Committee Recommendation


That Council approve that an additional $365,000 be added to the Belltown Dome Improvements project as part of the 2009 capital budget to construct a 2100 square foot addition as described in this report.



Recommandation du Comité


Que le Conseil approuve qu’un montant supplémentaire de 365 000 $ soit versé au projet relatif aux améliorations au Dôme Belltown dans le cadre du budget d’immobilisations de 2009 afin de construire un rajout de 2100 pieds carrés, tel qu’il est décrit dans le présent rapport. 





1.         Deputy City Manager's report Community and Protective Services, dated 24 September 2008 (ACS2008-CPS-PAR-0008).


2.         Extract of Draft Minutes, 2 October 2008.


Report to/Rapport au:


Community and Protective Services Committee

Comité des services communautaires et de protection


and Council / et au Conseil


24 September 2008 / le 24 septembre 2008


Submitted by/Soumis par:

Steve Kanellakos, Deputy City Manager/Directeur municipal adjoint,

Community and Protective Services/Services communautaires et de protection 


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Aaron Burry, Director

Parks and Recreation/Parcs et Loisir

(613) 580-2424 23666, Aaron.Burry@Ottawa.ca


Bay/Baie (7)

Ref N°: ACS2008-CPS-PAR-0008








manque de fonds concernant les améliorations au dôme belltown





That the Community and Protective Services Committee recommend that Council approve that an additional $365,000 be added to the Belltown Dome Improvements project as part of the 2009 capital budget to construct a 2100 square foot addition as described in this report.




Que le Comité des services communautaires et de protection recommande au Conseil d’approuver qu’un montant supplémentaire de 365 000 $ soit versé au projet relatif aux améliorations au Dôme Belltown dans le cadre du budget d’immobilisations de 2009 afin de construire un rajout de 2100 pieds carrés, tel qu’il est décrit dans le présent rapport. 




In July of 2006 Council approved a budget of $825K to undertake improvements to the Belltown dome to prolong its lifecycle and upgrade amenities for its users. Due to a delay in construction and additional costs associated with the design and location of the proposed addition to the Dome the original budget is insufficient. This report presents options and provides a recommendation to address the budget shortfall.


Belltown Dome is a refrigerated ice surface covered by an un-insulated metal dome roof. It was constructed circa 1978 in the Britannia Woods community near Britannia beach and is known for its unique geodesic appearance. The Dome’s sole ice surface (60x160’) is smaller than a standard NHL (85X200’) ice surfaces. The provided amenities are basic; two permanent change rooms, public washrooms and a cramped and poorly located multi-purpose room. There is no lobby area and in order to provide adequate change rooms two additional “temporary” exterior change areas are added during the winter season. Due to the lack of insulation, the ice pad in the facility is able to operate five months of the year compared to seven to eleven months for all other arenas. During the spring and summer ball hockey groups are the primary users of the facility.


As part of 2005 budget deliberations in February 2005, a Motion was put forward to decommission Belltown Dome at the end of the winter 2004/2005 season.  The Motion was referred to the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee (HRSS) to evaluate options for the future use of Belltown Dome. Parks and Recreation prepared an information report for the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee  (Ref No.: ACS2006-CPS-PAR-0010, 28 June 2006) that examined six different options for the Belltown Dome. These ranged from a short-term minimal cost option (requiring a $55K investment to maintain existing functions) through to replacement of the Belltown Dome with a new arena at an alternative site ($12M). HRSS made a recommendation to Council to support a long-term upgrade option that would extend the Dome’s lifecycle, increase functionality and add additional programming space without compromising future options for the facility. This included the replacement of the ice plant condenser and the construction of a 2100 square foot addition to the Dome to house two additional change rooms and a community space component. In July of 2006 Council approved the recommendation from the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee and an $825K budget.


