Neil Campbell Rowing Centre

St. Catharines, Ontario
Construction Cost: $7.2 million
Area / Square Feet: 5,600
Occupancy Date: February 2022

Located in St. Catherines, Ont., Henley Island and its 2-kilometer racecourse on Martindale Pond have been the epicenter of Canadian rowing since 1903. The Neil Campbell Rowing Centre continues Henley’s tradition as a venue for elite competitions and as a year-round training center. The facility demonstrates how simple, elemental and respectful design can support a broad spectrum of uses and enhance the identity of a venerable place, while also achieving both Net-Zero Energy and Zero Carbon Emission benchmarks. 

Built on a gentle promontory, the NCRC is a beacon guiding racers along the watercourse and a new assembly point at the heart of the island, drawing athletes and their supporters inward. The entire facility rests on 15-meter-long screw piles that extend down to bedrock. Its form is engendered by the roof, which is designed with an innovative mass timber system utilizing Canadian glue-laminated and cross-laminated timber products and held aloft by a light steel column structure and a centralized service core. The roof supports a photovoltaic system above and defines protected indoor and outdoor spaces below with deep overhangs. The biased and overhanging roof, extensive glazing, operable sliding doors, and steps to the racecourse give the NCRC an expansive and striking visual identity from across Martindale Pond. 

The building houses rowing ergometers, a weight-lifting gym, a lounge and universal change/washrooms. Its linked interior and exterior spaces offer ample space to host events. With its sliding doors open, the facility becomes a pavilion — a central space for viewing races and gathering, and providing refuge from the elements. During less eventful periods, the center is a more reserved place, formally echoing the pond’s calm surface as it serves personal development and team-building.

Architect of Record

MJMA Architecture & Design

Toronto, Ont.

Associate Architect

Raimondo + Associates Architects

Niagra Falls, Ont.


Exterior – SidingAluminum Panel by SM Cladding Solutions
Exterior - Windows/doorsAMG / Schuco
Interior – MillworkArchmill Millwork
Fitness Center - Cardiovascular EquipmentConcept2
Locker/Shower - FlooringDal-Tile
Exterior – RoofingIKO installed by Pollard
Structural - FrameNordic Structures
Structural - Floor and roof systemsNordic Structures
Fitness Center - Flooring, Fitness CenterREGUPOL