Local community centre may have program fees cut

Toronto’s community development and recreation committee will be reviewing a motion this month to make the Antibes Community Centre a “priority centre,” which would cut fees for some programs.

A priority centre — usually designated in a lower-income neighbourhood — is a community facility that waives fees for children, youth and senior’s programs.

Until recently, adult programs at priority centres were also covered. But budget proposals at a recent city council meeting saw fees reinstated.

Andrea Cohen, CEO of Unison Health and Community Services, a local advocacy group agency for lower-income residents, supports the motion.

“The city needs to look at the changing demographics of its neighbourhoods.

As neighbourhoods become either more well off, or more impoverished, the city needs to evaluate what that means for the neighbourhood resources and the people who use them.”

The Antibes motion was put forward at a city council meeting on March 9 by Councillor James Pasternak and referred to the city’s community development and recreation committee. If the committee adopts it, the motion will go to city council on April 12 for final approval.

“Ward 10 has not been given its fair share of resources,” said Pasternak.

“We have only one small library, one covered hockey arena, and we face major challenges when it comes to the revitalization of our parks. This is what I was elected to do: to put resources into the community.”

He said the community centre, in the Westminster neighbourhood near Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue should have been declared a priority centre long ago.

Article exclusive to TRNTO