Sport Infrastructure Part 2: MLSE LaunchPad Coming to Moss Park

Over the last decade there has been a tremendous push for increased sport infrastructure in Ontario, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area where demand is high. TORONTO2015 was part of this spark, but I believe sport enthusiasts and community-driven leaders have succeeded in convincing those in powerful positions about the positive impact sport has on marginalized communities and youth. So it comes as no surprise that Maple Leaf Sport and Entertainment (MLSE) has taken the lead on a fantastic initiative in downtown Toronto called MLSE LaunchPad.

MLSE LaunchPad — in partnership with the MLSE Foundation, Toronto Community Housing Corporation and City of Toronto — will transform a space at 261 Jarvis Street (in the heart of Moss Park) that has been vacant for two decades. A 42,000 sq ft facility will be built and dedicated to Sport For Development* programming and address a range of community priorities such as education, improved health and community safety. It will be the first of its kind in North America.

Opening in 2017, MLSE LaunchPad will include a multipurpose gymnasium, classrooms and a teaching kitchen. It will feature programming seven days a week that will focus on four pillars with sport at the core: healthy body; healthy mind; ready for school; ready for work. The facility will encourage teamwork, resilience and striving for excellence; promote a healthy and active lifestyle; provide education on nutrition to encourage healthy eating habits; and teach life skills to prepare young people for school and work.

Additionally, the Ontario Government is investing $1.6 million over four years, which will support evaluation and research team staffing, training and support for non-profit organizations to develop their youth service capacity and the development of measurement indicators and baseline metrics.

This is really thrilling! What a win for residents of Moss Park and the city as a whole.

[*The Sport for Development movement in Canada involves community sport projects that intentionally use sport to build healthy communities, to train the next generation of leaders and to influence government at all levels to adopt more inclusive and robust sport-related policies.]


TO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games: SEEDS Program

Full disclosure – I am currently interning with the Public Affairs and Social Legacy Division of the TO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, and my team is directly involved in the organization and facilitation of the SEEDS Program.

SEEDS is brilliant – it’s offering 152 TO2015 jobs to youth who are 18 to 29 and currently unemployed and out of school. Most positions start in April (some in March) and end in August. The pay is minimum wage, but if picked, you will be working with different functioning areas of TO2015 to help deliver the games. You will also be matched with a mentor from a major company such as Coca-Cola, General Motors and others. The mentorship aspect of the program is to help youth gain insight, connections and access through building a professional relationship with an already well-established individual. Cool huh?

The application process isn’t lengthy. Simply go to the City of Toronto website, click PAYE Employment Opportunities on the right hand side, and enter SEEDS in the key word search engine. A list of jobs will appear and you can search through the options to see which ones you would like to apply for. Note that you must create a profile with PAYE in order to apply for any position.

The deadline for applications HAS BEEN EXTENDED to March 26. Any questions and/or further info, contact Toronto Employment & Social Services or PAYE or TO2015 via