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As our Northern communities look toward the future, there will be an even greater need for organizations that make our community stronger – from physical and mental health, to belonging and connection. This is a role that the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario is well positioned for and ready to play.

But no one organization, municipality or campaign can achieve what we need to achieve for our communities, alone. Strengthening ourselves for the future will take all of us, working together. Changing times call for unique solutions and that is the situation at our downtown YMCA in The Centre for Life – a critical heart of our downtown with several organizations working together to strengthen the current and future wellness of our community.

The Centre for Life began as a partnership between the YMCA, City of Sudbury and others over 22 years ago to rejuvenate the then declining downtown core, support economic development and provide innovative and holistic wellness support for our Sudbury community. We are proud to be part of this vital work.

And, the time has come for the original model to evolve. A number of forces including rising utility costs, aging infrastructure of the location, organizations relocating and others have come together to put unsustainable pressure on the Durham Street location, and our organization.

We’re working with the City of Greater Sudbury to protect the progress we’ve made in community health and wellness, and downtown revitalization. Specifically, we are proposing an evolution of our 22-year partnership at the Centre for Life that would see the City invest further in the ownership and utility costs of this important downtown asset, which would in turn allow the YMCA to continue to operate our valued-added facilities, programs and services.

There is a cost to this proposed investment, but a much higher cost to inaction:  leaving 3200 individuals without access to health and fitness in our downtown, including the loss of a lap pool; a massive vacancy in the downtown of approximately 90,000 square feet; and the displacement of many community-serving entities, including for our senior population. That is not to mention the loss of a pivotal charity across the North that has been strengthening our health and our communities for more than 180 years, collectively.

We can’t make this change without your support. That’s why we’re calling on our YMCA members, donors and supporters to help us reimagine our facilities and how they can best create a positive collective impact for our communities.

We need your help now more than ever before – show your support today, and engage with the YMCA.

Updates

January 23 Update

As of January 23rd, we have hosted townhalls in Sudbury, North Bay, and virtually, and all have been well attended. We know our communities are eager to help and have offered their support.

Conversations with the City of Greater Sudbury have also been positive. We look forward to continuing these discussions over the next few weeks.

Our work to bring other agencies into the facility and build upon our synergies to deliver holistic health and wellness continues to progress and we will have more formal announcements to share with you shortly.

As some of you know, we received our first shipment of new cardio equipment on Friday, January 20th. This is thanks to a significant grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The rest of the equipment will be arriving in March.

And lastly, our membership numbers continue to grow. As of January 23rd, we are at over 3,680 members in Sudbury. We are on track to hit our goal of 5,000 members by 2027 and likely much earlier.

We look forward to sharing more updates as they become available. Thank you for your ongoing support of our YMCA.

Warm regards,

Helen

Frequently Asked Questions

Like most Canadian charities, the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario is experiencing financial pressures both caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While no one could have anticipated the pandemic or the devastating effect it would have on organizations like ours, it is our responsibility to take proactive measures that will ensure the long-term strength and sustainability of our YMCA.

We know that we are stronger together. Acting as one means more for everyone. More choice, more partnerships, more connections, more efficiency, for a stronger organization and a healthier region. That’s why we chose to amalgamate our services in Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins.

The YMCA will make program and service decisions once the future of the Centre for Life is known. We will strive to continue to deliver our vital services across the many communities we serve.

We are in communication directly with the tenants in the Centre for Life about any potential impacts of their leases and overall organizations.

As a charity, fundraising is crucial to the health of our organization; however, the operating and capital expenditures for the Centre for Life are continuing to grow at a rate that is not sustainable for our Association.

Thank you for your support of the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario. As a supporter of the Y, you know well about the impact the community experiences through the YMCA and we can’t be more grateful for your support. Your recent support through the My Y is Resilient Community Campaign enabled capital improvements in many facilities, strengthened programs, and ensured that everyone, regardless of background or financial ability, can be a part of the YMCA community. We are thankful for your support of our YMCA.

Looking for more information?

To find out how you can join the conversation, or to submit a question, please fill out the inquiry form below!

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