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Calls mount for a community centre in Toronto's growing midtown area

“It’s just not acceptable for people in our immediate area to not have a centre.”

Tanya Murdoch, Councillor Josh Matlow, John Hiddema and Chris Trussell are among those campaigning for a community centre in the Davisville neighbourhood.

Liz Beddall/Metro

Tanya Murdoch, Councillor Josh Matlow, John Hiddema and Chris Trussell are among those campaigning for a community centre in the Davisville neighbourhood.

People living in Davisville want a community centre of their own.

Rapid growth in the midtown neighbourhood has increased the need for more public space, and a community group is hoping a piece of land on offer at Davisville Public School can play home to a fix.

“It’s just shocking that we don’t have a community centre, right here in the middle of the city,” said Lisa Kelleher, one of the people behind the group called Midtown Hub.

“Kids and families need somewhere to go, somewhere to connect,” she said. “It’s just not acceptable for people in our immediate area to not have a centre.”

The group has launched a series of public consultations, looking to hear from residents about what services the centre should offer. Early feedback suggests the need for a public pool, daycare and programming for children, among other things.

People who live in the area have turned to using community centres in other neighbourhoods. The closest is the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre — a couple of kilometres away — and it’s mostly overcrowded, said John Hiddema, another member of Midtown Hub.

“It has become apparent to us that there’s a greater need than just a school” in the community, he said.

Midtown Hub is working closely with the city and other community partners to secure the money that would be needed to make their dream a reality.

Coun. Josh Matlow said the neighbourhood is changing as it grows.

With countless development applications coming in every month, people who think of the area as one catering only to wealthy families are wrong, he said.

Infrastructure to support that growth is “insufficient,” he said. 

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