Dovercourt is not like other recreation centres, but many may not be sure why. Dovercourt operates through an agreement with the City of Ottawa that saves the taxpayer money and gives them autonomy to suit the needs of its community. Dovercourt treasures that independence, generating over 95% of its budget from operational success. While a charity that welcomes donations, “buy local” means a lot more to Dovercourt, as the purchase of swimming, fitness, camps or other programs supports its ability to share with the community.
Dovercourt also provides programs at the McKellar, Woodroffe, and Van Lang field houses, a range of arts and culture programs at the Bluesfest School of Music and Art, as well as schools including Broadview, Churchill, Hilson, Nepean, and more.
Their many partners bring passion to enriching their programs, reaching marginalized populations, sharing resources, or helping celebrate with special events. These include a speed dating event for social services agencies in the west end, the Principal’s Breakfast for community leaders and other more light-hearted events such as Westboro Fuse, the Haunted Community Centre, and the annual dog swim.
According to Trish Stolte, Dovercourt’s Director of Marketing, financial success ensures Dovercourt can do what is close to its heart: including people of all ages and abilities. Targeted programs such as rehabilitation fitness classes, free disabled swims, programs for adults with autism, subsidized programs for youth and seniors, and financial assistance are examples, but what really makes its day is finding ways to include those with special needs.
There is no better example than 6-year-old Austin, a client who doesn’t speak much, has poor vision, and eats through a feeding tube. Austin loves the staff and volunteers who help him navigate his day and has improved his social skills and self-confidence. He has a legion of friends at Dovercourt, and is an example that everyone benefits from interaction with people of all abilities.
Dovercourt has also become the largest youth employer in west Ottawa. As teenagers, Patrick and Allison worked as lifeguards and their interest in emergency training led them to study paramedicine. Both are now full-time Paramedics…and they also fell in love along the way and got married. Other noteworthy alumni include Will Amos, now an MP; and Emily Glossop-Nicholson, on staff at CHEO, champion of the proposed new Abilities Centre, and current DRA Board member.
Whether you are participating in a program or just dropping by to enjoy the park, playground, pool or lobby, Dovercourt welcomes you!
Dovercourt Recreation Centre
411 Dovercourt Avenue
Ph | 613-798-8950