Rowing in the Canning Bridge Area


Client: City of Melville

Services: Tourism, Community, Evaluation, Facilities, Planning, Sport

Consultants: Phillip Gray, Colin Brown

Location: City of Melville, 10 Almondbury Road, Booragoon WA 6954, Australia

Completion: November 30, 2013

Partners & Stakeholders: DKJ projects.architecture
Woodhead International


Rowing is part of the history of the Canning Bridge precinct. The City of Melville wanted to understand the capacity of the site for rowing, both training and regattas.

The Canning Bridge Precinct, which includes Apex Park, is evolving to become a unique, vibrant, creative community space. As one of the City of Melville’s major strategic urban development priorities, investigations are underway for the long-term planning and development of this precinct. Given the potential for development to include high density dwellings and a significant increase in population in the area immediate, there will be an increasing public demand for greater use of this area.

In an effort to understand and respond to the various opportunities and challenges that currently exist and are likely to arise as a result of a larger number of users competing for the same recreational areas, the City of Melville and the Department of Sport and Recreation jointly funded this study to assess the future of rowing in the Canning Bridge area.

Essentially the City and the DSR believed that rowing can continue in the precinct; however there needs to be a clear understanding of how it will look in the future. Given that the clubs are predicting growth, the study included an assessment of current facilities, levels of activities and services the clubs currently provide, any future plans for expanded activities and facilities and whether these can be sustainably managed into the future to limit conflicts.


The study provided an overall assessment of the current position and future direction of the sport of rowing at Canning Bridge. It provided recommendations that took into account other recreational uses of the area against the backdrop of future development and proposed higher densities within the Canning Bridge Precinct. The recommendations provided a sustainable solution in terms of the social, environmental and financial benefits to the community including:

  • Determining the number of rowing clubs, the level and type of activity and services (including but not limited to, Café, restaurants and other functions) that the Canning Bridge site has the capacity to reasonably provide.
  • The optimal mix of facilities to accommodate existing and potential tenants according to the best practice principles of shared use and collocation and to the needs of sporting clubs consistent with previous reporting.
  • The challenges faced by the continuity of rowing at this location, including foreshore erosion, location and conflicts arising from multiple use pathways and foreshore reclamation proposed under the Canning Bridge Vision.
  • To meet the long term needs of rowing , an integrated rowing facility was recommended for the Canning Bridge precinct. It was proposed that the site be cleared by demolishing the existing buildings and a new multi storey building constructed accommodating boat sheds and rowing club areas plus other residential or commercial developments.
  • The recommendation reflected the Canning Bridge Vision which offers a potential opportunity to establish commercial spaces in the new building. The most likely revenue generators are likely to be restaurant, kiosk/coffee shop and office space. Complementing these spaces is car parking which may also generate substantial revenues, particularly during normal business hours.