North Toronto’s community centre to close for $9 million in renovations
Services to relocate for 18-month renovation this fall
The North Toronto Memorial Community Centre is in a state of disrepair, with renovations slated to begin this fall
The North Toronto Memorial Community Centre is gearing up to begin a $9 million renovation this fall. After many residents complained about the centre’s closure, it was decided construction would be carried out in two phases, with recreational programs and services relocated across Toronto.
The pool and a handful of programs will be shut down as part of the first phase of the renovation beginning Sept. 5. The rest of the centre will close for the second phase on April 2, 2018. The community centre will reopen to the public on March 4, 2019.
Most of the programs will be moved to other locations, with a few others put on hold until renovations are complete.
Swimming programs will be moved to the Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre and Leaside Memorial Gardens Pool, and others still to be determined will be listed on the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation website as more details are confirmed.
Seniors’ services and programs will be relocated to facilities such as St. Clement’s Church and Viewmount Community Centre.
Some local residents, such as Helen Lepek, are still not happy with the new arrangement.
“This community centre is only 23 years old. This begs the question of why preventative maintenance was not done,” said Lepek. “The community has been done a great disservice, and the impact to many residents is significant. Even with these changes prompted by community input, this remains a very unsatisfactory situation for all age groups who depend on this community centre.”
Councillor Christin Carmichael Greb of Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence, said renovations to the building are necessary and will include pool upgrades, a new roof and skylight, new floor finishes, outside repairs, improvements for accessibility, renovated change rooms and plumbing fixtures.
“Most of the renovations you won’t be able to see, things like a new roof, new HVAC system. A lot of money is going to those types of things that are behind the walls,” Carmichael Greb said.
Residents opposed the length of the 18-month closure and relocation of programs, which is why Carmichael Greb said she pushed for renovations to happen in two phases, in an effort to keep the facility open longer.
Matthew Cutler, spokesperson for City Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation, said the city will continue to work with residents to determine the best approach for program relocation and construction.