Artist rendering of the Community Hub

During the Special Council Meeting on November 9, 2023, Loyalist Township Council endorsed the renewal of the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre which will include the construction of a new aquatic facility.

During the meeting, Council received a Validation Report which summarized the proposed design for the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre Renewal project along with the costs, strategies, and timelines for the implementation for the first phase of the project.

This project phase represents an improvement to the services which have historically been offered at the facility to meet the needs of a growing Loyalist community.

The scope of work for this phase of the project will involve the following program and performance targets:

  • The construction of a new aquatic facility comprising of an 8-lane, 25 metre pool as well as a separate warm-water leisure pool;
  • Undertaking accessibility upgrades throughout the existing facility, including the addition of a lift, accessible change rooms, and barrier-free viewing areas;
  • Installing new aquatic change rooms, including the creation of a family change room;
  • Incorporating new Indigenous Legacy Space, in collaboration with the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund;
  • Incorporating energy conservation measures throughout the facility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations;
  • Designing the building to be Net-Zero ready, meaning that the amount of energy needed to operate the building in a given year can be produced directly on site in the future, typically through the use of solar panels;
  • Keeping the building operational during construction and minimizing facility and programming downtime.

“For more than 40 years the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre has been a place where generations of Loyalist residents learned to swim, skate, and connect with one another. This renewal will ensure that we can provide access to recreation and support community building for current and future generations”, stated Loyalist Township Mayor, Jim Hegadorn.

A phased construction approach is planned to begin in Spring 2024 to minimize the impact on arena programming. Substantial completion of the entire project including the aquatics centre is projected to be completed by January 2026. Our team will be connecting with arena users to better inform them of upcoming arena construction and what they can look forward to for the 2024/ 2025 season.

The capital cost of the project accepted through validation is $49.5M. As part of the funding plan, the Township successfully secured up to $16.5 million in funding toward the project through Infrastructure Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Building (GICB) program, which is meant to support green and accessible retrofits to existing community buildings. In addition to the GICB funding, costs associated with the project will be covered through a combination of:

  • existing reserve funds
  • general rate capital contributions
  • partnerships
  • development charges
  • community fundraising efforts
  • sponsorship and naming rights
  • debt servicing

The City of Kingston has expressed an interest in contributing funding towards the capital costs of the project. This partnership represents a short-term solution to address the gaps in aquatic services currently experienced by the City as it investigates options to offer additional programming in the medium and long terms. A resolution passed at the September 5, 2023; Kingston City Council Meeting approved a contribution of up to $6,550,000 to support the aquatic component of the project. This contribution is conditional on giving City of Kingston residents equal access to recreation programing at the new facility for a period of 20 years. The terms of this agreement have yet to be determined. Township Council authorized Staff to negotiate the terms of an agreement with the City of Kingston which would be agreeable to both parties.

The Township will also continue to seek additional grant opportunities to support the project, with several applications submitted and currently under review.  

How to Get Involved

Stay Up to Date

We encourage residents and interested parties to stay tuned for future updates outlining the phased openings of other new and exciting facility amenities including accessible viewing areas, meeting rooms, arena upgrades and more by registering for our email list:

Get Involved

As part of the renewal of the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre, a community fundraising campaign will kick off in the new year. Interested individuals and groups are encouraged to stay tuned for further information on how they can get involved with community fundraising efforts. Learn other ways to get involved:

Learn More

Learn more about the project including a project overview, budget and funding, timelines, news, ways to get involved, background, FAQs, reports and more by visiting