A major outcome of the 2010 negotiations (between the City and Cadillac Fairview with the active involvement of DMRI) regarding phase II of the Shops at Don Mills, was an agreement for Cadillac Fairview to build a community centre for Don Mills. Cadillac Fairview has a number of obligations under the agreement. These include:
- Cadillac Fairview has set aside $17M, indexed from 2010 for this purpose.
- Cadillac Fairview agrees to build Community Centre by October 2020.
- The Community Centre will include among its principal functional components a competition-size swimming pool, fitness area, running/ walking track, meeting rooms, gymnasium and auditorium (which may be combined with the gymnasium).
- Cadillac Fairview will transfer the Community Centre to the City who will lease it back to Cadillac Fairview at a nominal rate.
- Cadillac Fairview is to select a ‘not-for-profit’ operator acceptable to the City, and in consultation with DMRI.
- The operator is to provide for universal public access at affordable fees, and appropriate community input and participation in its programming.
DMRI is currently part of a Steering Committee led by the City on the design of the Community Centre and on the selection of an operator. In addition to DMRI, the Steering Committee comprises representatives from Cadillac Fairview, Civitan, Better Living and Counsellor Robinson’s office.
At present, the committee has drafted the following criteria for the operator:
- Demonstrated financial viability
- Status as a non-for-profit operator
- Demonstrated experience in the recreation sector managing recreation facilities
- Demonstrated experience with program development for diverse ages, abilities and interests
- Experience working with all age groups and a broad sector of the population
- A financial subsidy/assistance program and policy
- Governance structure that includes local input and representation
Under these criteria, it appears that the YMCA is a strong viable operator who could undertake this project. We are also considering a process (such as requesting ‘expressions of interest’) to see if there are other ‘not for profit’ organizations who could qualify and are interested.