City of Toronto opens new Regent Park Aquatic Centre

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Councillors Paul Ainslie (Ward 43 Scarborough East) and Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale) were joined today by the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario, along with members of the community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new Regent Park Aquatic Centre in Toronto.

The high-tech, fully accessible aquatic facility was constructed with input from the local community.

"The Regent Park Aquatic Centre revitalization project will ensure that families in the community have a modern aquatic facility that promotes physical activity and healthy living for people of all ages," said Minister Kent. "Our government is proud to have invested in this local project and will continue to make investments like this one, in line with our priorities of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity."

"Ontario is proud to support local infrastructure projects that foster economic development and create jobs," said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan. "Our investments have helped make the new Regent Park Aquatic Centre a place that people of all ages can access and enjoy for years to come."

"The City is committed to working with residents to help them develop neighbourhoods that meet their needs," said Councillor Ainslie. "The new Regent Park Aquatic Centre was built with input from local residents and it is integral to the community. It provides a great opportunity for life-long physical activity and teaches an essential life skill. Toronto's recreational facilities encourage healthy play, sports, cultural and community activities."

"This state-of-the-art centre is a crucial part of the social infrastructure for the Regent Park neighbourhood," said Councillor McConnell. "The aquatic centre will provide much needed access to swimming and recreation opportunities, and just as important, it will act as an important hub for the community and build bridges into the surrounding neighbourhoods."

The aquatic facility features a lap pool, leisure pool, therapy pool, Tarzan rope, diving board, modesty blinds, universal change rooms, green roof, waterslide, large sliding glass doors that open onto a sun terrace, and the first ultraviolet sanitation system in Toronto. Swim programs are geared to meet the community's needs, with options for preschoolers to older adults.

The centre also provides the community with year-round access to swimming, which was not previously available, and youth in the community will benefit through the lifesaving and lifeguard training programs, which teach youth leadership skills.

The centre was jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto. The federal and provincial governments contributed $1 million each, and the City contributed $14.6 million to this project.

Regent Park is undergoing an extensive revitalization to replace or repair poor quality housing and transform the neighbourhood into a successful, mixed-income, mixed use neighbourhood, like many others in Toronto, offering residents a mix of rental buildings, market condominium buildings, townhomes, commercial space and community facilities.

This project is one of more than 750 across the province that has moved forward thanks to a joint federal-provincial investment of more than $380 million under the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RinC) Program in Ontario and the Ontario Recreation Program (Ontario REC). The governments of Canada and Ontario teamed up to make the communities better places to live and encourage higher levels of participation in community building. More information about this initiative is available at http://www.rinc-on.ca.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SOURCE: City of Toronto

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Media contact: Cheryl San Juan, Senior Coordinator, Promotions & Communications, 416-560-8726, chsanjua@toronto.ca