The City of Laval is set to receive a brand new aquatic complex in the next few years. Mayor Marc Demers announced in 2015 that he hopes the facility will be ready by 2020, in time to host the Jeux du Québec (Quebec Games) in July of that year.

“We want to build a high-quality building that will enhance architectural standards in Laval,” says Mayor Demers in a recent press release, adding that high-quality facilities benefit the city, and that these buildings are valuable for the city and the people of Laval.

Lavallers have reason to look forward to this aquatic centre. It will be located in the heart of the city, on Terry-Fox avenue, near the Cosmodome, and it will feature the largest recreational public pool in the city. The facility will also include four other basins: three Olympic-sized pools for swimming and competitions, and one large basin designed specifically for diving. The facility will be well-equipped with 700 seats for spectators at all times, and 500 additional spots can be added for larger-scale events.

The building will be held to the highest environmental and technological standards and will prominently feature the most up-to-date technology. “The aquatic centre will become part of our identity as Lavallers,” says the Mayor. “As such, we hope that it is of a high quality and that it’s able to stand out.”

Being the third largest city in Quebec, Laval has been long-overdue for a large-scale aquatic complex. An article from Radio-Canada points out that due to the prior lack of an appropriate facility in Laval, many Lavallers have been forced to seek such services in Montreal, or even on the North Shore in places like Blainville, Saint-Eustache and Terrebonne. The hope is that this facility will alleviate some of that strain on families and will provide them with a local option.

The framework for the construction of the building is already under way and last January the construction contract was awarded to Consortium NFOE- HCMA following an architectural contest for the concept of the complex. The contest winner was selected by a jury consisting of a very diverse cast of people, led by architect Matthew C. Lella. Alexandre Despatie, Laval-native and former Olympic silver-medalist sat alongside a cast comprising of architects, a journalist, a university professor and a sustainable development expert. Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

Mayor Demers understands the nature of this hefty 60 million-dollar investment and assures he wants to do everything possible to stay within the budget. “We are managing public money and we must remain vigorous,” he says. He defends the high cost of the facility by stating this is not the first time a city heavily invests in a large-scale sports complex, and that the project is worth the cost because it ends up bringing a greater value to the city in the long run.