The Niagara Summer Games facilities are nearing the finish line


Despite some delays related to the pandemic, the new recreational facilities, which will be built in August for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games this August, are expected to be completed over the next several months.

The contract to build two projects, the Canada Games Park and the Henley Rowing Center, was awarded to the general contractor Aquicon Construction from Brampton in December 2019. Construction began in winter.

“We plan to deliver a remarkable performance within the next six to eight weeks,” said Michael Salij, project manager at Aquicon.

“The original intention was to host all of the track and field events in the park for the 2021 Canada Summer Games. Since the entire facility would not be completed in August 2021, early planning was developed for gradual occupancy in order to enable additional indoor sporting events such as lacrosse and wrestling to be held in the as yet unfinished facility. After the host announced that the games would be postponed due to the pandemic, we had the opportunity to complete the entire facility, which will ultimately lead to a more impressive experience for all athletes, spectators and the public. “

Facilities include a 210,000-square-foot Canada Games Park, which includes indoor and outdoor athletics attractions, including volleyball, as well as the main game facility that houses both the Center for Health and Wellbeing and David S. Howes Sports Performance Centers are housed, as well as a four-seat gym and two-pad arena on the Brock University campus in Thorold, Ontario.

“It’s the Summer Games so we focused on the outdoors,” said Brad Augustine, contract administrator for the project at Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc.

“The athletics component outside was huge. We needed a gym and an ice rink.

SCREENGRAB – The new Henley Rowing Center, being built for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games this August, will meet the need for basic off-water training and support facilities at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in Port Dalhousie, Ontario .

“That was on schedule too, but when the pandemic broke out it raised all sorts of questions. Will the games be postponed? Do we have full viewers or do we have no viewers or do we have a capacity of 50 percent? Ultimately, the Canada Summer Games decided to postpone the games in the hope that viewers could experience the games in person. “

Construction aspects of the project included clearing the site and building parking lots; traditional strip / pad concrete foundations without a basement; Steel construction with cantilevered reveals; a metal deck roof; a HollowCore precast concrete slab for tiered grandstand seating in the arena with underfloor heating; architectural precast concrete elements, glass and glazing, standing seam reveals; a composite aluminum outer material; Skylight; a green roof; polished concrete floors; Spindle balustrades of maple; and a whitewashed gym floor.

MJMA is the Design Lead Architect for the project.

What makes the system unique is the green roof with a series of sloping levels at different angles.

“It has a green roof that holds back a lot of rainwater so it doesn’t just drain into our lakes and streams,” Augustine said.

“It was designed as a world-class sustainable project and is therefore very energy efficient in terms of mechanical equipment. With regard to passive daylight, MJMA tried to illuminate the rooms naturally. “

In addition to the four-week government-ordered shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, the project team faced numerous challenges with rising construction material costs for steel and sawn timber as well as delays in the supply chain. Due to the scarcity of raw plastics / resins and the difficulty of securing equipment and audiovisual equipment, effects are still being felt today, Salij said.

The MJMA-designed Henley Rowing Center on Henley Island in St. Catharines will serve as a memorial and has a 600 square meter glass and solid wood structure on Henley Island on Martindale Pond in St. Catharines. The net-zero building has a large section of wood protruding from the outside of the building that provides shade for sporting activities and spectators.

The system is designed to be climate-neutral, i.e. it mainly consists of glued laminated timber and CLT with a small proportion of structural steel. A triple-glazed curtain wall helps ensure that the building meets high efficiency standards.

“It really takes advantage of the trees’ carbon sequestration and helps reduce greenhouse gases,” said Augustine. “With a highly efficient shell and energy modeling, we were able to calculate how much energy the building should consume in a given billing cycle and compensate for this so that it is balanced at the end of the day. It is the first of its kind in the region. “

Both facilities are to be used after the games. Brock University, the Niagara Region, the City of St. Catharines, and the City of Thorold have signed a long-term agreement and formed a consortium to manage and operate Canada Games Park after the Games are over.

“The project was designed for the Summer Games, but with legacy in mind,” said Augustine. “One of the biggest criticisms of the Olympics was what you do with all this new infrastructure when the Olympics are done.

“Both buildings will be used after the games.”

The games will take place August 6-21.

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