From left to right: Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma, Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, Grimsby CAO Harry Schlange, Mayor Jeff Jordan, and regional councillor for the municipality Wayne Fertich.
Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma joined Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff in Grimsby on Thursday to announce $16 million in provincial funding to expand and renovate the town’s Peach King Centre.
The multi-million dollar investment will help create a fully equipped recreation facility and community hub with improved accessibility, a full-sized gymnasium, an accessible indoor walking and wheeling track, as well as a new creative outdoor recreation space. In addition, the funding will help build more gathering spaces and multi-purpose rooms for use by the Grimsby community, including youth, cultural, preschool and EarlyON spaces.
“For a strong [pandemic] recovery, we know that healthy people are essential for a healthy economy,” said MPP Oosterhoff. “This includes investment in local infrastructure that supports fitness, community sports, and wellbeing.”
“By investing in local projects here in Grimsby and across the rest of the province, Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario government are helping to protect and strength communities, create jobs, and contribute to our province’s economic recovery and growth.”
Over the next decade, the Ford government plans to spend over $145 billion on key infrastructure projects, including strategic investments in schools, transit systems, highways, and hospitals. Locally, this includes the redeveloped West Lincoln Memorial Hospital site, just down the road from the Peach King Centre, as well as the brand-new South Niagara Hospital in Niagara Falls.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted, investments in the health and wellness of Ontarians are more critical than ever,” said Minister Surma. “That’s why our government is making these kinds of community investments a priority.”
In total, the expansion and renovation of the Peach King Centre will cost approximately $21 million.
“This expansion project creates the potential for so many recreation and leisure opportunities,” said Sarah Sweeney, Grimsby’s director of Parks, Recreation and Culture. “From a free community walking track, to improved arena spaces, to a gymnasium [that will] support programs and clubs of all ages, to multipurpose space that can support an art class, or a workshop, or a special interest group, and much more.”
Sweeney, who was instrumental in creating the funding application that was sent to the province, told The Niagara Independent that the additional space and renovations will help Grimsby host more indoor community activities that were previously limited, such as pickleball, basketball, and seniors programming.
“Indoor leisure space has been a limitation for many sports and activities in our community,” said Sweeney. “We are excited to bring this project forward to create that capacity for new opportunities to grow.”
Shovels are expected to be in the ground next spring or summer, with completion slated for 12 to 18 months after commencement of the project.