Kanata south will become the home of the 11th – and largest – Athletic Club facility in the province.
The Athletic Club Group announced its intention to set up shop on Frank Nighbor Pl., across from the Home Depot and Costco, on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The company also has gyms in Orléans and the Ottawa Train Yards shopping centre.
“I’ve been after this for months now,” said Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley. “The people in Bridlewood especially, but all over Kanata south, want more recreation facilities.”
The new location will be the largest Athletic Club facility in the province at 6,503 square metres, and will boast two salt water pools – one for women only – as well as an on-site daycare and a multi-purpose outdoor court with a two-lane sprint track.
“There’s nothing in Kanata even close to it,” said Hubley.
Construction on the $14-million gym is expected to begin this spring with the facility to open by 2014.
“The Kanata project will be much nicer … and much larger than our existing clubs here,” said David Wu, managing partner of the Ottawa Athletic Club Group.
The organization will be selecting a general contractor for the project within the next few weeks, he added.
“We’re definitely excited to start construction. We’ll definitely be looking to hire a lot of local people living in Kanata.”
LONG TIME COMING
Residents of Hubley’s ward have long asked for additional pool and recreation facilities, he said.
With little space available, however, it was decided by a previous council that municipal funds would be used to build a recreation centre north of Highway 417.
“People are still looking for a pool in Bridlewood but there are no lands available,” said Hubley, adding there are no municipal funds available to build that type of facility in his ward.
Instead, the Athletic Club will fill that void. Asking for the private sector to invest in the community was the only way to get a pool, he said.
“Because this is a private facility it’ll be high-end,” said Hubley, who visited the facilities located in The Trainyards and Orléans.
“It’s a really sharp looking place. The whole package is there.”
Margaret Kellaway, president of the Bridlewood Community Association, said she needed to learn more about the facility before commenting on how it would affect Bridlewood residents.
The new gym is in close proximity to both the Kanata Leisure Centre, which houses fitness facilities and a pool, and the Kanata Recreation Complex, which has two National Hockey League-size rinks.
The Athletic Club, which has 10 other facilities across the province, got its start in London, Ont. in 1997 by founders Alan Quesnel and Wu.