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Sunday, October 2, 2022
Town still in a pickle over outdoor pickleball alternatives
The former pickleball courts in Virgil.
The former pickleball courts in Virgil. Evan Saunders

The town is struggling to find a new outdoor home for Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Pickleball Club. 

“Right now we don’t have a home for outdoor pickleball until we do some more diligence on where we might locate that in the future,” acting director of operations Kevin Turcotte told council on Aug. 29.

In June, a justice of the peace banned pickleball from the outdoor courts at Centennial Sports Park for two years after finding the club had violated the town’s noise bylaw. 

Town staff have been investigating solutions ever since.

They examined the Croatian Hall, NOTL Community Centre, Old Virgil School and Vineridge Academy but none proved suitable for outdoor pickleball. 

The town also looked into building an acoustic barrier at Centennial Sports Park to keep the noise down.  

“Even with the noise attenuation (acoustic barrier), we still would not prevent the acceptable noise levels,” Turcotte said.

He estimated the noise barrier would cost the town up to $75,000.

As for the courts at Centennial Sports Park, the town is investigating a few alternative activities that could fit the space, including ball hockey, lacrosse and street soccer.

Before the town can commit to any of those options, it needs to study the potential noise they would cause.

Council voted to continue looking for solutions.