Recreation centres are places where people can go to have fun and get exercise. They offer a wide variety of activities, including sports, arts and crafts, indoor play areas for children, and pools.
People of all ages and abilities can enjoy a recreation centre, so we thought of reviewing the best ones in Ottawa so you can pick which one you would like to visit with your family or your friends.
How much do recreation centres charge?
Recreation centres usually charge around $8 – $10 per person per day. Some have additional charges for other amenities like pools and gyms.
There are often family passes available that cover a number of family members for multiple days at a reduced rate. The table below should help you get a better idea of the rates that you may encounter.
|Service||Average Cost Per Meal|
|Walk-In Fee||$8 - $10 per person|
|Membership Fee||$10 - $12 monthly|
|Family Membership Fee||$50 - $80 monthly|
|Additional Access||$2 - $5 per person|
The Best Recreation Centres in Ottawa
The following criteria were taken into account while identifying Ottawa’s top recreation centres:
1. Canterbury Recreation Complex
|AMENITIES||Swimming Pool, Sauna, Ice rink, Basketball Court, Table Tennis, Changerooms, Washrooms|
|ADDRESS||2185 Arch St, Ottawa, ON K1G 2H5, Canada|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday 8AM–10PM|
The Canterbury Recreation Complex located in Arch St. offers a variety of activities including swimming, ice skating, basketball, table tennis, and other activities for both children and adults.
The pool is 25 metres long and six lanes wide, and the temperature of the water is kept warm during the colder months. We love that the centre has its sauna where you can relax after a hard workout at the pool or on the ice.
The basketball court is illuminated with bright lights so you can enjoy a good game of hoops day or night. There are also fitness classes offered at the complex to promote healthy living.
For those who aren’t familiar with swimming and skating, the establishment also offers classes for both children and adults. We appreciate this very much because it’s a good way for parents and children to bond.
The only downside of this complex is the lack of Wi-Fi. If you plan on visiting while trying to finish work online, you may have a hard time doing so.
Overall, because of the great amenities and the convenient location, we recommend the Canterbury Recreation Complex to everyone. The staff there is very friendly and they go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your time.
“I go there for swimming, and to use the Jim Tubman skating rink. I love both facilities, and the tink converts into a court in the spring and summer. The pool is in great shape, regular 25 metres. Would definitely recommend both for getting some exercise and having fun!” – Rebekah Belyea
“Great spot for summer camps. Great options and the people are great. There is no Wifi even though you can see there is a guest option.” – Andrew Mcdonald
2. Plant Recreation Centre
|AMENITIES||Swimming Pool, Weight, and Cardio Room, Group Fitness Rooms, Free Wifi, Change Rooms, Parking Area|
|ADDRESS||930 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R9, Canada|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday 6:45AM–9:30PM|
The Plant Recreation Centre is another great place for recreational activities in Ottawa. It has many amenities, including its own swimming pool, a weight and cardio room, group fitness rooms, and more.
What makes this centre stand out is the unique architecture of the building and the wide variety of activities that it offers. Outside the area, there’s a playground perfect for kids and a beautiful garden where seniors can relax.
As for the pool, the size is quite average, but it’s heated all year round, which is nice for swimmers who don’t like swimming in cold water. It’s also good that there are lifeguards on duty to ensure the safety of swimmers.
Fitness classes are available at the location for those who want to lose or maintain weight. The cardio and weight rooms are spacious and well-equipped; both feature TVs that can be viewed while working out.
The only downside is the lack of basketball courts and other areas for similar activities. It’s a big enough location, so it would’ve been nice to have at least a badminton or tennis court.
However, the Plant Recreation Centre is still a great recreation centre that offers many great activities for people of all ages.
“Excellent faculty. I am part of the Sharky’s Diving Team and we do our classes twice a week. Lifeguards are super professional and very helpful. The facility including the pool segment is always very clean. If you are looking to experience some underwater fun, feel free to join us.” – Milos Stojanovic
Clean and well-organized
“Everything is clean and well organized. Pool super busy. I did book my swim online but not sure how they are tracking that as many people just swipe their card and walk in.” – Carlene
3. Jack Purcell Community Centre and Pool
|AMENITIES||Swimming Pool, Basketball Courts, Wifi, Weight and Cardio Rooms|
|ADDRESS||320 Jack Purcell Ln, Ottawa, ON K2P 2J5, Canada|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday 7:30AM–8PM|
The Jack Purcell Community Centre located on Jack Purcell Lane is another well-known centre located in Ottawa that offers a wide range of activities to its patrons.
These include dance classes, gym services, and multipurpose rooms for parties and gatherings.
