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January 18, 2010
O’Connor/Parma Court community celebrates newly renovated community centre
Mayor David Miller, Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Maria Minna, MP Beaches-East York, Denzil Minnan-Wong, City Councillor (Ward 34 Don Valley East), David Mitchell, Chair of Toronto Community Housing's Board of Directors, and Bruce Kidd, MLSE Team Up Foundation Chair, joined members of the O’Connor/Parma Court community to celebrate the re-opening of the City of Toronto’s newly renovated O’Connor Community Centre operated by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division.

The O’Connor Community Centre, which previously lacked youth space, now houses a youth-friendly area, community meeting rooms, a new and improved pre-school room and a renovated gymnasium. The renovation was made possible through the City of Toronto’s Partnership Opportunities Legacy (POL) fund and support from the Government of Ontario, Toronto Community Housing and MLSE Team Up Foundation.

"The renovation of the O'Connor Community Centre is a terrific example of the POL fund working for Torontonians,” said Mayor Miller. “The new centre will be a beacon welcoming all and providing area youth with recreation space and a safe place to meet."

The POL fund is an initiative born in 2007 when Mayor Miller and City Council committed $13 million in seed funding over a four-year period for investment in the City’s 13 priority neighbourhoods. This investment is intended to leverage equivalent funding from outside partners for youth-focused social and recreational infrastructure projects.

“This centre gives this community a place to exercise, to meet and to come together. It is a place where young people can learn the values of volunteering to make their community a better place,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

“Toronto Community Housing is committed to creating safe and healthy communities,” said David Mitchell, Chair of Toronto Community Housing’s Board of Directors. “These renovations are a tangible demonstration of our commitment, as the rejuvenated community centre will create opportunities for more tenant engagement and generate a greater sense of community pride and ownership.”

“The MLSE Team Up Foundation is proud to contribute to the refurbishment of the O’Connor Community Centre,” said Bruce Kidd, MLSE Team Up Foundation Chair. “The O’Connor Community Centre represents another important legacy project that will have a tremendous impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth in our city, creating quality facilities for sports and physical activities that allow them to grow and develop.”

“The new addition makes better use of the existing building and provides a greater public presence for this very busy community and recreational centre,” said Robert Smyth, a member of the architectural team of Oelson Worland Taylor Smyth architects in joint venture to design the facility.

After the ceremony, Youth Vybes conducted tours of the centre, community group New Moon performed and the Raptors Basketball Development Team put on a skills clinic.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
John Smith, Community Development Officer, Toronto Social Development, Finance and Administration, 416-397-4495,
Kyle Rooks, Media Relations, Toronto Community Housing, 416-688-8277,
Rajani Kamath, Director Corporate Communications, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.,



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