What recreational options does Saint John provide?

From PlanSJ documentation: A community’s quality of life and attractiveness is often evaluated on its recreational facilities and the range of leisure programs and opportunities it can offer its residents. As the City continues to lose population, the provision of high quality recreational services will continue to become more expensive. Coupled with the continued aging of many of facilities, the City will struggle to maintain current service levels.

Many of Saint John’s facilities were constructed to serve a population that was 25% larger than it is today. In most cases, this means that the City is home to more facilities than benchmark standards suggest are necessary. As the City continues to lose population, the provision of high quality recreational services will continue to get more expensive.

More than any other piece of recreational infrastructure, playgrounds demonstrate the oversupply of facilities in Saint John. Provision standards suggest there should be one playground for every 5,000 residents. There are 71 playgrounds located in the City, which is the equivalent to one playground for every 958 residents.

Saint John has a long and proud history of parks and green spaces. As the first incorporated city in Canada, it also became the first city to set aside land for public squares in its Royal Charter of 1785. Today, the City is home to more than 1,130 ha of parks and 23,900 ha of open space, which together account for the majority of the municipality’s total territory.

The City of Saint John has a variety of recreation infrastructure, including indoor and outdoor facilities, playgrounds, parks and open space. Indoor facilities, including all built structures with a roof, are centrally-clustered in the City’s urban core, including the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, the YMCA-YWCA and numerous schools, among others.

Unlike parks, which can serve as both structured and unstructured recreational spaces, the City’s outdoor facilities, including recreational fields, tennis courts, baseball diamonds and skate parks, are the primary location of Saint John’s active recreation and sporting needs. Four city sports complexes, Memorial Park, Shamrock Park, Allison Graunds and Forest Hills Park, serve as the primary sporting hubs of the City.

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