lawrence heights community centre

Ontario government cancels $14 million in funding for Toronto community centre

Lawrence Heights is undoubtedly a community in need. The neighbourhood has experienced at least nine shootings in just the past month, and now they're losing funding for a community centre. 

In April of 2018, the former provincial government promised $14 million to help fund a cultural and community hub for the neighbourhood. 

Now they're saying the money was never set aside for the project. 

Council originally approved a plan for the area to be revitalized in 2011, and the community centre was just one part of it.

In 2018, the province priced the project at $42 million, a price tag which was supposed to be split by all three levels of government. 

Now that the province's funding has been stalled, it puts this part of the project in limbo. 

Marco Mendicino, Liberal MP for the area and parliamentary secretary to the federal Minister of Infrastructure, told the Toronto Star in a statement that the city can’t access federal funds unless the provincial government resubmits the community centre project and commits to their $14 million share ⁠— meaning the city of Toronto is the only level of government funding the project for now.

Despite holding back the committed funds, Premier Doug Ford said he still plans to provide financial help to Lawrence Heights. 

Right now the fate of the centre is up in the air, and residents are worried the neighbourhood will continue to suffer. 

The community hub was supposed to provide youth with after-school activities, snacks and a safe place to do homework or hang out with friends.

“In light of this latest summer spike in gun violence, which has hurt my riding — and Lawrence Heights in particular — far too much, I am calling on Premier Ford to act." Mendicino told the Star. "Lives depend on it."

Lead photo by

Mr Dan Mofo


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