A community should be judged more on its vision to the future than on what has come before.
Niagara has a diverse history rich with culture and accomplishments. You can look at that with pride and as inspiration but when you look at the generations of today and tomorrow, as a community we have to create opportunities for them and leave them a legacy. The Vale Health and Wellness Centre has been built for exactly that purpose.
Appropriately enough, on the weekend of Family Day this year, Port Colborne hosted the Grand Opening of the Vale Health and Wellness Centre.
The Vale Health and Wellness Centre is designed to be a community hub for Port Colborne and the surrounding communities along Niagara’s South Coast. The 145,000 sq ft facility is gorgeous and includes 2 NHL size ice rinks, a 25 meter lap pool, a leisure pool, an indoor walking track, a gymnasium, and six bocce courts in addition to a state of the art fitness centre.
The centre is home for the new Port Colborne YMCA which is offering 300 hours of programming per week.
The facility is the centerpiece for the T.A. Lannan Sports Complex that contains 6 soccer fields, 3 baseball fields, a playground, and recreation trails that connect with the Welland Canal trail system.
It has taken decades to gain momentum and transform it into the action required to build a project of this scope. Like many other small municipalities, Port Colborne had its most vocal opposition within the city limits.
New community centres and hockey rinks are built all over this country every year. In small towns and cities the size of Port Colborne they are rarely pulled off to the satisfaction of everyone. Cities this size have limited budgets to take care of the necessities so it is often easy to overlook a “health and wellness” centre as something that the taxpayers don’t REALLY NEED.
Mayor Vance Badaway and city council members (past and present) in addition to many in the community got behind the project and moved forward determined that a project like this was not only good for the everyday use of the residents of the area but would have the added benefit of creating sports opportunities for our youth, community building, and the significant opportunity to host sporting events in the city that would generate draws for visitors and the proven spending associated with sports tourism.
As the mayor said, this facility was created to be a community hub, a place to meet with your neighbours and come together.
The Vale Health and Wellness Centre happened because of a commitment to the future and to our community. It was the result of vision and a true example of partnership. In this case, the 32 million dollar facility was financed by the City of Port Colborne partnered with the Province of Ontario, the Canadian federal government, and commercial partnerships like Vale and the YMCA.
As a resident of Niagara, who lives here in Port Colborne, I am delighted to have a facility like this 5 minutes away. I look forward to attending events there and strapping on my skates on and embarrassing myself on the ice.
JUST THE FACTS
Vale Health and Wellness Centre
For public skating, stick & puck time and events visit the arena website
The YMCA of Niagara (Port Colborne)
For hours and programs visit the YMCA Website
Located in the Vale Health and Wellness Centre
Port Colborne YMCA
YMCA of Niagara
550 Elizabeth Street Port Colborne ON
Tel: 905 835 9622
The Vale Health and Wellness Centre is the new home of the Port Colborne Pirates