Church and Wellesley Village under review: The 519 undertaking community planning study

TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - This spring, with World Pride just months away, a team of urban planners, community enthusiasts and activists, neighbours and businesses will be taking a closer look at Toronto's Church and Wellesley Village. With support from TD Bank Group, The 519 has commissioned The Village Study, which will focus on answering 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 in the Toronto context now and into the future?"

The Village Study will be Co-Chaired by The 519 Executive Director Maura Lawless and TD Asset Management Chief Operating Officer Timothy Thompson and will be managed by the Planning Partnership with the support of Ken Greenberg, Jane Farrow, Doug Kerr and N. Barry Lyons Consultants. The project will have two phases; the first will examine the current Church Wellesley Village and look at other LGBTQ villages in order to understand the opportunities and constraints that may influence and shape the future of the Village. The second phase aims to develop a vision and plan that incorporates social, economic and urban components in the short, medium and long-term. The plan will play an integral role in focusing village priorities as we head into World Pride in 2014 and the Pan Am / Para Pan Am Games in 2015.

"For nearly 40 years The 519 has stood at the heart of this neighbourhood; we have experienced its continuous evolution and growth," said Maura Lawless, Executive Director of The 519. "We are excited to work with our community and a diverse group of stakeholders to identify opportunities for supporting and enhancing our village over the next 40 years."

"At TD we are committed to supporting our local neighbourhoods where our employees and customers live and work, and we've had a long standing commitment to the LBGT community," said Timothy Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, TD Asset Management. "In addition to our support of Pride Toronto, The 519, ACT and many other village organizations we are proud to be involved in this study as it will provide another opportunity for us to support the growth and development of this vital Toronto area."

Over 900 people have already contributed to The Study process. The project plan, including opportunities for public engagement and consultation is available at

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 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 2012, The 519 will receive more than $2.14 in community investment for every dollar provided in core funding. Through innovative and engaging community programs and partnerships, The 519 enables over 195,000 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:

Richard Rhyme 
Communications Specialist 

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The 519 Church Street Community Centre

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