The YMCA’s newest Centre of Community officially opened its doors today, May 30! This weekend, Cherry Street was filled with smiles as guests from throughout the community came to celebrate the opening of the Cooper Koo Family Cherry St. YMCA.
Community members have been awaiting for the official opening since the building was used as a training centre for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, so it was no surprise the atmosphere was so festive all weekend long!
Visitors had the opportunity to discover what the facility has to offer: a 2-quad gymnasium, 2 pools, conditioning room with new state-of-the-art equipment, a 3-storey play structure, 30,000 sq. ft. green roof and a Youth Zone. Apart from tours, everyone was welcome to participate in a variety of activities including swimming, Arriba, yoga, dodgeball, and Cyclefit. Those who worked up an appetite enjoyed a BBQ lunch under the sun and could also purchase fresh organic vegetable plants straight from the YMCA Cedar Glen YMCA’s farm.
The doors to Cooper Koo officially opened this morning; 20 year-old Mahiigan stood patiently in front of the facility with a basketball and running shoes in hand. Mahiigan recently discovered his talent and passion for basketball. Almost two years ago, he became a member at Central YMCA where he plays drop-in basketball and has made many friends. Lucky for him, his recent move to the Canary District coincides with the opening of Cooper Koo, his new home turf.
“I will be here every morning at 6 AM,” explains Mahiigan. “I’m most excited about these new gym floors!”
He is looking forward to making new friends, training in the conditioning room and even trying out a yoga class.
Sarah, General Manager of Cooper Koo Family Y, welcomed YMCA friends, employees, community members, and partners for an non-traditional ‘ribbon-cutting’.
Attendees listened to a variety of speakers, including naming donors Krystal Koo and Michael Cooper, Joel Roberts, Chair of the Youth Advisory Council, Mitzie Hunter, MPP of Scarborough-Guildwood, Councillor Pam McConnell, Will Fleissig, CEO of Waterfront Toronto, Councillor Pam McConnell, Minister Michael Coteau, Corktown Residents & Business Association representatives, Cindy Wilkie, Co-Chair of the West Don Lands committee, Michelle Dubé of CTV, YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Diane Sinhuber, Chair of the Board of Directors, Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO, Lesley Davidson, Sr. VP of YMCA Health & Fitness, and Sarah Beldick, General Manager of Cooper Koo Family YMCA.
The speeches highlighted how a YMCA facility can impact not only individuals but also an entire community for the better. In YMCA fashion, the event concluded with a commemorative basketball toss by the speakers and colorful confetti – 125 years ago, basketball was invented by YMCA physical education professor and instructor Dr. James Naismith.
Jays Care Announcement
The grand opening event continued on Sunday with a very special announcement. Robert Witchel, Executive Director of the Jays Care Foundation, announced they had generously donated $600,000 in support of YMCA Greater Toronto’s vision of building healthier communities across the GTA. Children at the Grand Opening learned baseball basics during a clinic which featured new mitts, bats, and baseballs provided by the Foundation.
Plan your visit to Cooper Koo Family YMCA with the help of this handy schedule!