Award-winning Recreation Oak Bay exercises minds and bodies with classes and camps at numerous locations. The facilities all foster a safe, welcoming environment where community members can come together and splash into the pool during children’s or adults’ swim lessons, work out in fitness studios, stretch in sync during yoga classes, or swing through the nine-hole Henderson Park Golf Course. Recreation Oak Bay also keeps children safe from the video-game-proffering witches that lurk in most public parks with a variety of kids' sports programs, including skating and hockey, soccer, and tennis.
Saanich Commonwealth Place folds nicely into the District of Saanich Parks and Recreation Department's luxurious recreational centres, which together create a well-rounded outlet for creative and physical activity. Each is unique in its own way, with Pearkes boasting 31,000 square feet of ice rink for skaters and Gordon Head's UV-filtered pools hosting hundreds of thousands of laps swum. Galleries exhibit local artists at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre, and the accompanying recreation centre’s badminton, volleyball, and table tennis have seen more volleys than Tom Hanks at the Castaway reunion. Regardless of its defining feature, each centre seeks to bring the community together with enlightening and enriching fitness and arts programs.
Equipment: LifeFitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Technogym, Hoist, Power Plate
Students should bring: fitness apparel, water bottle, towel
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 30?60 minutes
Class location: Indoors only
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Pay-to-park parking garage
When Vancouver won the opportunity to host the 2010 Winter Games, the city of Richmond decided to build a venue that would be of lasting benefit to the community: the Richmond Olympic Oval. What was once the home of long-track speed skating has since been transformed into a 20,000-square-foot fitness complex, housing a state-of-the-art gym, two ice rinks, volleyball courts, basketball courts, indoor soccer fields, running tracks, climbing walls, batting cages, an indoor rowing pool, and more. Staff members organize activities using each aspect of the venue, ranging from sport leagues to fun fitness challenges. Members gain access to the facility and its programs as whole, allowing them to work out on their own or experience the gym's amenities as part of a group fitness class.
Fitting such a variety things under one roof?and doing so elegantly?is no small feat. But here, a beautiful arching roof literally covers the entire facility. "The Richmond Olympic Oval has won over 50 awards for building design and innovation, including the Institution of Structural Engineers' 2009 Structural Award for Sports or Leisure [Structures]," according to the facility's program manager. The competition for that particular accolade was pretty fierce, since it also included Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium and Water Cube aquatics centre, as well as a 50-foot-tall statue of Joseph Pilates whose core keeps getting more defined.
Hockey Performance Centre develops the next generation of hockey stars using advanced training methods and decades of experience from former NHL players and veteran coaches. The facility relies primarily on the Benicky System, a training approach concocted by Dusan Benicky that zeroes in on individual skills and fundamentals. Having worked with dozens of the best NHL and international players, Benicky perfected his program by applying it within two environments: the gym and the skatemill. Players learn how to skate with power and shoot while in full stride.
The Canlan Ice Sports Burnaby 8 Rinks are a massive sports-entertainment complex boasting six NHL-sized rinks and one dedicated figure-skating rink. Slip on a pair of sharp rental skates and take a spin on the elite ice that has hosted the 2008 World Broomball Championships, the 2009 World Police Fire Games, the Level 6 mini-boss, and a number of other frosty tests of sporting skill. The complex also contains a full-service restaurant, the Thirsty Penguin Grillhouse, whose menu includes scrumptious post-rink snacks such as nine flavours of juicy wings ($8.99) and eight varieties of hearty burgers ($7.99–$9.99). Bring along up to four friends for an icy book-club meeting or space out your five rentals over several visits.
Everett Skate Deck entertains visitors with more than just a polished floor to skate across. Parents can catch the game on the center's large-screen TV while children scamper around cushioned obstacles on Everett's inflatable play structure. Arcade games challenge players to conquer difficult levels in between sips of slushies bought from the onsite snack shop or melted off a passing glacier. But when the live DJ spins their favorite songs, roller skaters and inline skaters are free to strap on a set of rental wheels and glide across the center's rink beneath a disco ball and beams of colored lights flashing off the walls.