12. PUBLIC RECREATION

Public recreation facilities should be an important part of any plan for developing the Downtown. This is particularly so if there is to be a policy of encouraging Downtown residential development. There is really no reason why such facilities as an aquarium, a conservatory, a skating rink, swimming pool, or any other type of public recreational amenity should not be located in the Downtown area.

At the present time no such facilities exist in the central area, (apart from those of such private institutions as the Y.M.C.A.) and none is being considered. All such recreational facilities are placed in the suburban areas, presumably on the assumption that in the suburbs they serve the population more directly. Thus, the Pan-Am Pool is in River Heights; Sherbrook Pool is in the west end; the Conservatory and the Zoo are in Assiniboine Park; Kildonan Park has a new pavilion and excellent winter skating facilities. And so on. If some of these facilities, or others like them were sited in the Downtown, not only would they work a profound change in the character and attractiveness of the central area, but would help to encourage the return of people to live there. The location of such facilities however would have to be carefully selected so that they would be able to exert their maximum influence in achieving the objectives of the development plan for the Downtown. One of the most important considerations in the placing of such facilities, for example, would be their interconnection with the weather-protected circulation system, and the parking structures so that people could move freely between these various elements with the greatest convenience, and in a comfortable, climate-controlled atmosphere.