Given the recognized architectural status of the Dome, providing additional amenities requires a standalone addition that does not alter the integrity of the existing building.  A preliminary design, presented at a consultation in December of 2007, raised concerns in the local community because it would have resulted in the loss of park space on the south side of the Dome and several mature trees. As a consequence, the Councillor requested that staff consider other design options. Two alternative design options partially located in the existing parking area for the Dome (one that included the community space component and one which did not) were presented at subsequent consultation in March 2008. There was general preference by those in attendance for the option that partially located the addition in the parking area (preserving both the park space and the mature trees) and which did not include a community space component. A subsequent detailed cost analysis of the two design alternatives revealed that the existing $825K budget is insufficient and that an additional $155K would be required to complete the option without the community space and $365K for the option with the community space.


Design Options

2006 Original Design

2008 Long-Term Upgrade –Recommended Option (including community space)

2008 Long-Term Upgrade –Option (no community space)

Square Footage

2100 sq. foot addition

2100 sq. foot addition

1700 sq foot addition

Estimated Cost




Additional Funds Required







In its present configuration the functionality of the Belltown Dome is constrained by three factors:


¨        An un-insulated roof structure that limits the operational season of the ice surface to five months (November to March) and off season use primarily to the spring and fall

¨        A smaller than standard ice surface

¨        Only two permanent dressing rooms inside the building


Offsetting these constraints are; low operational costs (approximately $60K per year, or half of those of other stand alone City arenas), a competitive 76% utilization rate during prime time hours (1,174 hours in 2007-2008) as well as 498 hours of “slab” usage (for ball hockey between April and October) and, a cost recovery rate of 69% (slightly lower than average). The estimated service lifespan of the Dome is 40 years (10 more years) although with continuous lifecycle investments this could be extended.


In 2006 the decision to fund improvements to the Dome was based on the following:


¨        Significant demand for the Dome’s ice surface which is not expected to diminish in the future

¨        Cost to operate the facility is relatively low in relation to the benefits that it provides

¨        If the Dome were to be closed, it is unlikely a new arena would be built in this community

¨        Extends the lifecycle of the building

¨        Investment in the facility would still be of benefit if, in the future the arena function were to be eliminated and the building converted to indoor recreational space

¨        Eliminates the safety concerns and the annual operational costs associated with the use of trailers as change rooms

¨        Creates the opportunity to increase year round use of the facility by providing community space for programs associated with use of the arena (summer sports camps, after school programs, fitness programs)


In 2008 the same benefits could be realized however, the originally budgeted $825K is no longer sufficient to cover the costs of improvements. Construction costs alone have increased approximately 20%, in the intervening period. 

The need to integrate the design of the addition with the Dome’s unique architecture and the proposed location which requires a reconfiguration of the parking lot have also resulted in increased costs. Offsetting these increases to a certain extent is the elimination of a $45K expense in the 2006 budget for the replacement of the ice condenser (Belltown has acquired a condenser from another facility).


In order to provide a context for the assessment of the funding requirements two investment options are presented:



 These two investment options are summarized in the following table:


Cost Breakdown



1.       Long-term Upgrade – with community space


Construct 2100 sq. foot addition with change rooms and community space

¨        $10K for installation of ice condenser

¨        $1,179K design and construction ($365K additional funding required)

¨        Continuous life-cycle expenses (average of $100K per year over the next ten years)

¨   Allows the Dome to continue to operate

¨   Addresses a major shortcoming of the building

¨   Increases the safety and quality of the experience of Dome users

¨   Will allow the potential of the existing facility (ice and slab use) to be maximised

¨   Increases programming and community use potential: after school programs, camps, fitness programs, community activities

¨      High cost to benefit ratio

¨      Basic functions of the building remain the same

¨      Increased operation and life cycle costs

2.       Long-term Upgrade Option – without community space


Construct 1700 sq. foot addition with change rooms but no community space

¨        $10K for installation of ice condenser

¨        $968K design and construction ($155K additional funding required)

¨        Continuous life-cycle expenses (average of $100K per year over the next ten years)

¨   Allows the Dome to continue to operate

¨   Addresses a major shortcoming of the building

¨   Increases the safety and quality of the experience of Dome users

¨      High cost to benefit ratio

¨      Basic functions of the building remain the same

¨      Increased operation and life cycle costs


The long-term upgrade option with community space is consistent with the option approved by Council in 2006. It provides opportunities to maximize the level of use of the existing facility without addressing its primary limitations. It requires $365,000 in additional funding to the existing $825,000 already committed in 2006.