What we love about this establishment is that it’s centrally located in downtown, Ottawa. It is close to numerous establishments like restaurants, schools, and parks, which makes it the perfect gathering place for the community.
For its amenities, the Jack Purcell Community Centre has a number of unique features, including a children’s playground, basketball courts, public computers, and even its own heated swimming pool.
Swimmers who are concerned about training during cold weather will have no problems here. The dance classes are also taught by experienced dancers who work in different schools around the city.
The public computers are great for those who need to print out or edit documents before a meeting or a class.
The only issue we have with this centre is its lack of areas for other sports activities besides the basketball court and the swimming pool. A badminton court or two would’ve sufficed.
Overall, because of the unique classes that the community establishment offers and its heated pools and public computers, we still think it’s one of the best places for recreational activities in the city.
“Nice community centre and amazing staff. This is a great centre to try if anyone is interested in swimming lessons. They have a clean heated pool. Love music and dance, thinking of joining the dance class. For all the art lovers, there are new art classes starting soon.” – Inonge Akatama
“Jack Purcell Community Center is a nice place to take kids to. They have a wonderful heated pool. I’ve been there as a young guy on many occasions to go swimming. They also have an exercise gym. Kind and polite staff.” – Gregory Saygon
4. Pinecrest Recreation Complex
|AMENITIES||Swimming Pool, Weight and Cardio Room, Picnic Area, Sauna, Free Wifi, Parking Area, Ice Rink|
|ADDRESS||2250 Torquay Ave, Ottawa, ON K2C 1J3, Canada|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday 7AM–9PM|
The Pinecrest Recreation Complex is one of the bigger establishments in Ottawa when it comes to recreational activities. It has its own swimming pool, a weight and cardio gym, a picnic area, and more.
We love that this centre is in the heart of downtown and is within walking distance from a lot of different places, including restaurants. Its pool is also pretty big, with 5 lanes and a separate leisure pool.
Another great thing about this place is its sauna area. After a hard workout, it’s great to relax and unwind in the steam sauna before cooling down by taking a dip in the pool.
We also appreciate the fitness training that is available in this establishment. The coaches and trainers are all experts and passionate about what they do, so it’s worth checking out their programs and classes to try them out.
After your workout, you can still hang out by one of the picnic areas of the complex to enjoy a meal with friends while watching the children play in one of the playgrounds.
There’s also Wi-Fi that can be accessed by customers for free.
Unfortunately, there have been some complaints regarding the A/C of the establishment. But everything is now back in order, according to the Pinecrest management.
Overall, this is a great place to relax and enjoy some time outdoors with family and friends.
“Pretty good, they have basketball nets to play at and they were really helpful when my mom got hit in the eye with a floating device. They were very attentive and helped her out right away.” – Kristina H
“Excellent pool, great staff, assured water quality, I use this pool thrice a week under the lane swim program” – Amrit R.
5. Greenboro Community Centre
|AMENITIES||Racquet Court, Weight and Cardio Room, Group Fitness Area, Wadding Pool, Basketball Court, Wifi, Cycling Studio|
|ADDRESS||363 Lorry Greenberg Dr, Ottawa, ON K1T 3P8, Canada|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday 7:30AM–9PM|
The Greenboro Community Centre is a recreational spot located in Lorry Greenberg Drive.
The establishment provides a wide variety of activities and facilities for its visitors, such as its own gym, a group fitness area, a cycling studio, and its own wadding pool.
The main gym is equipped with a variety of machines designed to challenge users of all skill levels. There are also separate areas set up for weightlifting and free weights training.
We love that Greenboro has its own basketball and badminton courts. Athletes who want to improve their skills and techniques can make use of these areas to practice their shots or pick up a game of their favorite sport.
What makes Greenboro stand out is its own library and daycare centre. Parents who are busy during the day can leave their children at the daycare facility to be cared for by a team of certified childcare professionals while they complete their workouts.
The only downside of this location is its steep pricing. If you’re under a tight budget, then you’ll want to look elsewhere for a place to exercise.
Overall, the Greenboro Community Centre is a great spot if you’re looking for a place where you can keep active while your kids are well taken care of.
“Great library and day care center for kids. Friendly staff Lots of parking space. Small pool for kids and lots of trail to cycle and walk.” – Henry Walter
“A very nice facility! There is a library, Rec center, pool and park so there’s always something to do. The staff there are are very nice and helpful. The centre is very well kept and tidy. It’s a great place to host events!” – Izzy Bg
FAQs about Recreation Centres
And that’s it for Ottawa’s best recreation centres. We hope you find a good one that’s close to your home and right for your budget.
If you’re interested in something more fancy and exclusive, check out the best country clubs in Ottawa.