Toronto’s newest youth space – The Zone – opens Friday

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The doors to Toronto’s newest enhanced youth space, called The Zone, will be opened on Friday, June 10.

Deputy Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38 Scarborough Centre) will join representatives from East Metro Youth Services and local youths  from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at East Toronto Youth Services (1200 Markham Rd.) for the  ribbon-cutting ceremony, a tour and youth speakers, who will share what the youth space means to them.

“Toronto’s youth have been saying they need spaces they can flourish in and through these spaces, we’re proving City Council has heard them,” said Deputy Mayor De Baeremaeker. “Providing spaces that foster development and growth is essential for helping our young people become adults. These spaces are shaped by the local youth and are for the local youth.”
“We are seeing the positive impact these centres are having in their communities – specifically, more youth participation, 137 per cent rise in youth programs and 222 per cent increase in hours dedicated to youth activity,” said Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee. “Local youth ¬inspire everything from the name of space to the programs that are offered.”

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The centre’s youth space is a place for young people to create, connect, learn and inspire. The model for the enhanced youth spaces, approved by City Council in 2014, focuses on three components – dedicated space for youth, consistent staff and programming tailored to youth interests. After consulting with the local youth, The Zone Youth Space decided to offer a number of programs including entrepreneurship, junior chef and music programs.

Youth remain a priority service focus for the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division. In addition to youth spaces, Parks, Forestry and Recreation offers registered and drop-in programming for youth at over 130 locations across the city and operates the Youth Outreach Worker Program. Youth outreach workers support youth who face barriers to participation by connecting them with recreation programs, social services and referral agencies that provide housing, employment, health and harm-reduction services.  – CINEWS

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