Canada, Ontario, City of Toronto, and partners invest over $35.9 million in Tamil Community Centre in Scarborough

From: Infrastructure Canada

Today, Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Finance on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Bill Blair, Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade; Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park; the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation and Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park; Logan Kanapathi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham-Thornhill; His Worship John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto; Jennifer McKelvie, City Councillor for Scarborough-Rouge Park; and Siva Vimalachandran, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Tamil Community Centre, announced funding for the construction of the Tamil Community Centre.

The Government of Canada is investing over $14.3 million in this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing more than $11.9 million, while the Tamil Community Centre is contributing over $9.6 million. The City of Toronto has contributed land valued at $25 million to the project in the form of a long-term land lease at a minimal cost of $1 plus HST in annual rent.

The project will see the construction of a multi-purpose facility that will meet the needs of many local residents, including the diverse Tamil Community in the Greater Toronto Area. A gym and outdoor playing fields will improve access to recreational opportunities for the community, while a new library, museum, auditorium and multi-purpose spaces will help facilitate educational and cultural opportunities and events.

All orders of government continue to work together for the people of Ontario to make strategic infrastructure investments in communities across the province when needed most.

Quotes

“Community centres are vital social infrastructure that help our communities, and local economies, grow stronger. Our recovery plan is focused on making sure we have an inclusive recovery, that brings all people along and builds stronger, more resilient communities. The new Tamil Community Centre will create jobs, give the community access to recreational and cultural spaces, connect the community to quality programs and services, and provide access to educational opportunities for everyone in the community.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Investing in community, culture, and recreational infrastructure is essential to creating inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods, towns, and cities. The new Tamil Community Centre will help meet the needs of the community while raising awareness and appreciation of Canada’s diverse Tamil Community for many years to come. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Through a challenging year Canadians continue to rely on access to support through programs, services and safe community spaces. The construction of the Tamil Community Centre will be an incredible addition to support families in our communities across Markham, Thornhill, and the GTA. The Centre and will be particularly valuable in providing the Tamil community with much-needed social and recreational space that brings people together, and contributes to more inclusive community development.”

The Honourable Mary Ng, Federal Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“The Tamil Community Centre will be a unifying space that will bring this vibrant community together under one roof. It will be a space to learn, to showcase, to gather and to reflect. This is a result of all governments working together, and led by the Tamil community. Generations of Tamil-Canadians have worked for this day, and generations of Canadians of all backgrounds will be well served by the Tamil Community Centre.”

Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park

“Our government continues to invest in Scarborough and provide meaningful support for Ontario’s vibrant Tamil community. Local and accessible recreational opportunities are important to personal, family and community health. The Tamil Community Centre will be a new space for members of our Tamil community to connect and be active, and it will also provide much needed recreational and community infrastructure for residents in the community to enjoy for years to come.”

The Honourable Kinga Surma Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure

“As someone who grew up in Scarborough, I personally know how important this project is to the community. The development of a Tamil Community Centre will provide services and jobs for the residents who call Scarborough home. I am proud to be part of a government that is funding the first ever Tamil Community Centre in Canada. This reaffirms our government’s commitment to building Scarborough.”

Vijay Thanigasalam, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park

“I am excited to see this provincial investment in the first ever Tamil Community Centre in Canadian history. It is a crucial milestone for our diverse communities in Markham and Scarborough. As we build the new community centre, we are cultivating new opportunities, and improving the quality of life for many residents, especially youth and young families in the GTA. The community centre will be a hub where people can get together and build community spirit!”

Logan Kanapathi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham-Thornhill

“The Northeast Scarborough neighbourhood has a diverse community, and is home to a large number of families, single parent households, and individuals with socio-economic barriers. This new community centre will serve the Tamil community, provide new opportunities to socialize and be a valuable resource to help improve vital services to the entire community. I want to thank the federal and provincial governments for investing in Scarborough and for helping us build a centre that I know will become a hub within the neighbourhood.”

His Worship John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto

“The new Tamil Community Centre, at 311 Staines Avenue, is being built on City of Toronto land that was sourced through CreateTO, with a steering committee that included representatives from the Tamil Community. The new Centre will be a tremendous addition to Scarborough and will provide the local Tamil community, as well as residents in the broader GTA, with important services and programming.”

Jennifer McKelvie, City Councillor for Scarborough-Rouge Park

“In partnership with the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, the Tamil Community Centre project will help address the gap in services available to the Tamil community in northeast Scarborough, a historically underserved area of Toronto. The Tamil Community Centre will also streamline services to the communities living in the neighbourhood, including Indigenous, Black, and Caribbean and other racialized communities. The Tamil Community Centre will improve the quality of life for all Scarborough residents through providing much needed recreational space and programming in priority areas like mental health services, senior services and LGBTQ inclusion.”

Siva Vimalachandran, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Tamil Community Centre

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • Across Ontario, the Government of Canada has invested more than $14.2 billion in over 3,800 infrastructure projects.

  • Across Canada, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government of Canada has contributed $9.7 billion to 3,500 infrastructure projects.

  • Ontario is investing $10.2 billion under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green, and rural and northern community and other priority infrastructure.

  • Across the province and over the next 10 years, Ontario is investing approximately $320 million and Canada is investing approximately $407 million under the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This stream supports the construction of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities that improve community infrastructure (community centres, libraries), recreational venues (arenas, recreational spaces) and cultural spaces (theatres, museums).

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