Inquiries: 902.542.2908
competitive swimmers diving into pool
Acton Branch Library (photo courtesy of Chamberlain Architectural Services)

Projects That Define Our Practice

We have been in the recreation and library consulting business for many years and in that time have completed hundreds of planning projects. We are proud of all of these assignments and it is a unique pleasure to visit communities where our plans have resulted in new facilities, improved programs and services, and a better quality of life for residents. There are, however, a number of projects and client relationships that we believe define our practice and describe what we most value when working with our clients. The following is a description of some of these projects.  

From Idea to Implementation

We are particularly proud of the strong relationships we build with clients that allows us to be involved from idea to implementation. In Clarence Rockland and Wasaga Beach Ontario, we prepared master plans that lead to detailed feasibility studies for major recreation complexes. After completing these feasibility studies we helped our clients hire the architects that took the projects through detailed design and construction; advised on fund-raising efforts; prepared detailed business plans and structured partnership agreements with the YMCA for the operation of the facilities. Similarly, in Halton Hills Ontario, we prepared the library facilities master plan and subsequent feasibility studies for two new libraries; wrote the RFP for hiring architects; and prepared documents to support funding applications. These projects all started with a client’s idea supported by a dmA plan and today are a reality.  

Policy Frameworks and Planning Tools that Support Essential Services

While much of our work involves planning studies at the municipal level, we understand that provincial and federal policies and planning tools have a lasting impact on the quality of recreation and library services. We support the important work that our municipal clients do by helping to structure supportive policies and producing tools to assist them with planning and service delivery. In Ontario, we contributed to policy directions and prepared planning manuals for: recreation fees and charges; for gender equity in sport; for negotiating public-private sector partnerships; and for physical activity planning. For the Maritime Provinces we assisted RNS, RPEI and RNB to evaluate policy initiatives related to the National program Everyone Gets to Play™ and worked with the NS Department of Health and Wellness to improve municipal physical activity planning. In the library sector, we prepared the first and second editions of “The Library’s Contribution to Your Community,” a resource for measuring the social and economic impact of libraries that is being used throughout North America.

Our consulting practice is based on the effective combination of research and practical planning applications. In Nova Scotia we prepared a study for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) documenting and evaluating case studies from across Canada to identify a preferred model for major recreation complexes in rural communities.

Acton Branch Library
Georgetown Branch Library (photo courtesy of Chamberlain Architectural Services)
Acton Branch Library
Frank McKechnie Leisure Pool (photo courtesy of WGD Architects)

Securing Funding for Important Community Projects

Most municipal recreation and library projects require external funding and our feasibility studies make the case for federal and provincial capital contributions. Between 2005 and 2009 municipal feasibility studies prepared by dmA in Nova Scotia were used to support over $35,000,000 in provincial capital funding support – over 55% of all funding provided by the Province for these projects. Our work in the Provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario has also contributed to successful capital grant applications, including the Fredericton YMCA (2009), Wayne Gretzky Centre (Brantford ON) (2009), Wasaga Beach and Clarence Rockland’s recreation centres.

Building Stronger Communities

Our most rewarding projects are those that allow us to combine all of our skills and interests in a comprehensive community building strategy. It is privilege and a pleasure to work with a municipality to enhance recreational services, build a stronger library system, create partnerships with other service providers, facilitate a municipal strategic plan and contribute to the health and well-being of residents with an active living strategy. We have had the opportunity to work on complementary assignments of this type in Halifax Regional Municipality and Kings County in Nova Scotia and with a number of communities in Ontario including Hanover, Mississauga, Ottawa, Halton Hills, Elliot Lake, Orillia, Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, and Pickering, among others. The contribution that we have made to these communities is a source of professional pride and satisfaction for all of those who have worked at dmA.