While this option provides benefits to existing users (additional change rooms) and the opportunity to maximise the potential of the building in its existing form (extend programming through the use of the community space) it does not address two of the three primary limitations of the facility (un-insulated rink space and a smaller than standard ice surface). In addition, the benefits that it would provide come with a significant price tag and would be spent on a building that is estimated to have ten years remaining in its operational lifecycle.


The long-term upgrade option without community space is similar to the above option with the exception that it does not include the community space component. This reduces the square footage of the addition to 1700 square feet and limits the required increase to the existing $825,000 budget to $155,000. This option would increase the quality of the primary users experience, reduce annual operational expenses by eliminating the need to rent trailers and potentially increase operational revenues through an increased utilization rate.


The benefit to cost ratio is better than the option with community space, though still high within the context of the building’s lifecycle.   This was the preferred option for the majority of residents of the adjacent community at the public consultation held in March of 2008.




On balance, staff has recommended the investment option, with community space, that provides the footprint and features of the original Council approved design with a configuration and orientation that responds to feedback received as part of the public consultations.


Asset Rationalization Review


At the same, staff has been tasked to identify $100M in efficiency savings, including $15M for Leveraging Assets (Asset Rationalization).  The Asset Rationalization review will be undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of City facilities (condition, viability, utilization) to make recommendations to Committee and Council, as part of the 2009 budget process, respecting facilities that may be decommissioned to realize the $15M in savings identified above.


The Belltown Dome will be included as part of that review.




Three public consultations were held to solicit input from the public to present design options.


Monday, October 1st 2007, Ron Kolbus Lakeside Gardens.


This consultation focused on selected community and sports groups and provided an opportunity to receive input regarding their needs. Comments were generally favourable towards the proposed improvements


Thursday November 15, 2007  F. J. MacDonald School.


Community consultation organised by the councillor to present a preliminary design option and receive comments from the community. Significant concerns were expressed by residents of the immediate community regarding the impact of the proposed addition on the park space on the south side of the Dome. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2008  F. J. MacDonald Public School.


Community consultation organised by the Councillor to present a site analysis and alternative design concepts. Three alternative design options were presented with general community support shown for the design that did not include community space.




There is presently $825,000 committed to the Belltown Dome Improvements project.  Approval of the report recommendation will add a $365,000 pressure to the 2009 capital budget for the Belltown Dome Improvements project.   Parks & Recreation have calculated that there will be an annual operating impact of $45,000 required in 2010.




Community and Protective Services, Parks and Recreation Branch to action any direction received as part of the consideration of this report.




ACS2008-CPS-PAR-0008                                                                      BAY/BAIE (7)


Mr. Aaron Burry offered a summary of the project.  In order to build the addition proposed that would connect it to the dome there is an additional funding needed.  There have also been some minor revisions, which added additional costs.  This is a Council approved project and the purpose is to say what is presently needed to complete it.


Councillor Cullen commented that the sticking point with the community, which will be voiced at the meeting, is the community room. He would like staff to comment. 


Mr. Burry responded saying that the addition itself is not a huge cost item and the other issue is the lack of community space in the ward.  In order to keep this asset there are certain basic things that need to be done in order to function, a minimum amount of amenities.


The Committee heard from the following list of delegations.  A brief summary of their presentation is listed within the minutes with the majority expressing similar sentiments and concerns with regards to the report, those being:


1)                  Belltown Dome is a unique structure and should be kept as such.

2)                  It was not meant as a hockey arena.

3)                  The area is a quiet residential neighbourhood.

4)                  The new community room is not needed and as it is not staffed will be at risk of vandalism.

5)                  The dome itself needs much work and best to concentrate on that.

6)                  There is a lack of parking as it is, adding a community room will make it worse.


