A new multi-rink complex for Aylmer/Plateau?
The city has confirmed it intends to build a multi-rink complex in Aylmer or the Plateau sector. The project is at its first stage but the call for tenders has been readied.
Much planning remains to be done: optimal lot size, presenting to municipal council, design and construction stages, preparing the ground, and launching the call for tenders. City officials updated the file in early December to Aylmer and Hull ice-sports organizations (ringette, figure skating, and hockey).
The lot behind Parc D’Arcy-McGee-Symmes was first considered but, being partially a wetland, faced multiple problems. Building the complex there would mean a 2- to 3-year process.
The city is now discussing with a developer the details of buying a lot in the Plateau. Plateau’s councillor Maude Marquis-Bissonnette told the Bulletin she is satisfied with the update, and hopes the project can “move quickly”.
The city adopted its arenas operation and maintenance plan in the summer 2017. The plan notes that the market trend for Quebec arenas calls for the construction of complexes offering a minimum of two ice surfaces with adjacent rooms to service on- and off-ice needs.
“Last winter’s call for interest confirmed that there is an interest in this type of business model,” says the Chair of the Commission des sports, des loisirs et du développement communautaire, Pierre Lanthier. He told the Bulletin that developers have shown interest and insists that a 3- to 4-ice surfaces complex can be built in less than 18 months.
City officials claim that a business model based on buying ice time from private businesses results in lower service costs for citizens.
Mr Lanthier adds that identifying the location is preventing the city from an immediate call for tenders.
Today’s ice rinks
Aylmer has two city arenas (Frank-Robinson and Paul-et-Isabelle-Duchesnay). The entire city has 13 arenas (11 municipal, 2 private), five of which are in the west (Hull and Aylmer). The overall general utilization rate of Gatineau’s arenas is 73%.
The city’s rinks are used mainly for minor hockey, adult hockey leagues, and figure skating. Ice-sports participation has jumped in the last few years. (Transl : CB)