Contributing to Our Chosen Profession

We believe it is our responsibility to contribute to our profession and support our colleagues in the recreation and library sector. We are members and corporate sponsors of provincial associations and Wendy has served on the Board of SDMRO and RNS. Both Jim and Wendy speak at conferences and provide professional development training on a regular basis. A year has not passed since the founding of dmA that the Principals have not contributed their time to a conference or training session. We appreciate these opportunities to interact with our colleagues and will continue to appear at conferences and training sessions hosted by RNS, RNB, PRO, OLA, APLA and others.  

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Acton Branch Library
Frank McKechnie MURC Gym (photo courtesy of WGD Architects)
Acton Branch Library
Goulbourn MURC (photo courtesy of WGD Architects)

Selected Projects

Over the decades, we've provided our services to a wide range of clients in many communities throughout Canada. We invite you to download and view a sample of some of the projects we've worked on during just the past 10 years.

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Client List

We have worked with over 400 communities and library boards, provincial governments in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, community agencies, and provincial and federal associations. Clients in Ontario and Atlantic Canada include:

Ajax, Amable, Aurora, Barrie, Beausoleil First Nation,Belle River, Belleville, Bradford, Brampton, Burlington, Brock, Caledon, Carleton Place, Chapleau, Chatham-Kent, Clarence-Rockland, Cobourg, Cochrane, Collingwood, Cumberland, Dryden, Dunnville, Durham College, East York, Elliot Lake, Englehart, Essa, Essex, Ernestown, Flambourough, Fort Erie, Fort Frances, Gananogue, Ganaraska Conservation Authority, Grand River Conservation Authority, Geraldton, Gravenhurst, Goulbourn, Haileybury, Haldimand, Halton Hills, Hanover, Hamilton, Huntsville, Innisfil, Kanata, Kawartha Lakes, Kingston, King, Kitchener, Lakeshore, Lake of Bays, Leamington, Lindsay, London, Manitouwadge, Marathon, Markham, Marmora, Mattawa, Meaford, Metro Toronto Conservation Authority, Milton, Michipicoten, Minden, Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mississauga, Mitchell, Napanee, Nepean, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, North Bay, North York, North Dundas,  Oakville, Ontario Library Services North, Orangeville, Orillia, Oro, Oshawa, Oshawa YWCA, Oshawa and Jane-Finch Boys and Girls Club; Oshawa Central Council of Neighbourhood Associations, Ottawa, Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO), Parry Sound, Petawawa, Penetanguishene, Pelham, Pickering, Port Elgin, Port Hope, Portland, Powassan, Quinte West, Ramara, Rayside-Balfour, Renfrew, Richmond Hill, Russell, Schreiber, Scugog, Seneca College, Sharbot Lake, Sidney Township, Simcoe-Muskoka YMCA, Smiths Falls, Smith-Ennismore, Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, South Huron, Southern Ontario Library Services (SOLS), Springwater, St. Thomas, Storrington, Stratford, Strathroy-Caradoc, Stoney Creek, Sturgeon Falls, Sudbury, Tay, Tiny, Tecumseh, Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay, Tilbury, Timmins, Toronto, Tottenham, Trent Hills, Trenton, Uxbridge, Vaughan, Vespra, Walden, Wasaga Beach, Waterloo, Welland, Wellington County, Whitby, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Windsor, Windsor University, Woodstock, York, University Settlement House (please note that in a number of cases, municipal names have changed due to amalgamations)

Atlantic Canada:
Nova Scotia: Amherst/Cumberland County, Arichat Recreation Committee, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Bridgewater/Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Doctor’s Nova Scotia, Municipality of the District of Chester, Municipality of the District of Guysborough, CFB Greenwood, Halifax Regional Municipality, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Department of Health Promotion and Wellness, Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Kentville, Kings County, Membertou First Nation, Nova Scotia Provincial Library, Trenton, Pictou County, Recreation Nova Scotia, Shelburne County, St. Margaret’s Recreation Committee, Truro/Municipality of the District of Colchester.

New Brunswick: Fredericton, Hampton, Saint John, Quispamsis, Rothesay, Shippagan, Recreation New Brunswick

Labrador: Corner Brook, St. John's, Bay Roberts, Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation

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