Occupying a prominent location, along the main pedestrian route - Reynolds Walk - and at the core of the Campus, the newly renovated and expanded W.F. Mitchell Centre aims to improve, redefine and reinforce the role of Athletics, Recreation and Wellness at the University of Guelph.

Cannon Design, led by Bob Johnston with Rob Claiborne, were retained to undertake the $45M project and $15M phased renovation project, that includes a 3-court gymnasium (with a suspended jogging/walking track), MAC gym, fitness and weights centre, climbing wall, squash courts, High Performance Centre, multi-purpose rooms, Varsity team rooms, change facilities, administrative offices, food concession areas, new Lobby and public circulation areas.

The new construction component of the project provides an additional 130,000 sq ft to the complex. The existing W.F. Mitchell Centre underwent a significant renovation featuring a new profile for the Centre and addressed required program needs.  The renovation also handled issues such as deferred maintenance and capacity constraint. 

Along the North/South interface of the facility, one can notice the main architectural feature which is comprised of a sinuous and light filled glass volume, acting as an organizing element and main circulation path that links the large program volumes (triple gym, MAC gym, fitness) of the building. At its South termination, an articulation of this “connective tissue” engages the existing facade of the W.F. Mitchell Centre and generates the dramatic and bold new entry along Reynolds Walk. This new multi level circulation zone is intended to be a dynamic public space, with many opportunities for informal gatherings, social interaction and viewing of several activities occurring in the facility. It also provides the main access to the large triple gym hall, which will be used for convocation and other large events, such as Varsity basketball and volleyball games.

​*Work completed by JSA Sport Architecture Inc. personnel while employed by Cannon Design

Project: University of Guelph - W.F. Mitchell Centre 

Location: Guelph, Ontario

Client: University of Guelph

Role*: Architectural Design (Schematic Design)

Staff: Robert J. Johnston - Project Principal/Senior Architect

Lawrence Korteweg - Senior Designer

Budget: $45 million

Completion: 2012