Active living centre -catering to the mind and body – opens in Nova Scotia

A multi-purpose recreational and cultural centre designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with Lydon Lynch Architects has opened in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. The $30-million facility provides professional sports facilities and a range of activities and services that promote community and individual health and wellness.

The 100,000-square-foot building stands next to a forest near the LaHave River and is designed to maximize views of the landscape. A galleria acts as a central unifying spine with visual connection not only to the outdoors but also to the various program areas. The 45-metre-long bowed ceiling of the galleria is lined with maple wood and references the maritime setting with materials that recall the wooden hull of the famous Bluenose II schooner anchored in nearby Lunenberg.

The centre houses an NHL-size arena with seating for 1,200 spectators; an aquatic centre with a 25-metre, six-lane training pool, a therapy pool and leisure pool; a public library; and other multi-purpose facilities, including administrative offices, community and cultural spaces.

Taking advantage of a natural slope on the site, the ground-floor entry level is situated at the upper concourse level of the arena seating. The aquatic centre has panoramic views of the surrounding forest and natural light infuses the library and multi-purpose rooms.

Says Jarle Lovlin, principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects, “We sought to establish a strong connection between this facility, its setting in nature and Nova Scotia heritage to inspire the activities within.”

The Lunenberg County Lifestyle Centre is registered to achieve LEED Gold certification. Sustainable design features include heat recovery from the arena to warm the pools, solar panels on the white reflective membrane roof, natural ventilation and geothermal bore hole energy sourcing.


Diamond Schmitt Architects is a leading full-service architectural firm based in Toronto with an international reputation for design excellence and sustainable design solutions. An extensive portfolio includes academic buildings, libraries, performing arts centres, sports facilities, master plans, and residential and commercial buildings. Equally extensive is work completed for the healthcare sector, with life science facilities, research laboratories and hospitals.

For more information, visit