Delegations: (all opposed)


·                    Penny Sutherland, neighbourhood resident

·                    Rebecca Last, Belltown Neighbours Association

·                    Tim Hayes, neighbourhood resident

·                    Gillian Forsyth-Bose, neighbourhood resident

·                    Ranjit Bose, neighbourhood resident

·                    Kurt Turchan, Belltown Residents Association



Penny Sutherland, neighbourhood resident, stated that the Belltown Dome is a unique structure not only in Ottawa but also in all of Canada.  It was built in the late 1970’s as part of the neighbourhood improvement program.  The residents formed a Committee and worked with the City to plan the building and the funds of $2 million.  It was constructed to serve as an ice rink in winter and multi-purpose gymnasium in summer. Never intended for league hockey.  It had originally used canvas, which has been replaced with aluminium, which leaks.  It has been named one of the top 500 buildings in Canada. The new proposed building would be unstaffed and is of great concern in light of the crime wave in their community.  It is in the heart of a quiet residential community unlike many other hockey arenas or community centres.  It is more similar to an outdoor rink.  They would like it restored to its original state.


Rebecca Last, Belltown Neighbours Association, feels that it would be a waste of $1.2 million to build an additional room.  Rather, restore the Dome to its original state and have it used as a small residential community facility.  She as well is concerned with the possible rise in youth crime.


Tim Hayes, neighbourhood resident, said that there are missing pieces to this issue.  The Community has asked a variety of questions which have yet to be answered.  They would like to know who the potential users would be of this new additional space and for what purpose.  How much space would it receive since there are other facilities nearby.  The roof has been bandaged up with duct tape in order to keep it going until 2018.  At that time the dome would be removed. They consider the new facility a large expenditure for no reason.  They are also surprised that no security audit has been done on the Dome.  They ask that the decision be deferred.


Chair Deans advised the delegations that if it were passed today it would go to the budget deliberations.  Therefore the final decision would not be made today.


Councillor Leadman coomented that Mr. Hayes had mentioned that there are other community facilities available such as the Ron Kolbus Centre as well as schools and so on.  Are those facilities available to the public for no cost?


Mr Hayes responded stating that he could not speak to the McDonald School, but for the City-owned properties they will be governed by the City cost policy, and that cost will vary according to the group applying for its use.


Councillor Leadman asked staff to answer the question on fees.

Mr. Burry stated that it is dependent on who it is, and what you’re doing, and according to City policy there will be a range of these things, so in some instances if it was programming we were trying to encourage and support, then they are probably not going to be paying for the space. If you are a commercial league that wants to come in and use the room, then there will be commercial rates that will apply.


Councillor Leadman asks the size of the additional room.  Mr. Burry stated that it would be about 500 square feet.  It’s basically to try and facilitate and make the Dome more useful than it currently is. There is no space in that currently, so the intention was again to create some space that will allow the Dome to be more functional throughout the year.


In response to Councillor Leadman’s question on the ice-skating Mr. Burry responded saying that it is basically a refrigerated outdoor surface that has aluminium or a shell over the top of it. It works very well in that capacity. He stated that what the project was intended to do was giving the requirements around change rooms; those are the constant concerns that they get as well as places to hold a pre-team meeting. In terms of the summer, when the sun shines on the dome it’s unusually hot, so we need some secondary area, which groups have requested, in terms of places to even hold some form of a meeting, or if we were looking at this as a programming location. The Dome is popular amongst women’s hockey and other smaller leagues. The issue that repeatedly comes up is that there is no place to change in the winter time and in the summer, there’s no places to allow that allow for an additional 5-600 hours of what we’re looking at in terms of programming space. There’s 500 hours in the summer ball hockey that happens out of this location, so again it’s ball hockey groups in the summertime.  There is free recreational skating at this facility as well which would not change.


Councillor Feltmate noted that staff raised parking, as an issue.  Is the City eliminating any parking spaces? Mr. Burry stated no and there is no requested increase to parking, so they are not looking at that, and again, the majority of the building, based on how its used we feel that it does not need to be factored in. 


