Expansion in works for East City YMCA

After facing a potential sale and closure or move, then a hold put on those plans, the East City YMCA facility on Kingston Road east of Beech Avenue may be expanded in a partnership with a private developer.

Celecia Partap, a spokesperson with YMCA of Greater Toronto, said the facility may host a gym, pool, weight room and community rooms, if consultation with the community shows that those would be used.

“We’ve decided to pursue the preliminary stages of building a better building in that location,” said Partap.

The YMCA is exploring a joint development partnership with Mitchell and Associates, and is working on a rezoning application to allow residential development above the East City ‘Y’, which would constitute the first two floors of whatever building was built on the spot.

Partap said surveys of the neighbourhood, as well as community meetings, would take place long before any concrete proposal is presented for the building. She said it will be at least a year before it’s known whether a rezoning would be allowable; however, the YMCA wanted to let the neighbourhood know that there are plans for the future that include an expanded facility.

“We wanted to be proactive in our approach,” she said. “We will be engaging the community to make sure we meet the needs of the community.”

She also said that while there is not even a rough idea of what may eventually be proposed for the site, that the developer will follow the city’s zoning bylaws for the area, once the site has been zoned for the YMCA and residential project.

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This is such a good idea — so much better than having a storefront sit empty with condos on top. Too many empty storefronts on Queen.

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