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Mayor Tory announces funding for The 519 to expand activities and programs supporting 2SLGBTQ+ communities

Patrick D Costa

On June 9th, Mayor John Tory announced a $250,000 commitment to The 519 community centre to help support 2SLGBTQ+ and local communities in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood. The funding will be focused on creating and coordinating community activities, events and programs in Barbara Hall Park and enhancing community safety and well-being for everyone in the Church-Wellesley Village.

Mayor Tory was joined for the announcement at Barbara Hall Park by Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest) the Budget Committee Chair, Councillor Robin Buxton Potts (Toronto Centre) and Pam Hrick, Board Chair of The 519.

Earlier this year, Toronto City Council approved the funding in the 2022 Operating Budget for the Association of Community Centres to support The 519. The funding will help The 519:

  • Develop new diverse programming initiatives and events, including The 519-led programming and support for community-led initiatives
  • Enhance engagement with local residents, partner organizations and community-led groups
  • Work closely with neighbourhood stakeholders to identify and respond to community safety and needs of 2SLGBTQ+ community members who are experiencing homelessness
  • Create inclusive opportunities for communities to engage with each other and with Barbara Hall Park’s green space

The 519 is a City of Toronto agency and registered charity committed to the health, happiness and full participation of 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Barbara Hall Park, directly adjacent to The 519, is a vital green space used by a wide variety of community members, including local residents, visitors, families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Events and programming in Barbara Hall Park will include larger marquee events; re-occurring programming, such as self-defence workshops for women, trans and non-binary people; pop-up events, including workshops and speaker events; and art installations and engagement activations. These initiatives will be for all ages, welcoming families, young people, older adults, community partners and local businesses.

The City has supported The 519 and its work with 2SLGBTQ+ communities for many years. As a City agency, The 519 receives core ongoing funding from the City that allows it to operate and be accessible to the community. The City has also recently invested an additional $315,000 in capital funding for necessary renovation and repair work to The 519’s heritage-status building. The 519 and the City continue to work closely together on a number of initiatives, including the Downtown East Vaccine Engagement Team, for which The 519 acts as the lead agency partner. More information about The 519 community centre is available on The 519 website Opens in new window.

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