Chair Deans asked a question regarding this delegation’s presentation.  They had said there would be no staff programming this space, but she has a similar situation in her ward at the Greenboro Pavillion, there’s no staff onsite there but the Greenboro Community Association programs it. If the community rooms were to go forward, wouldn’t the Ron Kolbus centre be programming that space?

Mr. Burry responded in the affirmative. In addition, depending on the community and how access is done, there are also key agreements they enter into. The building is not “left open” – there are typically staff on site and depending on what programming is offered out of there, they would look at similar arrangements with whatever community group they were dealing with.


Gillian Forsyth-Bose, neighbourhood resident,  stated that she lives opposite the Dome for about 20 years now, and she wants to express her concerns about the amount of traffic generated by the current programming at the Dome, and to express fears that this may even get worse if an addition is added to the facility. The current parking lot is completely inadequate to cope with the traffic generated by the programming at the Belltown Dome. There are 28 spots as mentioned by a neighbour and a hockey team typically has 15 players on its roster, 2 teams playing at a time, makes about 30 vehicles, give or take. With changing teams there are sometimes 30 cars cruising the neighbourhood looking for parking spots, turning circling reversing, it becomes traffic chaos. There are 2 concerns here actually, one is the nuisance factor, living there, but more importantly is the issue of safety. When the cars line both sides of the street, there is a very narrow channel left in the middle of the road. This is a neighbourhood without sidewalks, so cars parked on both sides leaves very little space for pedestrians, cyclists, etc. The young hockey players themselves are at risk when they get out of their cars, onto the congested street. In winter, snow banks add to the constricted space. Staggering the programming with half hour buffers between ice rentals could reduce congestion and make the streets safer. The Dome was not designed for the density of programming currently in operation. The proposed renovation will not alleviate this situation, and in fact, adding a community room, will add to traffic. She urges spending the money on a more viable project.


Kurt Turchan, Belltown Residents Association, stated that there are 6 delegations here, and part of the overall frustration is there are many gaps and problems in the current plans. Therefore, this is being done as one of the only recourses to bring it to the Committee’s attention. He presented a petition of opposition to the current plans and has over 55 names on it. When they observed City officials and contractors on the site, the following day, he entered into a door-to-door petition since no one nearby knew of the plans. 


This is in contrast to the original building committee when a neighbour chaired that process. He reads the petition.  The small park in front of the Dome should remain unchanged. Any change or extension to the building or additional buildings on the grounds of the existing park would affect the park’s usage and appeal.

Upon presenting the petition to City officials, they had their first meeting and there was unanimous opposition to the plans in general, and to the community room in particular. Residents were told other options would be presented, but the net result was only two very similar designs; 1, the original, and the other slightly moved into parking lot, bringing up more traffic issues. A majority has opposed the building plans at each public meeting, and has called into question other factors like parking, like the heritage issue, and safety, and in an effort to show this majority view that brought this petition today, 55 people.


Ranjit Bose, neighbourhood resident lives close to the Dome. He said that he has lived there with my family for 20 years and opposes the $1 million expansion to the Dome. He would like to further request that the Dome move away from the model of being just another skating rink in the City, and instead return it to serving the Belltown community, as a local neighbourhood skating rink, following the outdoor rink model, possibly with the structure standing as it is now, possibly not. The outdoor rink model offers improved access for the community, for people in our neighbourhood, whether children or adults, to go there for the simple purpose of skating. There are many families in the neighbourhood who are keen skaters, and would just love to use the rink next to us for a simple recreational skate.  An outdoor rink model is an environmental option. The outdoor rink model is a cost effective option for the City, in light of the City’s upcoming asset-rationalization review to identify $100 million in efficiency savings, it doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense to spend over $1 million on a facility with limited life, that will not fit the City’s normal ice arena template. He closed his remarks stating rather than spending time creating a personal backyard rink he would love to have the opportunity to work with his friends and fellow neighbours in the community to contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of a Belltown community rink, and fostering the sense of community available at the same time, reducing environmental impact, and saving a million dollars of City money.


