Toronto Community Housing (TCH) and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) are combining to erect a new youth facility.
Once the intended site for a community roller rink, the 42,000-square foot space at 261 Jarvis St. – which has been vacant for nearly 20 years – will be transformed into a Sport for Development Centre (SDC).
The centre will be a collaborative space leveraging sport, education and research to deliver and measure programs which will improve the health and mental development of the city’s young people.
“The future Sport for Development Centre will be a cornerstone for our city, providing a place where dreams can became realities and interests can become talents,” said Mayor John Tory. “This project is another example of how the city can partner with the private sector to develop facilities that make Toronto a more liveable and community-focused city.”
MLSE Foundation will provide renovation funding for the space that will include a multipurpose gymnasium, classrooms, a cafeteria and kitchen. The new centre will feature programming every day during the week, including MLSE Foundation programs, sports-based after-school programs, cooking classes, breakfast programs and educational training.
“Sports and physical fitness are an incredibly important part of our lives and helping Toronto’s youth enjoy the benefits of playing sports is a major priority for MLSE and MLSE Foundation,” said MLSE chairman, Larry Tanenbaum. “MLSE has a long history of contributing to community initiatives which help improve the lives of young people and the Sport for Development Centre will not only be an important addition to Toronto’s community resources, but a lasting example of partners working together to further build our city.”
Since its launch six years ago, MLSE Foundation has invested more than $15 million into the city’s community. Together with partners such as TCH and the City of Toronto, they have positively impacted the lives of young people and their families through sports grants, programs and facility revitalizations.
“This partnership reflects a major effort by Toronto Community Housing to make best use of all our buildings for the benefit of residents and the surrounding community,” said TCH interim president, Greg Spearn. “Our housing is home to many brilliant young minds and budding athletes and by providing more opportunities for youth, we are building a better city.”