Brian Torry

  416-569-3702 

Wabash Community Centre

Background
The Wabash Community Centre is the final phase of the Sorauren Park expansion. The two previous projects included the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse that opened in 2008 and the new Town Square which was completed in 2014. 

The community centre has been designed around the idea of repurposing, salvaging and converting the early 20th century industrial building formerly a linseed oil mill. The plan is to keep the footprint, exterior masonry and layout of the abandoned building while cladding around the new structure. This will ensure that the neighbourhood maintains its history and character. The interior and mechanicals will be rebuilt to meet current standards.

An audit has been conducted and it was determined that the existing buildings are structurally sound. Approximately, two-thirds of the proposed program can be housed in the larger building and this could lead to potential construction cost savings. If the renovation and repair of the existing structure is conducted efficiently.

Community Centre Plans
The proposed 46,000+ sq. ft. community centre will be a city-owned and operated. It will contain several multipurpose rooms, recreation and culture rooms, gym space, weight room, dance studios, a youth lounge, community kitchen, cafe and event space with a terrace. The community centre is projected to be completed by 2022 or 2023.

The Sorauren Park Aquatic Centre
The Aquatic Centre will connect to the Wabash Community Centre creating a local community hub. The provincial government has invested $3.3 of the $10 million the aquatic centre is intended to cost. The facility will include multi-lane, 25-m lap pool, leisure pool, spa/therapeutic pool, and gender neutral changing rooms. The aquatic centre will offer water safety courses and swimming lessons. It will bring people together to focus on health, wellness and physical activity.

Funding
The Community Centre has been on the horizon and included in the City’s budget before 2000 when the City purchased the property and invested $3 million into the site including environmental remediation in 2004. The initial vision for a community centre in Sorauren Park dates back to the late 1980’s before the park opened in 1995. It is noted that since 2006 the Wabash Building Society has raised or leveraged around $750,000. This went towards the creation of the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse and Town Square.

The Wabash Community Centre is under the City of Toronto’s 10-year capital plan (Parks, Forestry and Recreation) for 2015-2025. It is one of five community centres to be built with the $234.4 million in funding. More recently, funding has been discussed to be reserved during the 2017-2023 term. Approximately $34 million to cover the design and construction. It has also been included in the City of Toronto’s 2019-2028 Staff Recommended Capital Budget and Plan. It is a part of the $643.5 million that makes up “The Community Centres Project” which is the construction of new community centres and the expansions and redevelopments of existing facilities.

The province of Ontario has joined forces with the federal government in a bilateral agreement over the next 10 years for $11.8 billion in federal funding specifically for infrastructure. Of that $11.8 billion, there will be $407 million allocated to community, culture and recreation infrastructure. The provincial government plans to work with municipalities to determine which projects should be nominated and approved by the federal government.

Sources:

https://soraurenpark.wordpress.com/tag/wabash-community-centre/

http://www.buildwabashnow.org

https://www.toronto.com/news-story/7161838-wabash-community-centre-gets-green-light-in-toronto-budget/

https://news.ontario.ca/moi/en/2018/05/ontario-creating-new-aquatic-centre-in-toronto.html

https://wabashbuildingsociety.wordpress.com/history/

http://www.taylorsmyth.com/portfolio/community/wabash-green-feasibility-study/