Niagara region gets $29M from feds for 2021 Canada Summer Games

The federal government has announced $29 million in funding for the 2021 Canada Games in the Niagara area. The money will go toward the construction of two new facilities and will help fix up seven other venues.

Funding will also help rehabilitate seven other sports venues

The last Canada Summer Games were in Winnipeg in 2017. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

The 2021 Canada Games in the Niagara region is getting $29 million from the federal government to build two new sports facilities and fix up seven other sports venues. 

Minister of infrastructure and communities François-Philippe Champagne announced the funding in Welland on Thursday. He was joined by several elected officials from the surrounding areas, including Liberal MPs, the mayors of Welland, St. Catharines, and Thorold, as well as the president and vice-chancellor of Brock University and the chairman of the 2021 Canada Games. 

The Canada Games is the largest multi-sport event in the country. It is held every two years and switches between the winter and summer games. 

The 2021 Canada Summer Games will be the first time where the host has been a region; all other games have been hosted by single municipalities. Canada Games says that the games will be hosted across all twelve Niagara Region municipalities. 

It will also be the third time that the games have been hosted in Ontario. 

The new sports facilities that will be built include the Canada Games Park in Thorold and a new Henley Rowing Centre in St. Catharines. 

The Canada Games Park will include: 

  • Sports Abilities Centre. 
  • Athletics Facility.
  • Beach Volleyball Centre.
  • Outdoor Cycling Pavilion.
  • Environment Sustainability Centre.

An above ground swimming pool will also be installed at Brock University and will be moved to Lincoln after the games end. 

Other initiatives in St. Catharines include upgrades to Brock University's diving and rugby facilities, and rehabilitation of a baseball diamond at George Taylor Field. 

In a press release, Champagne said that "the new 2021 Canada Games facilities will leave a sporting legacy that will increase access to quality recreational infrastructure" since the facilities will be available for commmunity use after the games. 

At the media event, Doug Hamilton, Board Chair of the 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society and Olympic medalist for rowing, said that this was the "final piece" and that the games were now fully funded.

He also added that construction will begin in a few weeks. 

Some of the money will also be used to upgrade baseball and softball fields for residents of Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Wainfleet, Welland, and West Lincoln and to buy "new specialized sports equipment" that will be used during and after the games. 

The $29 million will come from the community, culture and recreation infrastructure stream of the federal government's "Investing in Canada" infrastructure plan. 

The release also said that Sport Canada will give $3 million. The Government of Ontario, host municipalities, and Brock University will cover the rest.