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Playing around in the Fort



This Saturday, the CFL visits its most northerly city ever, as the Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts play at the $133-million Shell Place on Fort McMurray’s MacDonald Island.

MacDonald Island will also be the venue for a number of large-scale events in 2015, sure to draw the nation’s eye to this small but booming oil town.

Shell Place shares the island with the 450,000-square-foot Suncor Community Leisure Centre, one of Canada’s largest. Trish McAlaster took a look inside the sprawling athletics complex.
Brightcove player



(Open map in new window)


1. SPECIAL SERVICES

(Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail)

- The Fort McMurray Public Library (see map: 1a) has a collection of more than 10,000 audio and print items, and online resources

- Conference rooms (see map: 1b) offer flexible spaces for community, meetings, banquets, weddings and trade shows, with in-house kitchen catering by a culinary team


2. NEXEN FIELD HOUSE AND ACTIVITY FIELD HOUSE

(Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail)

- Can be used for soccer, badminton, basketball, volleyball, indoor kids golf and more

- Each field house is about 20,000 square feet

- Daily activity schedules are posted in front of each field house


3. SYNCRUDE AQUATIC CENTRE

(Layla Underwood/Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo)

- 54-metre Canadian Dewatering Olympic swimming pool

- One three-metre and two one-metre diving boards

- A warm-water leisure pool

- A family whirlpool

- An adults-only whirlpool

- A water park and MIX 103.7FM spray park

- A lazy river


4. CURLING SHEETS

(Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail)

- Eight sheets, privately operated by the Oil Sands Curling Club

- MacDonald Island Park hosted the 2015 Syncrude Elite 10 Curling Tournament, part of the Grand Slam of Curling series


5. ICE RINKS AND ARENAS

(Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail)

- Canadian Natural Resources Arena (see map: 5a) is an NHL-size ice surface, open 17 hours a day

- Arena and leisure ice (see map: 5b) used for family skate and informal training

- Practice rink (see map: 5c)

- Hosted the 2015 Canadian Ringette Championships


6. CLIMBING WALL AND RACQUET COURTS

(Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail)

- 26 feet high

- 14 top anchor ropes

- Three auto belay ropes

- 42 interchangeable routes and 18 for bouldering

- Three courts available for squash and/or racquetball


7. GALLERY SPACE, ART AND DANCE STUDIOS

(Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail)

- Mi Dance Academy has two dedicated dance studios

- The MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery along the hallways is presented by Kirschner Family Corporation

- Two studio spaces for the Arts Programs offered by the Regional Recreation Corporation


8. GYM SPACE AND TRACK

(Layla Underwood/Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo)

- The Fort McKay Group of Companies running track is 190 m (inside lane) and 210 m (outside lane)

- Total Fitness Centre (see map: 8b) is 15,000 sq feet, had 254,735 patrons in 2014

- 200 dumbbells

- 12 rowers

- 62 bikes

- Two punching bags

- 25 treadmills

- 10 steppers


9. BASEBALL/SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT CENTRE

(Layla Underwood/Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo)

- 2,300-seat baseball stadium with four adjacent softball fields and the capacity to host 5,500 fans

- “Berm” and “party zone” areas

- Will play a major role in the Western Canada Summer Games, along with the Suncor Centre facilities


10. SMS STADIUM AND MAIN STAGE

(Layla Underwood/Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo)

- The stadium features a CFL-sized football field, 5,000 permanent seats

- Expanded seating for 15,000+

- The CNOOC Nexen Stage will play host to an Aerosmith concert in 2015

- Will host a pair of North American Soccer League matches involving FC Edmonton


11. SHELL PLACE FIELD HOUSE AND BADMINTON CENTRE

(Layla Underwood/Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo)

- A multi-sport hub for both community use and sport-user group training sessions

- A retractable gate design allows the field house to serve as a venue for a variety of events of both a community and sports nature

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