The City has made progress in growing and harmonizing citywide recreation services since amalgamation in 2001, however some fundamental questions remain unanswered. In particular, if the City is to fully take advantage of the benefits of recreation, how should it finance and deliver recreation services in the future and for whom?
A master plan will assist the City to answer these fundamental questions. It will provide guidance where there are no legislative requirements and develop solutions to some of the gaps in service delivery.
Key factors influencing the role of the City in providing recreation services include:
• The City offers programs directly as well as through partnerships and/or agreements with community organizations and groups.
• Recreation facilities such as arenas, gyms and sports fields are used to full capacity at certain prime times of the day and week but are under-utilized at other times.
• Changing demographics – i.e. increase in the number of older adults versus other groups, increase in immigrant population, etc.
• Climate – variations in weather conditions affects the provision and cost of some services.
• Changing economic conditions such a slow down in the economy or inflation could affect the ability to deliver some services.
• Initiatives by other levels of government that give direction on child care, the health promotion mandate etc.
After extensive public consultation, the City of Ottawa is in the process of implementing a new set of principles and strategies to guide the delivery of parks and recreation services for the next 10 to 15 years.
In May 2009, the City released a series of white papers outlining how recreation services are provided and the challenges in meeting the demands of the future in three main areas:
• Service Delivery
• Accessibility and Inclusion
• Tax Support, Subsidization and Revenue Generation
These white papers were made available to residents online and in print from May 14 to August 28, 2009 and residents were invited to provide feedback to the questions found throughout each document. Feedback received was then incorporated into a report outlining various guiding principles and key recommendations. The report was presented to the Community and Protective Services Committee and then adopted by Council on December 9, 2009.
On June 3rd, 2010 Council approved the next step in the Parks and Recreations Master Plan: the Parks and Recreation Roadmap. This Roadmap serves as an implementation plan, identifying what needs to be done in order to incorporate the principles and strategic recommendations into every day recreation operations and services.
Various policy reports are in development to address the operating principles and strategic recommendations approved in the Phase 1 report. Some of the reports that will be put forward in the coming months include the Social Recreation Strategy report and the Financial Framework report.
For any questions regarding the Parks and Recreation Master Plan please contact:
Strategic Support Coordinator
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 46203