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.

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

Events and programming in Barbara Hall Park will include larger marquee events; re-occurring programming, such as self-defense 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.

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.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.