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Churchill Meadows Community Centre and Sports Park

MJMA Architecture & Design

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada



MJMA Architecture & Design (Architect)



City of Mississauga


Scott Norsworthy, doublespace photography


Underpinned with a strongly biophilic design, the LEED-Silver-targeted building and park comprise a vital neighbourhood landmark and city-wide destination that coalesces the community around social gathering and healthy activity. Park and building offer wide-ranging formal and informal public programming, including the two-level lobby with its generous mass-timber stair that can serve as community event space. The new landscape has a play area, skate park, multipurpose court, and playing field. Throughout are gently rolling hills made from reclaimed excavation soil, while an accessible and interpretive trail loop connects all park amenities, the protected wetland, and new stormwater pond, and ties into an existing trail network.

With the building’s simple parti of two long program bars, the design achieves exceptional connectedness between interior and exterior program and green spaces. Deep cantilevers around the building reach out to the park and provide shade. The striking canopy along the west and south façades extends the building’s innovative mass-timber structure—an elegant array of glulam columns that recalls a screen of trees and provides structural and curtainwall framing. The canopy is angled to discourage bird-nesting and clad in an expanded aluminum mesh that protects the wood while reducing heat gain and glare inside. The lobby, pools, and gym are connected to one another and the park through full-height glazing and direct access. These halls are covered with a stretched membrane assembly with acoustic perforations. This ceiling’s inverted peaks diffuse daylight from large skylights above to mitigate glare and heat gain, while also evoking placidly-lit caverns.


Located in Mississauga, a suburban city of 718,000 immediately west of Toronto, the project offers a wide array of leisure, recreation, and sport amenities within a rapidly growing neighbourhood on the city’s “final frontier” western boundary. This area is fully representative of Mississauga’s diversity: over half the population self-identifies as immigrant, with 49% of this cohort being of South Asian, East Asian, Southeast Asian, or Middle Eastern ethnicity.

The project contributes to the City’s master-planning vision of creating healthy and sustainable mixed-use neighbourhoods. The 50-acre site is a former agricultural field, with extensive residential areas to the east, including many multi-generational households. This was transformed into a richly textured and undulating landscape, closely integrated with a 73,000sf/6,970sm pavilion-like community centre. The parking area is situated so that park and building occupy an uninterrupted car-free zone. The building is set diagonally with respect to the urban grid and oriented north-south to act as a compass-like device that organizes the amenities within the park, including the alignment of the playing fields and courts with the building for optimal solar orientation.

Ecological preservation and enhancement drove the park’s design, which conforms to the Natural Corridors mandate for Mississauga Parks that aims to link and foster existing and new areas for wildlife to flourish. Among other features, the design adds native plantings throughout, including those that preserve a protected wetland area, and a new stormwater management pond. Existing bat and bird-nesting investigations resulted in detailed requirements for the timing of the project’s execution.


The spaces of the facility and park are designed to be multi-purpose and for flexibility, allowing the community to help define how they are used and resulting in operations being at maximum capacity while reflecting the community’s full diversity.
For example, with the rise of pickleball, the triple-gymnasium is dividable into six courts for ten sessions every week. The multi-purpose room with teaching kitchen is continuously occupied for a myriad of purposes, including drop-in table-tennis, childcare, weddings, and church group meetings. The gymnasium and/or outdoor field are used every Friday for Islamic prayers and have hosted Eid with 2,000-5,000 persons. In 2023, the celebration ballooned unexpectedly to between 10,000-20,000, the local press dubbing this “the largest outdoor Eid prayer in Canada.” Programming for the teaching and lap pools includes lessons and lane, family, and therapeutic swims. Privacy blinds accommodate weekly men’s-only and twice-weekly women’s-only swims. A seasonal dome allows the field to be solidly used year-round, including for tournaments, drop-in programs, city-affiliated clubs, and school groups. Due to demand, open park space is now being booked for gatherings.
Beyond embracing the functional potential of the building and park, and perhaps most importantly, community members routinely convey their delight in the facility’s inviting demeanour and serene spaces. Its accessible, transparent, and biophilic design—replete with natural light, and with maximized visibility between programs and connections between inside and out—sparks curiosity in others, expresses the optimism inherent in seeking healthy lifestyles, and makes palpable the vibrant pageant of community life.

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