The parking lot was full at the new Oakville Community Centre and Daycare as they opened the doors to the public for the first time on Saturday. 

The Open House saw residents of Oakville and Portage come out to see the new building, which has been a work in progress for seven years.

Dennis Galbraith, Chair of the Community Centre Renewal Commitee, says it wasn't called a Grand Opening for a reason.

"We wanted the community to be the first ones to visit their new building. There are ways you could've done it that involve politicians, speeches and whatnot, but this is more about the community having the building for themselves. And this is their chance when it's fresh, brand new and be the first ones to see it."

Community Club President, Eric DeLong, says the comments he heard were very positive.

"I don't want to speak for too many people, but it seems like a really positive reaction. Obviously, people haven't been able to come in here and see it as it's been going up, so it's all fresh to them. Overall, we've had really good feedback so far."

Joanne Page and her father GeorgeJoanne Page (right) and her father, George Watson (left), at the Open House

Joanne Page was one of the residents to take in the Open House and says the new centre is quite an improvement from the old building.

"It's beautiful, it's bright, it's very new and exciting for our community; the old hall was getting very worn down. We've done so many functions there over the years, but it's so nice to have this revitalize our community. I think it's going to be great for our small town."

Page adds that she feels the building sets up the community well going forward.

"I feel like our small town is growing. There's lots of new homes being built and there are a lot of different people that are commuters to Headingley or Portage that live here, and I think the daycare is huge here. It's very hard to find childcare, and I think that's really great for a small town. We can have socials, showers, functions, dinners; all kinds of different things here."

Galbraith adds that he appreciates everyone who has made an effort to get this project off the ground and completed.

"Just a huge 'Thank you,' to everybody that's contributed, large and small. Not everybody has contributed financially, but a lot of people have contributed ideas, and ideas are just as valuable as money when it comes to designing a building like this."