• June 10, 2014 2:03 PM

The Village Prepares for WorldPride

The 519 releases report on The Village Study as the Church Wellesley Village prepares to welcome the world

TORONTO, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - After more than a year of consultation and planning and just days before WorldPride, The 519 released the final report from The Planning Partnership which proposes the next steps to ensure a strong, vibrant LGBTQ village in Toronto.

The Village Study, led with the support of TD Bank Group, investigated two key questions: "What is the role of a 'LGBTQ village' in a modern, progressive city?" and "What must be done to support the Church-Wellesley Village to solidify its role as a major cultural and community hub now and into the future?"

"Thousands of stakeholders participated in surveys, town halls and focus groups to contribute to this plan" stated Maura Lawless, Executive Director of The 519. "The final report provides the community with a strong foundation upon which we can plan, collaborate on and advocate for the future of The Village and to ensure socially inclusive communities."

The report details recommendations on enhancing the cultural framework of the neighbourhood, developing a cohesive, intentional public realm and engaging with the development process to moderate and influence changes to the built form.

"Our neighbourhoods form an integral part of our branch community, and as the platinum sponsor of World Pride, our Church and Wellesley branch stands proudly at the centre of the action," shared Tim Thompson, Chief Operating Officer of TD Asset Management. "Through this report, we can be sure that the Village will continue to grow and prosper for years to come."

Over the coming months, The 519, the business and neighbourhood associations in The Village will review the report and develop an action plan for moving the recommendations forward. A summit is being coordinated for September that will bring together key stakeholders to develop an annual update on the plan and its successes.

"We are looking forward to working closely with our communities to review the report and to develop a strategy on how we can advance its recommendations" stated Tyler Fleming, Chair of The 519's Board of Management. "Some of the report's recommendations require more time to review, but there are many recommendations on which we have consensus and which we can begin implementing immediately."

The full report is available for review at http://on.the519.org/VillageStudy

The 519 Church Street Community Centre is an agency of the City of Toronto with a mandate for building healthier, more welcoming communities for Toronto's downtown and LGBTQ residents. As a charitable public-private partnership of the City, The 519 receives core funding to maintain public access to its building while attracting individual, corporate and government investment in its programs. In 2013, The 519 received more than $2.80 in community investment for every dollar provided in core funding. Through innovative and engaging community programs and partnerships, The 519 enables over 200,000 people to meet, participate and celebrate together every year.

SOURCE The 519 Church Street Community Centre

For further information: or to arrange an interview contact: Matthew Cutler, Director, Strategic Partnership Initiatives, 416-355-6798, MCutler@The519.org