The 519 Church Community Centre to Seek Council Approval to Build a New Community Centre Focused on Sports and Recreation

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The 519 submitted a report to City Council today which, if approved, marks the first official step in building a new sports and recreation centre for the City of Toronto.

The proposed facility will focus on the lesbian, gay, bi and trans communities while also providing much-needed community recreation space for residents in the new West Don Lands community. The project is being developed in response to the demand for additional recreation facilities created by shifting demographics and increased density in the downtown area. The report requests authority for staff of the City of Toronto and The 519 to begin negotiations with Infrastructure Ontario on the Wheel and Foundry Complex near Underpass Park and Corktown Commons.

"The 519 Sports and Recreation Project demonstrates global leadership on LGBT inclusion, building on the success of our internationally-renowned programs and services," said Tyler Fleming, Chair of The 519 Board. "The new community centre will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, providing a welcoming, inclusive space for Torontonians, and particularly LGBT people to participate in sport."

"This project builds on Toronto's long history of diversity and community development by providing a truly inclusive place where Torontonians can gather and be active together," said Maura Lawless, Executive Director of The 519. "We know that when we address the barriers that LGBT people face, we help to make sport and recreation more accessible for everyone who may feel excluded. We look forward to developing a facility that the entire city can take pride in."

The proposed community centre is estimated to cost $100 million and will be funded in large part by private donations. It is anticipated that two-thirds of the cost of the project will be contributed by individual and corporate donations and that investments from municipal, provincial and federal governments will account for one-third of the project cost. Once built, the facility will be owned by the City of Toronto and operated by The 519, which is an agency of the city.

Above and beyond the proposed facility, The 519 has steadily expanded their involvement in sports and recreation through programming, training and capacity building activities.  As trustee of the PrideHouseTO initiative, The 519 is working with over 15 organizations to celebrate and promote LGBT communities during and leading up to the 2015 Pan Am / Para Pan Am Games in Toronto.

About The 519:

For over 35 years, The 519 has been working with our neighbours and our lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer (LGBTQ) communities to build healthy, welcoming spaces to meet, participate and celebrate together.

With the support of our Board and staff team, our communities identify and implement solutions to emerging issues through award-winning programs and services, and with the leadership of volunteers, over 80 community-led programs provide peer support, social, recreational and cultural opportunities in our public meeting spaces.

The 519 is an agency of the City of Toronto.

SOURCE: The 519 Church Street Community Centre

For further information:

Karl Baldauf
NATIONAL Public Relations
Direct: 416-848-1429

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The 519 Church Street Community Centre

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