Dovercourt Recreation Centre Proposed Parking Lot Reconstruction

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The Dovercourt Recreation Centre is one of the busiest community centres in Ottawa, offering a range of programs under the mission of building a healthy, active and engaged community.

The recreation centre’s existing parking lot pavement and curbs are in poor condition and are due for replacement. The planned reconstruction offers an opportunity to improve the parking lot to better serve visitors. The reconstruction will also incorporate stormwater management retrofit measures to reduce and treat local runoff.

View of existing median



Proposed Parking Lot Layout

The proposed reconstruction of the parking lot will:

  • Widen and pave the existing grassed median, providing a safe and accessible pedestrian pathway between the parking lot and the main entrance.
  • Include stormwater management retrofit measures: a permeable paver surface on the median with a soil cell structure beneath to capture and treat runoff and provide tree cover.
  • Direct runoff toward the median’s subsurface stormwater management measures.
  • Include signage, pavement markings, and room for passing at the unloading zone to reduce queuing during peak times.
  • Provide bicycle parking on the edge of the paved median closest to the centre’s entrance.
  • Maintain the total number of parking spaces.
Layout of the proposed parking lot reconstruction



What Is Stormwater Management?

In urban areas, stormwater is rainwater or snowmelt that runs off into roadside ditches and storm sewers, and ultimately into creeks, rivers and lakes. Uncontrolled urban runoff can increase flooding and erosion and pollute these water bodies. Stormwater management aims to reduce these impacts by implementing measures that reduce, slow down and treat runoff.

The proposed stormwater management retrofit measures are based on recommendations from the Pinecrest Creek / Westboro Stormwater Management Retrofit Study (2011). These and other retrofit measures implemented over time will improve water quality in the Ottawa River and contribute to reduced closures at Westboro Beach. To learn more about City of Ottawa initiatives geared towards stormwater management in urban areas, go to

Purpose of stormwater management



Proposed Stormwater Management Retrofit Measures

Total area to be treated by stormwater management measures in median

Runoff will be directed to the soil cells beneath the median by flowing through its permeable surface or via catchbasins installed around the median. This will improve the water quality and reduce the amount of runoff leaving the parking lot, as some will soak back into the soil.

Permeable pavers are proposed for the pathway on the median. Permeable pavers allow water to flow through the surface to be infiltrated back into the soil or slowly released to a storm sewer.

Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers, Vancouver Olympic Village

Soil cells are plastic or fibreglass structures installed underground in a grid pattern and filled with soil. They provide:

  • Soil, water and nutrients to trees and plants in the median;
  • Structural support to the pavement above;
  • Filtration of pollutants as runoff passes through the soil; and
  • Storage for runoff in the space between soil particles.
Diagram of soil cell water cycle
Conceptual rendering of proposed median with a permeable paver pathway and soil cells below the surface

Next Steps and Project Timeline

  • Winter 2020: Functional design complete
  • 2021: Detailed design
  • 2022: Construction

Reconstruction is to be scheduled to avoid the busiest summer months, minimizing any inconvenience to the public.