City of Toronto officially opens new Regent Park Community Centre with a community celebration

TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), City of Toronto staff, a Toronto Community Housing representative and a local youth representative joined community members today to celebrate the grand opening of the new Regent Park Community Centre. The event included facility tours, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and performances by local entertainers.

The community centre, which was designed as part of the Regent Park Revitalization, is approximately 5,500 square metres (59,000 square feet) in total area and features recreation facilities, an employment centre, the Nelson Mandela Child Care Centre – run by George Brown College – and connections to Nelson Mandela Park Public School. The centre was designed with extensive input from stakeholders and the local community and replaces Regent Park's north and south community centres.

"Every neighbourhood needs places to play, learn and find support. The new Regent Park Community Centre will offer amazing city programs, facilities and supports that will help transform lives," said Mayor John Tory. "The ongoing redevelopment of Regent Park is an example of how we can create strong and vibrant neighbourhoods in Toronto."

"It is amazing to celebrate the grand opening of another piece of important social infrastructure in Regent Park," said Deputy Mayor McConnell. "This highly integrated space was designed with extensive input from the community and is a reflection of the social fabric of this dynamic neighbourhood."

The Regent Park Community Centre offers an expanded list of recreation programs and features a gymnasium, fitness studio, weight room, indoor track and change rooms, community hall, teaching kitchen, climbing wall, multi-purpose rooms, youth and older adult spaces and a rooftop garden. The centre also shares a courtyard and other outdoor places for gathering and recreation with the school.

"At the City, we strive to increase overall participation in recreation and one of the ways we do this is through high-quality recreation facilities like this new community centre," said Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee. "The facility will support both individual and community health by allowing more people in the area to access and realize the benefits of recreation."         

Toronto Employment and Social Services has been serving the Regent Park community for years, and has partnered with Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services to provide an expanded mix and range of services through an employment centre within the community centre. Services include job coaching and guided job search support; access to computers, printers, free Wi-Fi and telephones; onsite employment workshops; access to employment opportunities, information about job fairs, government services, community events, education and training; and access to other agency supports. More information about the employment services offered is available at http://bit.ly/1QmhI7y.

The Regent Park Community Centre represents a $22.1-million investment by the City of Toronto. The Toronto District School Board worked with the City to create a holistic and interconnected site and contributed $400,000 toward building the connections between the centre and school.

More information about the Regent Park Community Centre is available at http://bit.ly/regentparkccinfo.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

SOURCE City of Toronto

For further information: Media contact: Matthew Cutler, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, 416-560-8726, mcutler@toronto.ca

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