Media release: community indoor recreation needs

On October 15, 2022, eligible voters in Vernon will be asked if they are in favour of borrowing up to $121 million for the purpose of developing the Active Living Centre – a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility.

To help voters make a well-informed decision, the City of Vernon is offering information about the project and the referendum process through a series of weekly media releases leading up to general voting day on October 15.

All the information is also available at

Why is the Active Living Centre being proposed?

The Active Living Centre is the result of a key recommendation in the 2018 Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan, to enhance the quantity and quality of local recreation facilities. Both the Recreation Master Plan and the subsequent Active Living Centre Feasibility Study included extensive public and stakeholder consultation processes to ensure the proposed facility appropriately meets the public’s current and future needs for enhanced recreation opportunities, while also having the opportunity to attract new residents and visitors to the area.

The multi-purpose facility features a variety of aquatic and dry land spaces for many different types of users who are looking to participate in organized and casual sport and recreation activities. It is an inclusive, family-oriented facility designed for participants of all ages and abilities.

What amenities are included in the proposed Active Living Centre?

  • A new aquatic centre that features:
    1. 50m x 8 lane pool with 2 movable bulkheads
    2. a leisure pool with warmer water, play features, accessible entry, and 3 x 25m lanes
    3. Steam room and sauna
    4. Hot tubs
    5. Pool support areas (i.e., change rooms, storage, spectator seating)
  • Double gymnasium with multiple sport courts
  • 150m synthetic walking/running track
  • 80-station fitness centre
  • Dedicated multi-purpose program spaces

How would the amenities help meet the indoor aquatic needs of the community?
According to the results of extensive public engagement, the Vernon Aquatic Centre no longer meets the current needs of a growing community.

The aquatics area in the proposed Active Living Centre would offer more space, time and opportunities to provide high-demand aquatic programming such as swimming lessons, public swimming, lane swimming, aquatic fitness, aquatic therapy uses and competitive swimming.

This is, in part, due to the proposed design of a 50m pool with two movable bulkheads that can separate the pool into a variety of configurations (e.g., 2 x 25m sections or 3 sections of varying size, such as 12.5m, 12.5m, 25m).

By using the double bulkhead system, lane swimming could be taking place in one area of the pool, while the other areas are set up for public swim, aquatic exercises, or swim lessons.

Photo above: a conceptual drawing of a 50m pool with two bulkheads moved to create three separate areas

How would the amenities help meet the indoor dry land recreation needs of the community?
Currently, Vernon has two public gymnasiums available; the Dogwood Gym and the Priest Valley Gym. Throughout the year, these facilities are used at or near capacity for programs such as volleyball leagues, drop-in sports for youth and adults, camps, afterschool programs, and playschool activities.

As identified in the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study, without adding new facilities, new programming opportunities cannot be created. If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, the double gymnasium in the Active Living Centre would significantly increase the amount of available public gym space and recreation opportunities for the community.

Photo above: a conceptual drawing of a double gymnasium with multiple sport courts

The 150m walking/running track, which would be located above the gymnasium, would offer participants Vernon’s first indoor synthetic walking surface.

The 80-station fitness centre would feature cardio equipment, resistance machines and free weights, and dedicated multi-purpose program spaces that could accommodate various activities such as fitness classes, courses, and children’s programming.

Photo above: a conceptual drawing of a 150m, 3-lane synthetic walking/running track

Where can I find more information?
To learn more about the proposed facility, the impact for taxpayers, the results of public and stakeholder engagement regarding the project, and how to participate in the referendum process, please visit

Photo above: conceptual drawing of a multi-purpose room.

If you have questions about the above information, please contact Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services, at


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