Coucnillor Feltmate asked the delegate, what you’re suggesting is that the Dome be torn down, and that the space be used as an outdoor rink?


Mr. Bose said that what he is suggesting is that the Dome could stay as it is for now, potentially eventually it will have to come down, but regardless if it comes down or remains up, if it could follow the outdoor rink model which would be his preferred option.


Councillor Feltmate asked for staff comment on that, as she understands, it’s a more expensive option  as there are condensers as compared to an outdoor rink  which is just water.

Mr. Burry responded stating that in terms of an outdoor rink, they would provide about $3500; the operating expenses on this would be close to $100,000.  This is basically a refrigerated surface; it’s neither an arena, nor is it an unrefrigerated outdoor rink, it’s really an intermediate facility, that’s why it’s 2/3 size and why it is covered.


Mr. Turchan noted that there are heritage considerations here. This dome was originally covered by canvas, although there may have been a condenser in the early years, the arena, is subject to the warming of fall and spring. It effectively is an outdoor rink. One suggestion would be, put the canvas back up, take the condenser out, let it function as an outdoor rink. The structure remains, and we get to be reminded of this wonderful architecture from the Expo era, which is really the key heritage value.


In response to Councillor Feltmate’s question on parking Mr. Burry responded by saying that there is no opportunity for additional parking, given the sewer design and everything else in that area, so essentially, this is the parking that’s available and fits within the building code. This is not going to see any increase in terms of that type of programming. The City is adding some community space to make this available and to enhance what is available; the other thing is to provide some spill out meeting space. Currently what we are doing is providing some temp trailers on the site, and that is not going to last, given what we are seeing with changes coming forward.   This whole proposal and what was originally discussed two years ago was, if you are going to retain this asset, you need to do some basic improvements to it, this is the basic improvement around storage, access, washrooms, that should be done.


Councillor Leadman coomented that the delegations say that over the course of a week, there are only 4 hours of open recreational skating. 


Mr. Burry doesn’t know off the top of his head, but the City has about 200 hours altogether across the City in any given week, therefore, those 4 hours would have been allocated based on the usage and who’s coming out for that, and that point in time.


Councillor Feltmate asked if there was a heritage designation for the Dome.


Mr. Burry stated that it is recognized by the Canadian Architecture Association as one of the 500 recognized buildings in Canada, so it does have some historical and architectural significance, and the proposed addition that has limited the design or the impacts on the existing facilities, the proposed addition is a completely separate building, which is linked to the existing building, through the existing entranceways. It will provide access, but it is not affecting the architectural status of the existing building.


Councillor Feltmate noted that the roof itself appears to have repair issues. Is this in the funding envelope and look at further preservation of the facility itself?


Mr. Burry said that some of the expenditures have already been done, in terms of improvements; there are others that will occur over time, based on this funding envelope. The key thing to remember is the City is leaving the structure as it is, we are not trying to improve it or substantially change it, to allow it to function within its limitations.

The notion of the first report is that this to extend the life, it is not to go another 40 or 50 years. We’ve extended this over a 15 year period, at which time, another time and decision point will come for Council, in terms of what sorts of investments will be needed at that point.  For example, refrigeration units have been replaced, so that was part of this; now there are other repairs scheduled. In addition, there’s a separate building to support what is currently happening, where portable trailers are now brought onto the site to try and support it, there’s a number of band aid measures, those would be eliminated and using a permanent building to basically support that. Council has approved a direction to put some basic investment into this.


In response to Councillor Feltmate’s question on the petition Mr. Turchan stated that it really says, this is a very small park space, let’s not add buildings to it, and let’s preserve the green space, which the new buildings interfere with. Secondly, please involve us in future changes; this came upon us, we found out well after budget was approved.


Councillor Feltmate said that she is hearing complaints in her own community, the comment that the delegation made regarding how you want to go back to what you had before, and unfortunately, going back is not always an option. Our communities are expanding, our resources for recreation space are very limited, and the City is looking for ways of to maximize, and reutilize and acknowledge the growth in out communities. She recognizes the need to preserve the Dome, but going back is not an option.


