GUELPH/WELLINGTON – Federal and provincial politicians have announced over $6 million in Investment in Canada Plan (ICIP) funding for improvements to Guelph and Elora community centres and organizations.
Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield announced on Thursday the YMCA/YWCA of Three Rivers, HOPE House and the Elora Community Centre and Arena will be receiving federal and provincial funds for restoration and accessibility enhancements.
Longfield said these kinds of investments are critical to growing the community and economy.
“By investing in community and cultural infrastructure today, we’re putting a down payment on a more connected and resilient community where Canadians can live, grown and raise their families for generations to come,” Longfield said.
The YMCA of Three Rivers will get nearly $2 million for a three storey addition to the YMCA of Guelph for a youth recreational space and an expansion of a universal change room.
“On behalf of the Y...our commitment is to return that with interest in the outcome of more kids getting the supports they need to survive and thrive in this community,” said Peter Sweeney, CEO of YMCA of Three Rivers, in reference to Longfield’s comment on this being a down payment.
The Township of Centre Wellington will receive over $3 million to renovate and expand the 40-year-old Elora Community Centre which in turn will improve its accessibility and increase space for recreation.
Centre Wellington mayor Kelly Linton said Elora’s arena is a critical part of the local community and he’s pleased to see the expansion project going ahead.
“Our staff have done the best they can do to maintain a 40 year old facility over the years but now we have the opportunity to do something really special for our community,” Linton said.
Finally, the HOPE House will be using around $400,000 to rehabilitate the 184-year-old church it operates out of and to construct a three-storey community centre. The work includes upgrades to the building’s masonry and flat roof.
“We will be doing something that is critical for all our communities which is the repurposing of existing community assets into resources that are supportive of the community,” said Jaya James, executive director of HOPE House.
Longfield noted how important building community resources like this have become during the pandemic.
“Investing in community spaces with necessary infrastructure is an essential part of growing our economy and providing communities and Canadians with more options to connect, express themselves and support one another,” Longfield said.