Photo by Don Fennell
Baby boomers rejoice, the doors to Richmond’s new Minoru Centre for Active Living will soon swing open, inviting the opportunity to enjoy an expanded range of recreation opportunities.
Representing the city’s fastest-growing segment and nearly 30 per cent of the Canadian population, those born between 1946 and 1964 will have a cornucopia of services from which to choose.
Constructed over two storeys, the new facility’s seniors centre will provide double the program space of the existing Minoru Place Activity Centre, which will be repurposed to provide additional space for arts and community programs. This will primarily address programs that have outgrown available capacity at Richmond Cultural Centre.
The Minoru Seniors Society will deliver a comprehensive and expanded range of programs and services.
While seniors are sure to be pleased, so too will the remainder of Richmondites who will have access to many more sport and fitness pursuits. The new facility will have an 8,500-square-foot fitness centre, sport programming and support space, a full-service cafeteria and bistro, commercial kitchen, three new outdoor public plazas and two public art installations.
“This spectacular facility will provide a major expansion of seniors services, aquatics and other sport and recreation services for our community,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “With its outstanding array of services, iconic design and prominent location in the heart of Richmond, the Minoru Centre for Active Living will quickly become one of the jewels of our community.”
One of the most anticipated features of the $79 million complex is a new aquatics centre. With six bodies of water, including Canada’s largest hot tub, the aquatics centre will provide 60 per cent more surface water area than the current Minoru Aquatic Centre while helping to address the needs of the current and growing population. There is a standing council motion to decommission and demolish the aquatics centre; however, some councillors have expressed interest in retaining the building to meet other community needs.
“Staff are working on a council referral to provide low-cost options to keep at least part of the building operable,” explained city spokesperson Ted Townsend, noting the referral is only to provide costs for consideration.
Townsend said the aquatics centre site is also designated as a special study area within the Minoru Park Plan in terms of its future use. Staff brought forward a proposed Minoru Park Vision plan last year, which was referred back with a request to look at a number of vision plan components, including potential future land use for the special study area. Reports on both referrals are expected to come back to council in the near future.
Existing registered programs and services at Minoru Aquatic Centre and Minoru Place Activity Centre will transition to the new facility when the new facility opens registration for new programs to be offered at Minoru Centre for Active Living. They will be available through the city’s website starting online Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. for aquatic programs and 10 p.m. for senior and fitness programs.
Further details on the opening of the Minoru Centre for Active Living and details on the official grand opening will be announced in the near future. A new Minoru Centre for Active Living website will be launched soon. In the interim, more details on the facility are available at the project website.