The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre (TCRC) opened its doors on January 29, 2011, finally revealing the $160 expenditure and the City’s largest recreation facility in thirty years. I don’t venture out into Terwillegar that often, so a board meeting scheduled to take place at the rec centre was a nice excuse to check out the new digs.
Like anything sparkly and new, the facility is impressive, but even more so because of its size. I do support smaller, neighbourhood-based facilities (where driving isn’t necessary), but the TCRC is located near residential communities and next to two high schools and a bus station just a short ride away from Century Park.
Natural light permeates many of the public spaces – the fitness centre, the pool, the children’s areas. It is amazing how much difference that, coupled with high ceilings, makes to the feel of the building (my memories of City rec centres involve the Mill Woods Recreation Centre – a concrete box if there ever was one).
They have four NHL-sized arenas, one with a side of spectator bleachers, knowing that hockey tournaments will be (and already have been) hosted there.
One of the ice surfaces
I didn’t take a photo of the aquatic centre, but it looked like the place to be. In addition to lane swim, have a thirty-person whirlpool, a waterslide, and a fun lazy river for children. It is noteworthy that they use saltwater (instead of chlorine).
The indoor children’s playground was full when our tour group went by – apparently, it is in such demand they need to use a buzzer system similar to what restaurants use to alert parents that there is space available. TCRC, like many other rec centres, also offers childminding services.
The fitness centre was my favourite area – bright and airy on the second floor, I loved that the jogging track wrapped around the main equipment space, and also provided views of the aquatic centre.
There are a great many programming rooms also, and some build with specific activities in mind – for example, the yoga studio with dehumidifiers, meant for hot yoga.
Aerobics studio with sprung floor
The flexihall has the capacity to be divided into three gymnasiums. They can be booked, but on that day, all of them were being used for drop-in activities.
TCRC has even budgeted for public art – including this amusing sculpture above the rotunda.
Cat in an afghan
Perhaps even more surprising – there is both a Second Cup and a Dairy Queen/Orange Julius on site! The lease space is great idea to help recoup some of the costs of the building, and given its proximity to two secondary schools, the food outlets will likely be a bang-on success.
How about some ice cream or coffee with your workout?
Some of the meeting rooms were very nice (including one of the more private spaces, with a view of Edmonton’s downtown skyline). The meeting room we used that night, however, had the unfortunate placement of being just below the weights machines in the fitness area. Suffice to say, we experienced a disruptive number of dropped weights, something TCRC should look into.
All in all, the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre is something the City should be proud of – and given the number of people using it on a random Tuesday night, it’s safe to say that it may be both well loved and well used!
The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre is holding their grand opening tomorrow, February 26, 2011, from 2-5pm. Cake will be served!
9 thoughts on “Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre”
My mom group booked the YMCA kids room downtown for a Halloween party last year and it was a huge success. Lots of toys for the kids (D went straight for the LEGO table), slides and fun things… but the thing I appreciated most was having the gathering at some place very easy to get to.
I think the T rec centre will provide similar opportunities for other moms and groups looking to gather.
That cat sculpture is rad to boot. I bet the kids love it.
Miss Sarah – Kathryn told me about the mom’s group party at YMCA! I think TCRC will be similarly used, especially because of its location, for all sorts of groups! (one room was suggested as a potential venue for weddings, given its view of the skyline and natural light.)
Thanks for the post Sharon. I live closeby so it might be worth checking out!
It looks like a great spot. When I heard there was a Dairy Queen there, though, I had to question the logic. I know it’s also a community centre, but to have that type of fast food in a place mainly used for fitness and recreation activities seems pretty illogical to me.
While the facility is nice to look at, it’s been a bit of a nightmare to work at. One of the problems is that because it’s shiny and new, it’s busy, but attendance will slowly die, and it will become another underused facility (except for the rinks).
My other issue with it is that it’s a City of Edmonton facility, but doesn’t have the same access for City employees as other facilities do. I have worked for the city for nearly 10 years, and am somehow not allowed to use TCRC for free like I can with every other city facility. It feels elitist, which is highlighted by the “Club Access” option, where patrons can pay extra to have towel service and a more private locker room. Until access to the facility is fair and equitable for everyone, I will not be going there.
FoodieMcPoon – you’re welcome!
Isabelle – Mack made the same comment (he wondered if Health Fare may not have been a logical option). I still think the driving force behind the DQ/Orange Julius are the numerous hockey tournaments that will be held there, and the neighbouring high schools.
Megan – I actually thought the Club Access options was a good idea, given there are likely people that live in adjacent neighbourhoods that would pay. Though it’s too bad you aren’t able to access it as a City employee, they have to recoup the costs somehow…
The aquatic facility change rooms are a disaster. Firstly, it being winter, people come in from outside with snowy, muddy boots – there is nowhere for dirt and snow to be removed prior to entering the facility or the change rooms (ie floor mats/boot cleaners). The entrance to the change rooms is really narrow, and because it is also where people have to leave their boots (there being no space at all in the change rooms for these) the already narrow hallways are halved by rows of boots on both sides of the corridor. Two people cannot pass in these hallways – and add to that a group of people taking off or putting on boots and the thoroughfare is clogged. When lessons end/start the place is chaotic and congested. There is no dry area in the change rooms – the floor is whitish-grey and always looks disgusting with hair, dirt and debris everywhere. The entrance from the pool deck is way too narrow; there are only 4 shower heads for people coming into or out of the pool leading to 1) people abandoning having the provincially-regulated “cleansing shower” prior to pool entry and 2) congestion at the only and narrow exit to the pool. There is no space to pass someone using the washbasins (again located in the thoroughfare to the pool). Whoever designed this was not going to be a user! When entering the building from the school side, the washrooms on the right as one comes in from the entrance have highly-polished concrete floors – spilled water will be impossible to see because of the colour and shine on the floor. I can see someone slipping and hitting their head on the concrete…What were they thinking when designing this building??!!
I hate to think what would happen in an emergency evacuation in this facility….
I have to echo Margie’s concerns about the locker rooms. They appear tacked on with little thought going to design. Most disappointly are the lack of free lockers – when paying hundreds of dollars one shouldn’t have to pay 50 cents each time to rent a locker. As well, the lack of privacy and absolute zero segregation between wet and dry areas in the change room is appalling. I walk out of the change rooms angry everytime I have to get my feet wet changing. Most likely contributing to the crowded wet locker rooms is the underuse of the communal family locker room which takes up the majority of the space allocated to the locker rooms in general.
As shiny as it is, there are a lot of problems with this facility and most feel associated with a design team who has never used a gym before. Please don’t get me started on the parking where the majority of free stalls exists in overflow parking where you have to cross a road that vehicles travel at speeds approaching 60 km/hr. Why you would want the majority of your patrons endangering themselves everytime they have to cross the road to use the facility is a mystery to me. At least there are pedestrian signs now two months after opening but still waiting for some speed control or flashing lights.
Overall, I wish I had stayed at the YMCA; although not as shiny or new, at least the Y makes their patrons feel comfortable and safe.