All three levels of government will be contributing a combined $35.9 million to build a new community centre in Scarborough meant to meet the diverse needs of the neighbourhood.
The announcement was made Friday morning by federal, provincial and local officials at Scarborough-Rouge Park.
The federal government is investing over $14.3 million in this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) of the Investing in Canada plan. The province is providing more than $11.9 million, while the Tamil Community Centre is contributing over $9.6 million. The City of Toronto has contributed land valued at $25 million to the project in the form of a long-term land lease at a minimal cost of $1 plus HST in annual rent.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Community centres are vital social infrastructure that help our communities, and local economies, grow stronger. The new Tamil Community Centre will create jobs, give the community access to recreational and cultural spaces, connect the community to quality programs and services, and provide access to educational opportunities for everyone in the community.”
The project will see the construction of a multi-purpose facility at 311 Staines Avenue that will meet the needs of many local residents, including the diverse Tamil Community in the Greater Toronto Area. A gym and outdoor playing fields will improve access to recreational opportunities for the community, while a new library, museum, auditorium and multi-purpose spaces will help facilitate educational and cultural opportunities and events.
“I am excited to see this provincial investment in the first ever Tamil Community Centre in Canadian history,” said Markham—Thornhill MPP Logan Kanapathi. “It is a crucial milestone for our diverse communities in Markham and Scarborough. As we build the new community centre, we are cultivating new opportunities, and improving the quality of life for many residents, especially youth and young families in the GTA. The community centre will be a hub where people can get together and build community spirit!”
“The Tamil Community Centre project will help address the gap in services available to the Tamil community in northeast Scarborough, a historically underserved area of Toronto. The Tamil Community Centre will also streamline services to the communities living in the neighbourhood, including Indigenous, Black, and Caribbean and other racialized communities. The Tamil Community Centre will improve the quality of life for all Scarborough residents through providing much needed recreational space and programming in priority areas like mental health services, senior services and LGBTQ inclusion,” added Siva Vimalachandran, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Tamil Community Centre.