The centre of attention: keeping it real since ‘73

Published on
June 5, 2023
Arts, heritage and events
Recreation and parks

Turning 50 is a big deal, especially when you’re an integral part of a community that people visit every day. People rely on me – the Nepean Sportsplex – to have fun! Whether they are swimming, skating, curling, taking a fitness class or participating in a community program, I’m the centre of it all and I love it!

Did you know that when I opened in 1973, I was the largest recreation complex in Canada? I’m still the City of Ottawa’s largest recreation centre today. Not to brag or anything, but that’s impressive.

A collage showing the Nepean Sportsplex being built, as well as some swimmers in a pool and a craft show within a multi-purpose room.

To celebrate me turning 50 this week, I thought it would be nice to reflect on my years of bringing people together by doing just that. Here are some fun initiatives that you can take part in:

  • 50 cent drop-in pricing on Thursday, June 8. Relive the days when the cost of a drop-in activity was just $0.50! There are dozens of activities for this price and for one day only!
  • Share a memory: Submit a favourite story or photo involving the Nepean Sportsplex from the last 50 years and be entered for a chance to win a prize.
  • Trivia contest: Test your knowledge of the Nepean Sportsplex for a chance to win a prize.

Another cool fact about me is that I have an arena named after the legendary Steve Yzerman, who played for the Nepean Raiders hockey team in his youth and then went on to be one of the greatest NHL players of all time. In 1997, one of my indoor ice surfaces was officially named “The Steve Yzerman Arena” in his honour after the Detroit Redwings won the Stanley Cup that year.

A group of men, some of which who are sitting in a convertible car, holding up the Stanley Cup.

I want to say a big thanks to City staff and Ottawa residents for supporting and maintaining me over the years. So many friendships started with me and I’m forever grateful for that. Let’s keep on making memories! Visit for more information about my 50th anniversary celebrations.

A collage showing a market with jams on top of a table, a curling rink, an outdoor field with people stretching, and a vintage car show.

For more information on City programs and services, visit, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.