Photos: Largest-ever YMCA opens in Calgary
The Shane Homes Rocky Ridge YMCA has everything from leisure ice to a self-serve library
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The largest YMCA in the world opened its doors in Calgary on Monday.
Eventually, the 284,000-square-foot Shane Homes Rocky Ridge YMCA will be out-done in terms of size by the Seton YMCA – which is currently under construction in the city’s southeast – but for now, the spotlight is on the northwest recreation facility.
The City of Calgary built the $192 million space, which has a little something for everyone.
There's an eight-lane pool, waterslide, hot tub and wave pool for the aquatic-inclined members of your family, or a 250-seat performance theatre and three art studios for the creative-minded.
Bookworms can get their fix at a capsule self-serve Calgary Public Library (which overlooks the triple-sized gym) while others enjoy the leisure ice, or skate through hockey practice on the NHL-sized rink.
There’s also a large open fitness area with every machine and weight you can imagine, and four kilometres of walking paths throughout the spacious building.
Area Councillor Ward Sutherland said he's already purchased his membership to what he called the "premiere recreation centre in all of Calgary."
“It’s pretty exciting,” Sutherland told Metro. "I've lived in northwest Calgary all my life, and everybody’s been waiting for this for the last 20 years – I’m sure it will be well-used.”
The facility was built with accessibility in mind, with braille below text on signs and a universal locker room that features private changing cubicles, so caretakers or parents can accompany wards of the opposite sex with ease.
There are still male and female designated locker rooms, if that’s your preference.
The facility will employ approximately 500 people when all is said and done, plus many more volunteers.
Sutherland said the public is welcome to attend the Rocky Ridge YMCA's official opening ceremony with officials, including the mayor, on Feb. 1 starting at 10 a.m.