Learn more about Dovercourt Recreation Association (DRA)

Dovercourt Recreation Association (DRA) was incorporated as a not for profit organization in 1977. In 1987, DRA took on the management role of the new Dovercourt Recreation Centre (DRC). In 1997, Dovercourt Recreation Association (DRA) became a registered charity.

  • Dovercourt is a fully accessible facility, located in a park with free parking,
  • Two accessible play structures, tennis courts and a playing field
  • 25-metre leisure pool with sauna, whirlpool, baby pool, water slide and Tarzan rope.
  • Warm water temperatures in the pools
  • Large lobby with a living room feel
  • Large assembly hall/ group fitness studio
  • Arts studio
  • Dance studio
  • Large multi-purpose rooms
  • The Cottage multi-purpose room
  • Female, male and universal/ family change rooms
  • Free internet café with 4 stations, free wifi connection (NeoLore Free Wifi)
  • Bright, colourful, inviting architecture on human scale

DRA sees approximately 400,000 attendances a year, representing about 15,000 registered clients and people dropping in. This makes us one of the busiest community centres in Ottawa!

Dovercourt Recreation Centre is managed by DRA through a service agreement with the City of Ottawa. While the City remains our landlord, DRA offers a wide range of programs in aquatics, health, fitness and recreation both at the centre and in satellite facilities. Many of the programs offered are unique to Dovercourt. Almost all of the other community centres in Ottawa are managed directly by the City of Ottawa.

DRA is a true social enterprise, with over 90% of Dovercourt’s operating budget coming from program revenues. As our first priority, DRA provides a range of recreation, health and fitness and aquatic programs that suits our community in terms of quality and quantity, and leverages our success to advance our charitable mission. In other words, our financial success in programs, the funding from the City of Ottawa, service clubs, other government grants, fundraising efforts by DRA itself gives us the capacity to fulfill our charitable goals of sharing, caring and building our community.

Dovercourt currently receives $454,116 in cash funding, with approximately $500,000 in-kind. In-kind costs include heating, lighting, pool operator, pool chemicals and most cleaning supplies.

Our small size, independence, entrepreneurial approach and community focus enable us to quickly respond to community and client requests and ideas. DRA has a tradition of innovation and imagination in programming that has attracted a loyal clientele and excellent staff. DRA makes extensive use of community resources such as schools, churches, and parks. DRA has fostered strong relationships with local businesses through sponsorship, with other community groups through joint programming, and with volunteers in the program and special event delivery.

Sharing: DRA shares its resources and its people with other organizations helping build a stronger community, so you will see the Dovercat Funmobile helping move our tables and chairs, our bouncy house, and other stuff for community events, and you will see our staff and volunteers on committees, working groups and on community projects.

Caring: DRA provides a financial assistance program for needy families and individuals for most programs. DRA’s “Last Minute Club” offers any unsold spaces in all of our programs to a network of close to 60 social service agencies who refer clients in need. Our inclusion and accessibility fund helps pay for transport, devices and people necessary to level the playing field for those with a disability, and our targeted programs deliver programs designed to respond to a specific need, usually at a lower cost and lower student to teacher ratio.

Building: DRA contributes to the cost of building improvements, park improvements, play structures and other recreation and leisure features, both here at the centre and around the neighbourhood. We also are constantly building relationships and partnerships with other community development agencies that are active in our neighbourhood.

As a client, your payment of fees helps us succeed in delivering our programs and services, and your honest, timely and specific feedback helps us ensure that we are meeting your needs and responding to your concerns. You can also give us some of your time as a volunteer, from serving on our Board, a subcommittee, or helping with program delivery, special events, or community projects. And of course, you can make a contribution, either generally to our charitable works, or as a specific donation for equipment, financial assistance, accessibility, or our building fund. For more information, contact Sureen Gosal, Executive Director, at [email protected], or 613 798-8950 ext. 224.