Leisure Services Planning and Management

The RETHINK GROUP provides a wide range of planning and management services for the leisure services field - based on over 40 years of experience working with all levels of government, NGOs, non-profit organizations and the commercial sector.  The following types of assignments define our practice in this sector.  At the bottom of the page, a brief profile of selected recent projects has been provided.

Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plans and Strategic Plans

The Ontario office of the RETHINK GROUP has completed over two dozen parks, recreation and culture master plans, leisure service plans, culture and recreation strategic plans, and community-wide leisure facility strategies for communities of all sizes across Ontario and in Western Canada.

Facility Feasibility Studies and Business Plans

The Ontario office of the RETHINK GROUP has completed over two dozen culture and recreation facility feasibility studies and business plans/cases for communities of all sizes across Ontario.

Open Space, Trails and Waterfront Planning

The Ontario office of the RETHINK GROUP has completed close to two dozen assignments in this specialty area, including: open space system assessments and plans, studies for conservation authorities, recreational waterway plans, waterfront and marina studies/plans, trails plans, and input into park plans and outdoor facility designs.

Needs Assessments and Service Strategies

The Ontario office of the RETHINK GROUP has completed close to three dozen needs/market assessments (from arenas and multi-facility complexes to seniors and youth centres) and associated service strategies (from older adult service strategies to leisure programing and volunteer engagement strategies).

Forecasting and Customized Trend Scans

We are known internationally for our industry-leading trend research and forecasting for the leisure field.

Customized Coaching, Presentations and Workshops

The partners of the RETHINK GROUP have delivered hundreds of key note addresses, conference workshops and training sessions, customized information and educational workshops, a community college Certificate course on Volunteer Management, an online course in Volunteer Management designed for Charity Village, and training and coaching that is custom-designed for specific clients.

Community and Stakeholder Consultation

The RETHINK GROUP has always placed a great deal of emphasis on informing and engaging stakeholder groups and organizations, community leaders and residents throughout the planning process, utilizing a variety of effective and integrated techniques - custom-designed to suit each situation.

  Selected Recent Projects

Vision 2025, A 10-Year Strategic Plan for Recreation, Parks, Arenas and Culture, City of Peterborough

This strategic plan comprised all aspects of leisure services and mirrored the four divisions of the City's Community Services Department.  Almost 2,400 residents, organizations and agencies were consulted, utilizing various engagement techniques. The Plan comprises a 20-Year Vision or 'big picture look ahead', a Belief Statement about the value to the community of parks, recreation and Culture; and 12 Guiding Principles to inform philosophy and policy.  The four Strategic Directions were supported by 55 Objectives, 195 Actions and four Supplemental Recommendations. One of the supplemental recommendations was a Volunteer Engagement Strategy.

Renewed Mandate for Trans Canada Trail Ontario

As the Trans Canada Trail nears completion, the provincial and territorial organizations that have assisted with the development of the trail will have to transition to the role of enhancement, maintenance and promotion.  TCTO contracted the Rethink Group to assist their Board of Directors to consult with their partners and counterparts, and to craft a renewed Vision, Mission, Mandate and Strategic Directions to define their post-2017 role.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update, Township of Springwater, 2015

The scope of the study included parks, open space, culture and recreation facilities, leisure programming, and the parks and recreation service delivery system.  As a community poised for significant growth over the next decade, a key objective of the Master Plan is to provide guidance to transition service delivery.

Arena/Community Centre Needs and Feasibility Assessment Study, Township of Cavan Monaghan, 2014

This study primarily examined the current and future market for indoor ice and associated uses for arena facilities, as well as the suitability of the Cavan Monaghan Community Arena.  The characteristics, features and size of a replacement arena/community centre were identified, along with an estimate of capital and operating costs.  Three provision alternatives were identified and evaluated/compared.

Arena Needs Assessment Study, City of Peterborough (2013)

The study provided a thirty-year look ahead to determine arena facility needs and to provide a facility provision strategy - with priority to determining the nature of a replacement facility for the aging Northcrest Arena.  In addition to an in-depth analysis of City arenas and their use, the study also included an analysis of the potential impact on arenas within the region.

The next step is to complete a feasibility study for the Northcrest Arena replacement facility, including demand assessment and selection of any complementary facilities to be included in the first phase of development, conceptual facility design, the search for capital development partners, site selection, an estimate of capital and operating costs, financing and implementation.  The feasibility study will also provide a long-term arena provision strategy that will consider options for the aging Peterborough Memorial Centre and the Kinsmen Civic Centre twin-pad arena.

Parks and Recreation Facilities Review, Township of Hamilton (2013)

The focus of the study was on municipal recreation facilities, but also included parks and all other open space, the leisure delivery system, and the role of the Municipality.  One of the deliverables was a preliminary analysis of the potential to re-purpose one the three ice surfaces into a field house to support soccer, flat track roller derby and other floor-based activities, year-round.

Leisure Facilities Strategy Update, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (2013)

The main objective of this project was to update the 2008 Leisure Facilities Strategy to support the 2013 update of the Town's Development Charges Bylaw.  The update will also serve to guide municipal decisions re: the development and redevelopment of culture and recreation facilities until the next comprehensive parks and recreation plan.

This 2013 update also incorporated three related strategies that focused on i) leisure programming, ii) culture and iii) volunteer engagement - all completed by the RETHINK GROUP in 2010.

Rockway Centre Feasibility Study and Business Case, City of Kitchener (2013)

The study focused on an examination of the suitability of the 1950s Rockway Centre to support the existing and emerging needs and perspectives of older adults, and an evaluation of eight facility alternatives, ranging from renovating, expanding and replacing the Rockway Centre on its current site, to a new facility on another site, as well as the expansion of other recreation centres to incorporate the Rockway program.  The study examined current facilities and services, researched the evolving demand for services, studied membership and participation trends, examined options for service provision and defined the characteristics of the ideal full-service older adult recreation centre for Kitchener.  To illustrate four of the facility and site options, interactive conceptual design and site plans were created.

John Street Branch Revitalization Study, Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres (2012)

The John Street Branch, being the oldest of four facilities operated by the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres organization has become increasingly ineffective in meeting the evolving programming needs of the OSCC membership.  The study provided a longer term, city-wide strategy for the provision of older adult recreation centres, including an examination of alternatives for either expanding or rebuilding the John Street Branch on the current site, or building a new facility on another site.  Design concepts were prepared for renovating and rebuilding the current facility, as well as two facility layouts that could be achieved on a new, larger site.  This exercise inspired a preferred hybrid approach which is to build a modern replacement facility on the existing site, although less extensive in scope and size as could be achieved with a new facility on a larger site.

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