Senators’ group interested
Aylmer’s turn for new rinks?
After the Gatineau sector, will Aylmer be next to benefit from a massive municipal investment in recreation? Lucerne councillor Mike Duggan and Plateau councillor Maxime Tremblay are hoping so. Both councillors said, February 22, that they will work for a multi-rink arena in the western part of the city.
Both Aylmer councillors made the remark during the vote for the multi-pad arena project in Gatineau. Estimated at about $80 million, the project includes a 4,000 seat arena for the Olympiques de Gatineau and three community rinks. The city is contributing $36.5 million while the province is providing $26.5 million. The rest is covered by the city’s private partner, Vision Multisports Outaouais (VMSO).
Aylmer residents have voiced their unhappiness with the deal. Many see Aylmer as the sector with the biggest spike in population, but with no increase in rinks.
With limited ice time in Aylmer, hockey associations and ice-sports groups struggle to find hours at reasonable times. Many teams must find ice-time outside Aylmer, which is why they’re asking for a new rink.
To get the ball rolling, the Aylmer Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) has rallied behind the Ottawa Senators’ affiliate, Capital Sports Management Inc. (CSMI), looking to build a multi-pad arena in Aylmer. As indicated on Quebec’s Lobbyist Registry, the CSMI originally planned two multi-pad arenas, but lost the eastern project.
CSMI has had talks with municipal officials and an unidentified promoter to erect a sports complex in the west. As reported in the Bulletin last winter, the arena could be just east of D'Arcy McGee High School.
The city owns a large undeveloped lot of 133,140 square metres behind the school, near the busy Vanier Road and Boulevard des Allumettières intersection. A sports complex near D'Arcy McGee High would also permit the development of a sport-études program for Aylmer students. Presently, there isn’t a single Anglophone high school in West Quebec with this type of program.
With only three wards in Aylmer proper and one in the Plateau, it may be a challenge for Aylmer councillors to convince the eastern-heavy city council to back a project in Aylmer during an election year.