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It was a special day for the boys and girls of Toronto when an international celebrity was on hand to officially open the expanded second floor of their club. On June 23, 2011, government officials were joined by critically acclaimed musician Nelly Furtado and dozens of community members to celebrate the work completed to expand the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club. Neighbourhood kids and youth now have access to a far wider range of programming, designed just for them, thanks to this enlarged space.
This story begins back in 2004 when the " Through the Roof" campaign was launched to improve the programs and services offered by the Dovercourt Boys' and Girls' Club. Since then, the club has enjoyed tremendous support from prominent businesses like TD Canada Trust and ING Direct and donors from the community (not to mention Nelly Furtado). The City of Toronto contributed $151,800, while the governments of Canada and Ontario each provided up to $711,089 through the Recreation Infrastructure Canada (RInC) and Ontario REC programs towards the project. The Dovercourt Boys' and Girls' Club, along with its many donors, contributed the balance of the total project cost of $2,319,697.
The funds were used to add an extra 5,500 square feet on the second floor of the building, which has created 150-200 new spaces in the club's after school and camp programs. Keeping kids and teens interested and engaged can be challenging, so the second floor was designed to spark imaginations by adding a new computer lab, teen lounge, theatre, dance studio, greenhouse and planetarium – everything a young mind needs to discover, learn and grow.
Beyond the new additions on the second floor, the building was also renovated to extend its longevity, safety and functionality, ensuring that the community will enjoy long-term benefits from this great facility.
"This is an extremely exciting time for our organization, and in many ways it's a new beginning. Completion of this project ensures that our centre will meet the needs and opportunities of operating in the 21st century," said Justin Hanna, Club Operations Manager. " Our new and expanded centre will not only increase our capability to serve the community in an enhanced way, it revitalizes the organization and allows us to provide new services for the hundreds of youth who visit us each year."
The Dovercourt Boys' and Girls' Club has been providing after school, camp and recreational programs for Toronto's residents since 1957. While its programs have changed over the years, the club's goal stays the same: to provide an accepting environment where Toronto's children can learn, grow and create long-lasting friendships. Thanks to the contributions and support of so many people, this revitalized facility will help them meet these goals for many years to come.