Mr. Turchan stated that he doesn’t think anyone could argue that we don’t need new facilities. One of the things they are arguing is that maybe this $1 million is better spent going towards installing a twin pad in a more commercial area, and leave this poor undersized rink that’s leaking and constantly being barnacled, it’s like trying to flog a dead horse. This will never be the project that the City needs for increased hockey use.


Councillor Bédard asked if the Belltown Association participated in all 3 meetings. It says that the meeting on Thursday, November 15, there was considerable opposition to the park space on the south side of the Dome, the proposed addition.  Then on Tuesday March 25, they supported it, but did not include the community space, which he presumed was the same thing. So, was it your association, or were there others involved in not supporting this? Was there a committee formed to try and work things out?

Mr. Turchan said that they were consulted after they observed City officials in the park. At the two consultations, they were cautioned clearly only to ask questions on the City plans that were presented. Throughout the 2 consultations that they were invited to, it did not feel like a true consultation, and was certainly not in the spirit of the original Building Committee, chaired by a neighbour. They were forced down a path to choose between 2 options, essentially identical, and the concerns expressed today are trying to bring to light a number of flaws that have never been properly addressed through consultation.


Councillor Qadri asked if the current trailers on site are impacting the green space?


Mr. Burry said that they were at the back of the building, so they are not impacting at the time of year that they are brought in, which is typically for winter and is not aware of any other impacts.


Chair Deans asked how this single-ice facility transitioned from a local community space centered in a residential neighbourhood that changed to more regional based. It may have  happened 30 years ago but it seems that this is really a planning issue because ice rinks today should be multi-rinks, not one standalone rink, and they should have a zoning designation that sites them in places where they have appropriate parking, and they should be more efficient in terms of costs of operating, because they would  be multi-surface rinks, in the same building. What we have here is a very odd situation where you have a community that’s going to be gaining community space, and they’re saying, no thanks! We don’t see that very often. The issue is that they don’t feel it’s serving the community where it’s sitting; it’s serving a big regional area that’s bringing people in from other communities.


Mr. Burry responded by saying that first of all it’s not really appropriate to compare this site to a fully functional full size twin-pad arena; they are not in the same class, not the same concept at all. The disadvantage from a planning perspective today of coming forward with arena operations, because of the design, because of how this operates, this is actually one of the most efficient and least-costly surfaces in the City. That is a problem, from our perspective. Secondly, when you look at an existing life cycle issue, and we do have proposals coming in from companies coming in which actually talk about building something that doesn’t look a lot different than the Belltown Dome. Today, in a new construction world, would be $4-$5 million. When you look at the kind of investment, again, and this is what the original strategy, the original discussion was, what kind of minimal investment could you do, and still get a pretty reasonable value in return. The City has run out locations inside the greenbelt.

The City is more and more dependent on the inner City, between a rock and a hard place, in terms of an existing facilities that were built during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, according to a code and a standard that today makes it very difficult to do. That is a general sense around this particular project, and it was again to expand the life of it, to deal with some of those growing and emerging issues, in the most cost effective way.


Councillor Cullen thanks the delegations and the Committee for hearing this issue.  Unfortunately it started off on the wrong foot by not including the community representatives and residents in the consultation process.  As the ward councillor he began the ball rolling on meetings with the City staff and the envelope on the original approval of 2006 is fast closing.  After more detailed design there is inflation and added features, which needed consideration.  This is a well-used facility with over 37 groups using it.  There are traffic problems yes but this is an enhancement to an important existing facility. 


Councillor Holmes commented that this is one of the more inexpensive run facilities and is in favour of the report and it is an efficient way of using money.


That the Community and Protective Services Committee recommend that Council approve that an additional $365,000 be added to the Belltown Dome Improvements project as part of the 2009 capital budget to construct a 2100 square foot addition as described in this report.




[1] $990,000 based on a 20% inflationary increase in the originally budgeted $825,000