The governments of Canada and Ontario announced joint funding for  improvements to community, culture, and recreational infrastructure for three projects in three communities in Eastern Ontario.

The federal government is investing more than $1.1 million in these projects through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing over $941,000, with the remainder of project funding to be provided by recipients.

“Today’s investments mean that Ontario youth, seniors and families will have better access to the quality social and recreational programming that they need to maintain healthy lifestyles, build skills, and develop strong community connections for years to come,” said Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands.

In Kingston, funding will support the renovation of the Youth Campus Cultural Community Centre, operated by the Home Base Housing organization, to provide increased access to a safe, supportive and healing community centre for vulnerable and homeless youth, 16 to 24 years old. Work includes converting a church sanctuary into a community centre by removing pews, building a stage, and updating audio visual, lighting, and sound systems, as well as flooring and HVAC requirements. Further renovations to the existing community centre will add 2,500 square feet for new washrooms, a larger kitchen, and a multi-use meeting area. These upgrades will provide area youth with increased opportunities for cultural healing, skill development, socialization, and self expression.

A project in the Township of McNab/Braeside will replace aging recreation infrastructure to accommodate the growing demand for a larger and modern support facility for four baseball diamonds. The new building will include more washrooms, increased storage space, and a tournament room for umpires and tournament officials. In the Township of Head, Clara and Maria, funding will support upgrades to windows, lighting, and the heating and cooling systems in the township’s community centre

“On behalf of Home Base and the youth who will benefit from this investment in the Kingston community, thank-you to all orders of government for their support in this project,” said Tom Greening, executive director, HomeBase. “The Kingston Youth Services Campus will bring a holistic approach to offering young people a number of important services including supportive housing, counselling services, and employment opportunities.  The Cultural and Community Centre is a vital part of this overall project.”

Featured image: Rendering of Home Base Housing’s new Kingston Youth Services Hub to be built in conjunction with the Princess Street United Church. Courtesy; HomeBase Housing Kingston

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