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article imageToronto officially opens Regent Park Aquatic Centre with ceremony Special

By Andrew Moran     Nov 19, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Canadian officials and community members gathered for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Regent Park Aquatic Centre in Toronto. With public and private investment, including from Donald Trump, this is one step to Regent Park revitalization.
What does billionaire real-estate mogul Donald Trump have in common with a small community just east of downtown Toronto? A $1 to $2 million grant toward a new project that will benefit children who want to learn how to swim and learn lifesaving skills.
Regent Park is undergoing an extravagant revitalization to repair infrastructure, restore or replace poor-quality homes and transform it into a middle-class area with brand new condominiums, commercial establishments, community facilities and rental properties, such as townhomes and apartments.
Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent waits to speaks at a news conference to open the Regent Par...
Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent waits to speaks at a news conference to open the Regent Park Aquatic Centre.
On Saturday, City Councillors Paul Ainslie and Pam McConnell, Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament David Zimmer and Conservative Environment Minister Peter Kent helped officially open the aquatic centre in the downtown community. Former Mayor Barbara Hall, former mayoral candidate George Smitherman and former City Councillors Gordon Cheung and Shelley Carroll were also in attendance.
Thus, the Regent Park Revitalization Project is underway and one important step in this measure supported by the federal, provincial and municipal government is the Regent Park Aquatic Centre, a technologically-advanced community centre with year-round swimming for children and local residents.
Of course, though, the aquatic centre isn’t just for those residing in Regent Park, but everyone from across the city are welcome to swim and participate in the centre, including residents from nearby Cabbagetown and Corktown. Across the street from the facility is the construction of a new condominium.
Community members take part in the first swim at the The Regent Park Aquatic Center.
Community members take part in the first swim at the The Regent Park Aquatic Center.
Some of the features include a giant waterslide, a kids’ splash pool area, a conversation area for seniors, private stalls for swimmers, a Tarzan rope for children to hang off the ceiling and youth leadership programs.
The federal and provincial governments each contributed $1 million, while the City chipped in $14.6 million. As noted, Trump provided a $1 million (other reports suggest $2 million) grant toward the aquatic centre as part of Section 37 of the Ontario Planning Act and his construction of Trump Tower, a few blocks from the centre.
“Donald Trump was very interested in this project personally as well as the Talon Corporation’s Alex Snyder and Al Levinson, who are building the Trump buildings,” said Councillor McConnell. “I think the next time he is in town; he will probably zip by to see we spent his $1 million very well. But those were anchor dollars that allowed us to move forward.”
A condominium being constructed in Toronto as part of the Regent Park Revitalization project.
A condominium being constructed in Toronto as part of the Regent Park Revitalization project.
“I am delighted to be here today for the the official opening of the Regent Park Aquatic Center, which also marks the conclusion of the Government of Canada’s successful stimulus programs, which included the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RinC) Program, which officially concluded in October of last year,” said the environment minister in a speech to reporters and others in the crowd.
“It’s been terrifically satisfying for me for the last couple of years to see these projects take shape, to approach completion and reach completion and it’s proof positive that all levels of government can work together productively for the betterment of the community and our broader national economy.”
This is just one of many joint federal-provincial $380 million investments under RinC in Ontario and the Ontario Recreation Program (Ontario REC). The purpose of the initiative is to encourage community participation and make communities more inviting to live in.
All six phases of the Regent Park project are scheduled to be completed by 2019.
The Regent Park Aquatic Centre
The Regent Park Aquatic Centre
More about regent park revitalization, aquatic center, pam mcconnell, peter kent, Donald trump
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