Edmonton’s new outside rec centre to make use of heavy timber for lowered carbon footprint


Rendering of the interior of the River Valley Outdoor Activity Center to be built in Edmonton. Photo courtesy of DIALOG

DIALOG’s plan for Edmonton’s River Valley Outdoor Activity Center shows that it relies on heavy timber construction to minimize the carbon contained in the infrastructure, allowing the project to pursue Zero Carbon Building certification.

Another way to reduce the carbon footprint of the project will be the reliance on renewable energy and thermal efficiency. The center’s wood-heavy aesthetic, which offers expansive views of downtown Edmonton and the River Valley from the second-story balconies of the Muttart Conservatory, will blend with the surrounding Rocky Mountains. It will be easily accessible from Edmonton’s Valley Line LRT and the trail network of one of Canada’s largest urban park networks.

Led by the Edmonton Ski Club, the center will enable community partners such as the Edmonton Folk Festival, Free Play for Kids, KidSport Edmonton and the Indigenous Sports Council of Alberta to offer sports and cultural programming.

An aerial rendering showing the placement of the River Valley Outdoor Activity Center in relation to its surroundings. Photo courtesy of DIALOG

Construction of the project is fueled by $6.6 million in funding it received from the Canadian government under the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program.

“The Edmonton Ski Club is passionate about providing affordable outdoor recreation for families and individuals of all ability levels. With support of the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program, we will build on our 111-year heritage to work with our many community partners to deliver quality, inclusive programs in a modern, inclusive and environmentally responsible facility,” said Sandy Fleming, CEO of the Edmonton Ski Club

Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2023, with a target opening date of winter 2023.