Toronto Approves Community Projects to Enhance Living

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Toronto Real Estate, CN Tower & Air Canada Center

Toronto Real Estate, CN Tower & Air Canada CenterTORONTO – The City of Toronto has approved a number of community enhancement projects as a part of the city budget.

Community Kitchen, Youth Spaces, Splash Pads and More – 10 Community Projects Approved for Five Neighbourhood Improvement Areas

Toronto City Council’s approval of the Capital Budget included approving 10 community-based projects which will be made possible through the City’s Partnership Opportunity Legacy Fund 2 (POL 2 Funds).

POL 2 Funds are an initiative under the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy. Applications are submitted by community groups or residents in support of their project. Projects are required to have at least one community partner to provide additional capital and/or operational funds or other resources.

Only capital projects are eligible and applicants must demonstrate how their proposed project builds neighbourhood capacity and infrastructure, engages residents and is aligned with the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy themes of healthy lives, economic opportunities, physical surroundings, participation in decision-making and social development.

POL 2 Funds can only be used on projects that will be on City-owned or leased space in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and the ongoing operation of the project and maintenance costs must be manageable within existing operating funds.

The successful applications in 2015 for POL 2 Funds include 10 projects in five wards, ranging in cost from $15,000 to $450,000:

Ward 8
• Revitalizing the Driftwood outdoor basketball pad with new backboards, nets, a resurfaced court, a fenced enclosure and benches for spectators.
• Creating a new splash pad at Elm Park.

Ward 9
• Creating a youth-friendly space at Grandravine Community Centre to include computer work stations, a TV and video game lounge and upgraded kitchen.
• Refurbishing the recreation area at 2585 Jane Street to include a half basketball court, sports field and seating areas.
• Building a splash pad at Spenvalley Park.

Ward 35
• Upgrading Allied Neighbourhoods Community Kitchen to include an accessible, industrial kitchen to meet community needs.

Ward 31
• Creating the Dawes Road Hub in partnership with the Toronto Public Library.

Ward 37
• Improvements to Ionview Park including more shade and seating.
• Restoring the community gardens on Gilder Drive as well as building a splash pad, upgrading the playground equipment and installing a new basketball court.
• Creating a dedicated youth space at the Birchmount Hub (1021 Birchmount Rd.) which will allow community agencies offering counselling, employment services, recreation and more to connect with youth. A basketball court will also be built.

Construction will begin on each of these projects in 2016.

“Many of these projects are quite basic in their description – a splash pad, a basketball court, some benches, computer work stations – but the needs that they can fulfil within the community is very broad,” said Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the City’s Community Development and Recreation Committee. “They provide safe and healthy places to meet, be active, play and engage with other community members, learn a new skill or meet with local agencies and service providers.”

Community groups or residents who are interested in applying for POL 2 Funds in 2016 for 2017 implementation should review the City’s Neighbourhood and Community web page: http://ow.ly/Z4hP4.