Toronto City Council has voted to start work this year on the Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park.
Work will begin with a modest $50,000 budgeted for pre-engineering. That will be followed by design in 2018 and 2019, with shovels in the ground planned for 2020, towards a 2022 or 2023 opening. Total project budget is $32.4 million.
“After 17 years on the books and many years of community advocacy before that, this is wonderful news,” said Joël Campbell, chair of the all-volunteer Friends of Sorauren Park. “This is a milestone.”
The Friends of Sorauren Park recently concluded its “Unlock the Community Centre” awareness campaign, the latest in a long series of actions to advocate for the centre.
The project is included in Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s capital budget and plan, which City Council approved Wednesday, February 15, 2017, as part of the overall City budget.
The most recent plans for the community centre, prepared as part of a 2009 feasibility study, would convert the abandoned Canada Linseed Oil Mills building next to the park into a 40,000 sq. ft. community hub with a gym (shown above), multipurpose rooms, studios and fitness rooms, youth space, kitchen and third-floor event space with a rooftop terrace.
Follow us on social media @SoraurenPark, our website and this newsletter for updates and news on design consultations.
Friends of Sorauren Park would like to thank Councillor Gord Perks, along with previous Ward 14 councillors Sylvia Watson and Chris Korwin-Kuczynski, who all moved the project along at various stages at City Council.
Most of all, thanks to the community, which has advocated ceaselessly for the community centre since the early 1990s. Never stop believing.