnership with Universities or other non-municipal providers (i.e. Canadian Forces Bases, and/or is a legacy from hosting international competitions  such as Commonwealth Games). Most major centers have indoor facilities; Halifax, Moncton, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, London, Windsor, Petawawa, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary.


Ottawa Profile-

There is an  outdoor track at the Terry Fox Athletic Centre.


There are several outdoor recreational tracks in varied conditions on school board property.


There are indoor recreational tracks at (3) the YM-YWCA and at the Ottawa Athletic Club.


A private company rents a portion of the indoor field under a “bubble” at Lansdowne Park where teams lay down a portable roll track. This is  not accessible to wheelchair athletes.


The local track and field market includes 300-400 athletes, with the number of wheelchair athletes increasing.


The large number of recreational runners would not necessarily use an indoor facility unless it is  close to their work or home location.


Corporate Mandates –  Economic Development


Key economic drivers in a city include “Quality of Life” for residents and visitors to the City. Such a facility would support the City’s economic development goals as well as “Provision of unique space” which would be capable of attracting and supporting major events.


The “Creation of unique facility or service” that attracts attention and provides a marketing potential could also be fulfilled by this type of facility.


Corporate Mandates –  People Services


The new City’s service delivery model for recreation  supports the integration of services and promotes a continuum of service from introductory, intermediate and advanced skill development and competition. Priority programs to be funded from the tax base are  the introductory and general skill development end of the continuum. The advanced/competitive programs would receive less tax support and would be funded through partnerships.


Change in Focus


It became quite clear that a business case analysis would not support a stand-alone facility for solely track and field and/or track and field and an indoor soccer field at the center of the track. Rather than continue, knowing the results were going to be negative, a different approach was examined and evaluated; a Multi-Sport Development and Training Facility.


New Provincial and Federal Focus


The National Sport Centre-Ontario (NSCO) is part of a network of multi-sport development and service centers across Canada. These centers are designed to contribute toward enhanced training environments for current and potential high performance athletes and coaches. While these centers are service networks and not facility specific there may be an opportunity to combine the services of such a center within a sport development Facility.


Recommended Program Direction


The market for a sport training and development facility involves the entire spectrum of service delivery, including all levels of sport development and training, opportunities for coaching development, participation by the health maintenance and rehabilitation market and recreational programming. The market includes the advanced athlete in a variety of sports and the City’s core service market, i.e. children’s camps, coaching development training, skill development workshops, school use etc. 


Facility Options


1.   Stand Alone Facility


City Capital Cost:

Estimate $25-$30 Million

City Net Operating Costs:

Estimate $590,000 annually

Preferred sites:

Terry Fox Athletic Facility adjacent to the Outdoor Track or Ben Franklin Park


§      Prestige, highly visible.

§      The  City has full control as sole owner and operator.

§      Athletes have maximum access.

§      The amount of time to train, opportunity to reduce capital and operating costs with partnerships with other sport governing bodies, private sector service providers, selling of naming rights etc


City assumes most of the capital and operating costs.



2.   Carleton University Partnership*


(*based on original concept of  track and field. See Report Rec.)


City Capital Cost:

To be negotiated, could range between $10-13 Million

City Net Operating Costs:

None.  The  University is solely responsible.


Carleton University Campus


§      Reduced capital costs for the City.

§      Annual operating cost required from the City.


§      Not a City facility. No corporate visibility, access

§      Will be governed by an agreement. Other cities have indicated that there are pressures over time: reduced access, increased fees to users etc. Recommendations




1.       If the City pursues a stand-alone facility, the most appropriate site (of those evaluated) are sites adjacent to the Terry Fox Athletic Centre or the Ben Franklin Park site.


2.       The City should develop, in partnership with others as appropriate and available, a multi-purpose sport training and development center to respond to the needs and interest of a wide range of compatible sports. Further, this facility should support in its services and partnerships, the development of coaching excellence, integration of wellness initiatives and opportunities for athlete training at the introductory, intermediate and advanced training levels.


3.       Before proceeding with the development of a multipurpose sport development and training center the City should review the space needs of all major indoor sport groups to confirm space requirements.


4.       The City should meet with Carleton University to determine the degree to which the directions of both organizations can be accommodated in one center.


5.       City Staff and Elected Officials should initiate discussions with potential significant partners at the local, provincial and national levels, to identify funding and operating partner opportunities.


 Next Steps


1.       Review of Feasibility Study by Committee and City Council

2.       Confirmation of service delivery approach

3.       Confirming appropriate partners

4.       Confirming facility components

5.       Confirming capital costs and capital funding commitments

6.       Confirming operating and service structure

7.       Capital and operating budget approvals

8.       Design, tendering and development




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