TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - To launch the refurbished hockey rink at the Regent Park Athletic Grounds, the MLSE Foundation, in collaboration with the Hockey Canada Foundation, hosted a community event on Saturday morning. To begin the day, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey development coaches led a Learn To Skate clinic for 40 pre-registered youth from the community to celebrate the impact the improved rink will have on growing the sport of hockey in Regent Park. Residents of the community were invited to hear remarks from members of the organizations involved in Toronto Community Housing's revitalization of Regent Park and to watch the first official puck drop at centre-ice. Following the ceremony, residents and families of Regent Park participated in a community skate with Toronto Maple Leafs alumni and members of Canada's 1993 and 1994 National Junior Teams.
"The opening of the hockey rink in partnership with Hockey Canada Foundation is an exciting, tangible display of the work we're proud to be doing in Regent Park," said Michael Bartlett, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation. "With Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and the City of Toronto, we've been able to work closely with the community to develop a space that will engage youth and give them the opportunity to play. I'm thrilled to be able to open the refurbished rink in time for residents of Regent Park to enjoy the space with their families over the holidays."
With a $300,000 investment, the Hockey Canada Foundation became the leading funding partner of the MLSE Foundation's revitalization of the rink and fieldhouse. The donation was made as a legacy to the Regent Park community from the Hockey Canada Foundation's annual Celebrity Classic gala, and helped to transform the rink into safe space for youth to play hockey.
"The Hockey Canada Foundation is proud to partner and support the MLSE Foundation on this wonderful community initiative," said Chris Bright, Executive Director, Hockey Canada Foundation. "Creating opportunities for our youth to enjoy skating, hockey and a healthy active lifestyle is an important mandate of our foundation and Hockey Canada."
The hockey rink is the first of three sport spaces at the Regent Park Athletic Grounds to open to the public since construction began in May 2014. The Regent Park Athletic Grounds are a capital project of MLSE Foundation, developed in partnership with Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and the City of Toronto, and are a key highlight of Toronto Community Housing's revitalization of the area. When complete in 2015, this state-of-the-art sports facility will provide the youth of Regent Park with a refurbished hockey rink, and a new basketball court and artificial turf soccer/cricket pitch.
"Today's rink opening is just one more example of how our partnership with MLSE Foundation, the City of Toronto and The Daniels Corporation is helping create community spaces in Regent Park that the entire city can enjoy," said Bud Purves, Chair of the Board of Directors for Toronto Community Housing. "Toronto Community Housing is home to brilliant young minds and budding athletes. By providing opportunities for these youth, we are building a better city for everyone."
In addition to the athletic grounds, this phase of the Regent Park Revitalization includes 600 Toronto Community Housing rental units, as well as over 2,000 market condominium units created by residential development partner, The Daniels Corporation. The revitalization of the community also continues to connect residents with economic opportunities, with over 700 jobs created to date in Regent Park.
"Each milestone in the Regent Park revitalization renews our excitement in seeing our vision for this special neighbourhood come to life," said Remo Agostino, Vice President, Development for The Daniels Corporation. "The ice rink in the Regent Park Athletic Grounds is part of Phase 3 of the area's transformation into a thriving, healthy, and sustainable community. Together with local residents, Toronto Community Housing, and MLSE Foundation, we celebrate this new winter attraction where Torontonians can enjoy the outdoors in a variety of ways, from early morning hockey games to late night skates under the stars."
The City of Toronto has played a large part of the revitalization of Regent Park and the development of the athletic grounds. By acting as one of the leading construction funders, the City has helped ensure the grounds are a safe space for the youth of Regent Park to play. Following the opening of the rink on Saturday and the launch of the other sport spaces in fall of 2015, the City of Toronto will maintain and operate the Regent Park Athletic Grounds to ensure the dynamic space is sustainable for years to come.
"Skating is one of Canada's great pastimes. This revitalized rink will provide the Regent Park community with an opportunity to gather and learn to skate or even improve their skating skills," said Mayor John Tory. "This is another great example of how we as a City can collaborate with outside partners to improve facilities and services for residents of Toronto. Thank you to the MLSE Foundation, Hockey Canada, Toronto Community Housing, and The Daniels Corporation for making this rink revitalization a reality."
About MLSE Foundation
MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies – the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sport and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Foundation has invested more than $15 million into our community. For information visit mlsefoundation.org or follow @MLSEFoundation.
About Hockey Canada Foundation
The Hockey Canada Foundation provides a new source of secure, sustainable, long term funding to support the future development and delivery of Hockey Canada programs, projects,and activities.
Working with the Hockey Canada team, the Foundation puts gifts to work to help ensure Canada remains at the forefront in the development and promotion of amateur hockey.
Mission - Promote and Foster Accessibility to the game of Hockey
For more information visit www.hockeycanada.ca/foundation
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada's largest social housing provider. We provide homes to 58,500 households with low and moderate incomes, in neighbourhoods across the city. Toronto Community Housing is working with its partners to transform some of our oldest public housing developments into vibrant, mixed-income, mixed use communities where people can thrive. Through Revitalization, Toronto Community Housing is going beyond bricks and mortar to build better homes, better neighbourhoods, and a better Toronto for all.
About The Daniels Corporation
The Daniels Corporation (www.danielshomes.ca) is one of Canada's preeminent builder/developers with a reputation for quality and integrity in all forms of residential construction. Named the Tarion Warranty Corporation's 2012 Ontario High Rise Builder of the Year and the recipient of the 2012 Toronto Arts and Business Award presented by the Toronto Arts Foundation, Daniels has built more than 25,000 homes throughout the GTA. Daniels was chosen to partner with Toronto Community Housing to revitalize Regent Park—69 acres in Toronto's Downtown East. Committed to community, Daniels champions neighbourhood initiatives that enhance residents' quality of life and supports numerous charities and non-profit organizations.
About the City of Toronto
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. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on nonemergency 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 MLSE Foundation
For further information: Media contacts: Akasha Di Tomasso, MLSE, 416-815-5924, email@example.com; Francis Dupont, Hockey Canada, 403-777-4564, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sara Goldvine, Toronto Community Housing, 416-981-4252, email@example.com; Cathy Mertl, The Daniels Corporation, 416-598-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Gosgnach, City of Toronto, 416-392-8386, email@example.com