York U. unveils new learning and outreach centre in Black Creek community with $1 million gift from TD Bank Financial Group

    The York University - TD Engagement Centre will build on new and existing
    relationship opportunities within the community

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - York University, with the support of a
$1 million gift from TD Bank Financial Group, today opened the doors to a new
facility that will serve the university and its neighbouring communities.
    The York University-TD Community Engagement Centre is a unique facility
that will extend the University's presence by offering faculty, students and
community members opportunities to participate in mutually beneficial research
and learning experiences.
    Located on the second floor of the Yorkgate Mall at Finch Avenue West and
Jane Street in Toronto, the centre opened thanks to a $1 million dollar
commitment by TD Bank Financial Group. With a mandate to enhance student
learning and build stronger community ties, the centre will lead a variety of
community and university-related initiatives.
    "This Centre is a great opportunity for York University and its
neighbouring communities to share information in a way that will benefit
everyone," said York University president and vice-chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.
"It will give community members access to the knowledge and services they
need, and an opportunity to share their experiences with students and faculty
who want to enhance research and learning in a meaningful way."
    Bill Hatanaka, Chairman and CEO of TD Waterhouse, member of York
University Foundation Board of Directors and Co-chair of the York to the Power
of 50 Campaign, expressed TD's commitment to making a difference in the
community. "The Centre is a demonstration of TD's desire to be a positive
force in the economic development of the communities in which we serve," he
    TD's commitment is part of the York to the Power of 50 Campaign, in
honour of York's upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations in 2009. The Centre's
opening is timely as it provides an accessible "front door" to York University
for Black Creek residents and organizations. It will enhance learning
opportunities by giving students hands-on experience and will support research
partnerships among stakeholders with like-minded concerns.
    Almaz Reda, community resident and Chair of the Jane Finch Caring Village
said, "There is a hope in the community that this Centre will serve as a more
obvious and beneficial link to York University. Having a Centre located in
Yorkgate Mall will help the community to partner with one of its greatest
    The Centre is slated to offer programs including tax preparation clinics,
small business consulting, initiatives to help mature female students return
to school, counselling, tutoring and mentoring.
    Ideally, someone entering the Centre for one program may come across
other available services on-site, such as legal advice, university entrance
information or community nursing.
    Sue Levesque, executive director of the Centre, will use her expertise in
experiential education and community-university initiatives to administer the
satellite centre, with guidance from an advisory council comprised of local
service providers and senior university members.
    "The Centre represents a true partnership between York and the community
and I am grateful to all who have played a role in making it a reality," said
Levesque. "I am anxious to demonstrate the many ways in which we all can make
a difference in the community."

    About York University

    York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching
university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the
undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada's most international city.
The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic
academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as
190,000 alumni worldwide. York's 11 faculties and 23 research centres conduct
ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across
traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach
is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions
to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit

    TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

    Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the
three main areas of focus for community giving at TD. Flagship programs within
these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian
Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership;
and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD
is also involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting
diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2007, TD donated
$33 million to more than 2,000 organizations across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Keith Marnoch, Associate Director, Media
Relations, York University, (416) 736-2100 ext. 22091, marnoch@yorku.ca;
Matthew Cram, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 983-1514, matthew.cram@td.com

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