Ground was broken to commemorate the beginning of construction on the Parkway Forest Community Centre, an important component of the Parkway Forest master-planned community, Emerald City at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue in north Toronto.
The Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed Community Centre is a 50,000-sq.-ft. facility with a green roof, a commercial teaching kitchen and an adjacent Rooftop Garden. Programming spaces and facilities will include the first full-size gymnasium in the neighbourhood plus a running track, multi-purpose room, arts and crafts room, youth lounge, meeting room, weight room, aerobics and dance studio, and a YMCA-run daycare — another first, as the first purpose-built child care space in this community. An outdoor pool and pavilion with change rooms is also part of the complex.
The Centre is being built to achieve Toronto’s second LEED Silver Certification for a Community Centre, Childcare and outdoor pool with Pavilion. It also marks the first community recreation infrastructure to appear in the neighbourhood in 20 years, making the groundbreaking special for the residents, the City and the developer.
The Community Centre will be part of Emerald City, a master-planned high-rise community under construction in the neighbourhood. Designed by WZMH Architects as a family-friendly, lifestyle-oriented urban option, the comprehensive plan for Emerald City includes a pedestrian-friendly plaza and 13-acre family park with children’s playground in addition to the Parkway Forest Community Centre, ideal complements to existent amenities that include schools and a library.
“The vision of Emerald City as a family-oriented haven within Toronto takes another big step towards realization with the groundbreaking for the Parkway Forest Community Centre,” said Don Valley East Ward 33 Councillor Shelley Carroll. “Building residences isn’t enough. It takes a community hub like this to connect people to the neighbourhood, to one another, and to healthy lifestyle choices. As a vital component in the overall vision for Emerald City, and in the continuing evolution of North York, the Parkway Forest Community Centre will provide a safe place for children and youth to come together in activities that expand their minds, strengthen their bodies, and help define for them what a community can and should be.”
“As a developer, our commitment is not just to build great condos, but to take a leading role in building great communities,” said Netanel Ben-Or, ELAD Canada’s vice-president of development and marketing. “To be able to contribute such an important neighbourhood component as the Parkway Forest Community Centre to the overall plan for Emerald City is something we see as a duty. It’s a tangible way to let residents know we care about the quality of their lives and that of their families.”