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June 25, 2011
Refurbished outdoor basketball court opens in St. James Town
St. James Town residents today celebrated the official opening of a newly refurbished outdoor basketball court, as part of the Recipe for Community Program, as a result of a donation of more than $100,000 by the MLSE Team Up Foundation.

Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale); Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President and CEO, Toronto Community Foundation; Mike Bartlett, Executive Director, MLSE Team Up Foundation (TUF); and Mitzi Hunter, Chief Administrative Officer, Toronto Community Housing (TCH) joined area residents for the event. The City of Toronto supports the Recipe for Community Program in St. James Town, in partnership with the Community Foundation, TCH and TUF.

"Refurbishing the only outdoor basketball court in St. James Town will help improve the lives of area youth through sports and recreation and will provide a place for the community to gather," said Councillor McConnell. "The generous donation by the MLSE Team Up Foundation is an important community investment that sets an excellent example of what we can accomplish through public/private partnership."

"The Toronto Community Foundation is very pleased to have been able to work with our fundholders and donors to provide the resources and relationships to help make Recipe for Community and its projects, such as the refurbished basketball court, a reality and a success," said Bhardwaj. "But, success is far more than just the physical change. We hope and expect that St. James Town residents will use the new court facilities to play together, connect with each other and grow stronger as a community."

“We are thrilled to be here today to celebrate the refurbishment of the outdoor basketball court with the St. James Town community, said Bartlett. "Strengthening community engagement and belonging through sports is at the centre of our vision. We hope that our investment in this basketball court will inspire the residents of this community, both young and old, to come together to celebrate and share this space.”

"The new basketball court is a slam dunk win for St. James Town," said Hunter. "Toronto Community Housing's vision is to contribute to a city where quality, affordable housing is available in vibrant neighbourhoods, where residents are proud of the place there they live, and where people feel connected to each other and their community. Partnerships like Recipe for Community and the MLSE Team Up Foundation help build healthy communities by promoting tenant involvement and fostering a sense of community pride and ownership."

The Recipe for Community Program features resident-inspired projects to strengthen the community's sense of belonging and pride, and to build community. Projects focus on
neighbourhood greening and beautification, community gathering, food and nutrition and youth engagement.

The basketball court refurbishment is part of the more than $500,000 in investments made by public and private sector partners in St. James Town through the Program. Other investments include a carpentry skills program, small business development training, bicycle repair and safety, cooking and nutrition programs and the creation of new outdoor gathering spaces including an outdoor movie theatre.

Recipe for Community was initiated following the 2008 release of the Toronto Community Foundation's Vital Signs report, which identified sense of belonging as an issue. In 2009, the Recipe for Community Program made its successful debut in Toronto Community Housing's Alexandra Park community (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina).

About Recipe for Community partners - St. James Town

Toronto Community Foundation
With more than 300 endowment funds, and assets of over $250 million, Toronto Community Foundation is one of Canada's largest charitable foundations. Community vitality has been our purpose, promise and passion since 1981, when we started connecting donors to community needs and opportunities. We help our individual and family foundations invest in Toronto, making it a strong and resilient place to live, work, learn and grow. We monitor the health of our city, identifying its strengths and weaknesses. We provide the leadership and guidance to bring people together from all parts of our community. We exist for Toronto - for now and for always.

MLSE Team Up Foundation
MLSE Team Up Foundation is the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), combining the philanthropic efforts of all four MLSE-owned teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies. Launched in December 2009 and building on the past successes of the Raptors Foundation for Kids and the Leafs Fund for Kids, the MLSE Team Up Foundation is committed to making an even bigger difference for youth across Ontario. The MLSE Team Up Foundation strives to improve the lives of youth by building facilities, giving to sustainable programs and empowering youth through sports and recreation. Changing lives through the spirit and the power of sports. For information visit

Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing ( is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes -- about six per cent of the City of Toronto's population. Toronto Community Housing employs 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs, who deliver its mandate to provide affordable housing, connect tenants to services and opportunities, and work together to build healthy communities.

City of Toronto
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Deborah Blackstone
City of Toronto
416 392-7377

Simone Dalton
Toronto Community Foundation
416-921-2035 ext. 218



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