New Burnaby-owned recreation centre at Fortius Sport & Health to open next month

Feb 1 2021, 2:23 pm

The first recreational facilities at the City of Burnaby’s newest major acquisition, the Fortius Sport & Health complex, is slated to open to the public by early Spring 2021.

The municipal government announced today the weight room and fitness space is expected to open sometime in March, using the same pandemic-time advance registration system used at other city facilities.

As of today, the facility at 3713 Kensington Avenue is under the ownership of the city, which confirmed in the middle of December 2020 that it had reached a deal with the non-profit organization that operated Fortius to acquire the property for $26.6 million.

Fortius Sports & Health

Fortius Sport & Health at 3713 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby. (Fortius Sport & Health)

Fortius Sport & Health

Fortius Sport & Health at 3713 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby. (Fortius Sport & Health)

The operator, Fortius Foundation, announced last fall that its financial situation as a result of COVID-19 forced its decision to permanently close by the end of 2020.

The 146,000 sq. ft. facility on the 5.16-acre property was completed in 2013 at a cost of $61 million. It included a sports medicine clinic, fitness and performance centre, human performance lab, NBA standard double gymnasium, offices, a 50-room hotel, and food service.

While the municipal government states it is still in the process of developing a detailed program for the building, it appears there is no future for the hotel component, which accounts for a significant portion of the building’s total floor area.

The hotel turned Fortius into a major, all-inclusive training hub for amateur and elite professional athletes, including Olympians. It was one of the largest facilities of its kind in Canada, initially catalyzed by the momentum of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Fortius Sport & Health at 3713 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby. (Fortius Sport & Health)

Fortius Sport & Health at 3713 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby. (Fortius Sport & Health)

Last month’s auction at the Fortius property seemingly disposed of the facility’s equipment and furniture for its hotel rooms and athletic therapy rooms.

The new programming approach appears to be more community-focused, less oriented around elites, which is to be expected as the result of the municipal acquisition.

The Fortius complex is also immediately across the street from the ageing C.G. Brown Memorial Pool and Burnaby Lake Arena. The city has been planning a major replacement and expansion project for this facility, but the acquisition of Fortius will allow for a smaller project scope — reduced recreation space and parking requirements — that cuts down on construction costs substantially.

fortius vancouver titans

The exterior of Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby, BC. (Fortius Sports & Health)

Fortius Sport & Health

Fortius Sport & Health at 3713 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby. (Fortius Sport & Health)

“This will soon become a thriving hub in our community, a place where residents will come to be active and healthy, and to engage and connect with their neighbours,” said Mayor Mike Hurley.

“Burnaby is growing rapidly and so too are the recreation needs of our residents. This facility will play an important role in meeting the needs of our dynamic community now and into the future.”

Fortius is located within the Burnaby Lake cluster of various sport and recreational facilities.

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