A new sports facility located behind Canadore's Commerce Court Campus, which officials say will be the first of its kind in northern Ontario, got a big financial boost from the province Friday.
Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing announced that the Ontario government is providing $2 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for Canadore College to build a multi-use recreation facility on the Commerce Court Campus.
"This is more than just a dome," said Fedeli to the media.
"This is an athletic venue, it's a venue for community events. Through targeted investment, our government is enhancing infrastructure at Canadore College to provide sports and recreation enthusiasts with a year-round indoor facility."
The initial announcement for the 85,000-square-foot dome was made in June 2022.
The multi-use facility, which will be available to be rented and used by the public, not just the student body at Canadore, is expected to benefit the school and multiple community user groups. It will provide indoor surfaces for soccer, football, cricket, baseball, and golf along with hard court surfaces that will support tennis and basketball, along with dry land training and sports conditioning options.
See related: Canadore building new indoor sports facility
George Burton, Canadore president and CEO, was initially hoping the project would be complete by this time. However, he says no one should be surprised with the construction delays.
"There are lots of factors, such as supply chain, increased cost with interest rates going up and to ensure we had all the environmental work done," Burton explained.
"It all takes time and all things are moving a lot slower than they used to and we are just coming out of the pandemic with things all getting back up to speed but now we can go shovels in the ground and we don't have to pause again."
Burton is definitely pleased as well to receive more funding for the $8.5 million dollar project.
"We are grateful to the Government of Ontario and the NOHFC for its support of this important project.”
Peter Chirico, North Bay's mayor who sits on the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation Board, along with being a member of the Board of Directors at Canadore, is excited to see what the facility will do for the school and the community when it is complete.
"I am impressed with Canadore's vision to help make this a better community," Chirico said during a media conference Friday morning.
"This facility will be able to host different events and will be a recreational hub."