Joël Campbell, volunteer Chair of Friends of Sorauren Park, with the keychains outside the future community centre
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friends of Sorauren Park Rally Community Support to “Unlock” the proposed Wabash Community Centre
TORONTO, ON – February 13, 2017 – The Friends of Sorauren Park (FOSP), the non-profit organization dedicated to the completion and enjoyment of Sorauren Park, announced today the successful end of its Unlock the Community Centre campaign, launched in 2016, to rally community support around the City’s pledge to invest $34-million in building the Wabash Community Centre.
More than 2,000 residents and students from neighbourhood schools purchased keychains, decorated them and hung them on the fence next to the long-abandoned flaxseed factory – the proposed site for the new Wabash Community Centre. Local businesses including Scooter Girl toy store and Sunny Joes coffee shop supported the effort by making keychains available for purchase in-store.
“The Unlock the Community Centre keychain awareness campaign was inspired by the ‘Love Locks’ on the Pont des Art in Paris,” noted Joël Campbell, the Chair the FOSP Board. “We wanted to show a visual representation of community support and raise awareness. With thousands of keychains now on the fence, we are delighted with the results,” added Campbell.
The local community has been advocating and campaigning for the community centre since the early 1990s, and it has been a project on the City’s books for at least 17 years. During that time, FOSP has raised or leveraged approximately $750,000 for park development including the Fieldhouse and the park’s Town Square. The Wabash Community Centre is currently included in the City of Toronto’s proposed capital budget scheduled to be voted on by council at its upcoming Feb. 15-16 meeting.
“We are encouraged that we are in the proposed budget and that the development process is scheduled to begin later this year. With completion scheduled for 2022, one year earlier than expected, residents are very excited that the Wabash Community Centre is closer to reality,” said Campbell.
About Friends of Sorauren Park (FOSP)
The FOSP, formerly known as the Wabash Building Society, is an all-volunteer community non-profit dedicated to the completion and enjoyment of Sorauren Park. In partnership with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and many supporting organizations, the FOSP has been a key advocacy group successfully lobbying the government to fund the establishment of Sorauren Park, the building of the Fieldhouse and the Town Square. Through its continued community engagement, fundraising and awareness efforts, the FOSP was instrumental in convincing the City of Toronto to allocate $34-million from its capital budget for the construction of a new community centre slated to begin the design phase in 2017 and opening to residents in 2023. http://www.soraurenpark.com Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @SoraurenPark
Friends of Sorauren Park (FOSP). Stephen Dorsey, Director T. 647-938-5449 E. Stephen@dorseystudios.ca