ERA Architects

The Future Ridgeway Community Court

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Following the success of the ESS sport court, ERA has been retained to oversee the design and construction of a new sports court and outdoor community space in the Ridgeway neighbourhood of northwest Mississauga. A talented group of local youth at the Erin Mills Youth Centre successfully applied for and were granted funding through the MLSE Foundation, and their involvement is front and centre in the development of the project design. Through a series of workshops, the Erin Mills youth, the MLSE Foundation, the City of Mississauga, and ERA members will collaborate to come up with a comprehensive design for the future Ridgeway neighbourhood sports court.

The first workshop was held Saturday, October 17th, and the second workshop, which is summarized below, took place Wednesday, October 28th.

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This is a historic image of the community. The site of the future multi-sports court in the Colonial Terrace community was originally part of the small village of Snider’s Corner named after an early settler, David Snider. The township was eventually annexed by Mississauga in 1974 with the current housing being built in 1991.
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This is an image of the community today.

Not only was it a dark and rainy night, it was the Toronto Raptors’ first game of the season; yet the youth of Erin Mills Youth Centre still came out to the second community sport court design workshop in impressive numbers. Despite having to miss the first half of the game, these engaged and passionate young adults came through for their community and spent two hours with ERA Architects, MLSE, and City of Mississauga representatives to collaborate and produce outstanding ideas for the future Ridgeway Community Court multi-use sports court.

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The night began with a presentation put together by ERA that started with a recap of the first consultation meeting, at which the youth presented their earlier work to gain approval for the sports court, followed by a series of workshops designed to comprehend their goals and priorities for the court’s design. Afterwards, the presentation outlined the planned activities for the evening, and then the teams all got to work.

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The first order of business was to decide on the new court’s name. Suggestions flew across the room, as participants came up with catchy titles like, “Rising Ridge,” “The Ridge,” and “R-Way.” A ridge is defined as the point of a hilltop, and these names flaunt the ridge in their neighbourhood’s landscape, which is also emblematic of the community’s character; with all their recent accomplishments, they’re at the top of their game. Nevertheless in the end, everyone agreed that the Ridgeway Community Court – RCC for short – worked best as a name that represents not only their home base, but also the importance of community to the area’s residents.

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Next on the agenda was determining aspects of the design of the court and seating areas. Would they prefer four nets or two? A multi-use court that can hold both basketball and soccer games? Traditional aluminum bleachers or amphitheatre style seating built into the landscape? Creativity abounded as the youth imagined themselves shooting hoops, organizing tournaments, and gathering an audience to watch their athletic skills.

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Finally, the workshop participants broke off into two groups to tackle the final activities of the day: designing a logo for the new court, and coming up with ways to incorporate art into the space. The logo team came up with a preliminary design that features a maple leaf (Canada represent!), the community’s skyline, a basketball, and their new name, RCC. They also brainstormed colour palettes for the logo and the court. The art team encouraged the idea of a graffiti wall that the whole community could help create and presented ideas about what images should be featured on the wall.

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The meeting ended with a sense of accomplishment at all the wonderful suggestions offered throughout the night. Everyone was encouraged to keep brainstorming ideas and posting them to Instagram using the #RidgewayCourt hashtag.

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To follow the progress of the upcoming Ridgeway Community Court, follow the hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Also keep an eye on MLSE and Erin Mills Youth Centre Twitter accounts.