Innisfil Recreation Complex and YMCA
Client : Town of Innisfil and YMCA of Simcoe-Muskoka
Area : 140,400 sf
Program : Aquatic Centre (6-Lane 25m Lap Pool, Leisure Pool, Changerooms), Twin-Pad Arena (Spectator Seating, Changerooms), Gymnasium, Fitness Centre, Indoor Track, Child Minding, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Administrative and Support Spaces, Outdoor Program (Sports Courts, Sports Fields, Multi-Use Trails)
Located in one of Ontario’s fastest-growing municipalities, the Innisfil Recreation Complex exemplifies a trend toward complex structures that serve multiple stakeholders by combining recreation and community programs within a single facility. Home to both the Simcoe Muskoka YMCA and the recreation department of the Town of Innisfil, the IRC represents a new operational and management model—effectively a multi-tenant community building.
The IRC is centrally located within the Town of Innisfil, roughly 32,000 residents divided among a series of smaller hamlets near Barrie. As a true destination facility, the IRC includes a wide range of athletic and recreational facilities and programs to attract people from across a vast but sparsely populated area of 110 square miles.
Its site, a wide-open rural landscape, was not a large determiner in the structure’s final form; its connection to the landscape is expressed primarily in its exterior program, including lawns and soccer pitches located between the building and the access road to foreground the structure’s broad, single-storey form. Strong and simple, with gently angled walls clad in pale silver panels—as well as ample at-grade glazing and curtain walls set behind deep overhangs on all four elevations—the structure was designed for optimal energy efficiency: a high-performance envelope with as few connections and changes in plane as possible to ensure system continuity.
This allows the IRC to contain both heated water and ice rinks year-round; waste heat captured by the cooling system is redirected to other areas of the building, one of several measures that resulted in the IRC becoming one of only a handful of sports complexes in Canada to achieve LEED certification.
MJMA interior program meet its stakeholders’ dual operational requirements while maintaining architectural consistency throughout. All major program spaces—aquatics hall, gymnasium, ice rinks, fitness centre and multipurpose rooms—were designed to support different activities at different times. The ability to watch activities as they unfold is maximized throughout the building, particularly in the lobby, which grants generous views into all program spaces. Additionally, the rinks, aquatics hall and gym have been engineered to accommodate casual meetings and the comfortable monitoring of children as they participate in various programs, making virtually every space a great place to hang out and watch what’s going on within the complex.
The approach works: the YMCA exceeded its member target by 500% its first year of operation, and the IRC as a whole has gone on to become the most important civic space within the town, hosting tournaments, trade shows and performances.