Carlingwood YMCA closing doors today

Residents in Ottawa's west end are saying good-bye to the Carlingwood YMCA, which closes its doors today after 45 years in the community.

While other locations are getting upgrades, the YMCA said the building at 200 Lockhart Avenue was too small and too old to justify a major renovation.

Two years ago, they sold it to Claridge Homes.

"It's a shame really...they couldn't keep it going," said Margaret Jones, who has been working out at the Y here since she retired in 1998.

Jones said the facility has always been about more than just fitness.

"They have coffee out here every morning... and bagels... and gossip," she said with a laugh.

'Virtual Y' to maintain some programs

Other members CBC spoke with agreed, saying the Y was a hub for the community for generations.

National Capital YMCA CEO Deirdre Speers said while the facility is closing, many of the programs will remain in the community.

"We are kind of talking about a bit of a virtual Y — no bricks and mortar — so programs that are being launched at other community facilities," said Speers.

"We're using the church and some of the local schools to run after-school care programs, camps, as well as morning break programs for some of our seniors. Some of our most loyal members were part of that program, so we wanted to make sure we could keep it in the community," she said.

Staff and volunteers are also being moved to other locations.