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Petition to Protect and Improve Access to Community Recreation in Toronto

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The City of Toronto is in the process of finalizing their budget for 2012. Public funding for community recreation programs and facilities is proposed to be cut despite a recent announcement of a $139 million surplus in the City’s budget. 

The proposed cuts to recreation include:
- Elimination of free registered programming for children, youth and seniors at 21 Priority Centres.
- Permanent closure of 12 community centres
- Permanent closure of 7 indoor pools
- Permanent closure of 2 outdoor pools
- Permanent closure of 5 wading pools

- Elimination of 17 full-time youth outreach worker positions

These proposed cuts are expected to affect 176 jobs.

Community Recreation for All has been arguing to protect access to recreation for everyone. Findings from the ground-breaking five-year Ontario study, When the Bough Breaks, demonstrate a direct correlation between investment in recreation and overall savings in City budgets, including Police, Children's Services, Public Health and Employment and Social Services.

We the undersigned request that the City of Toronto do the following to support access to recreation in our city:

- The addition of $1.2 million of new funds for the Welcome Policy as proposed in the 2012 budget. These funds should be considered a new allocation to the PFR 2012 budget and should come from the $139 million surplus.

- Continuing free registered programs for children, youth and seniors at 22 Priority Centres at current or enhanced service levels.(There are currently 21 Priority Centres in operation and Council had approved that Antibes Community Centre begin operating as a new Priority Centre in 2012)

- The re-introduced of free registered programs for adults at 22 Priority Centres at 2010 service levels or better. 

- No closures  of any community centres or pools.

- The establishment of a transparent and accountable process for arriving at an access plan for community recreation that meets City Council’s policy of providing access to high quality recreation programs to all City of Toronto residents, regardless of their ability to pay.


Community Recreation for All is a group of community workers and residents working to improve access to recreation programs and community centres in Toronto. We can be reached at


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