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Celebrating our YMCA City Builders: Steve & Sally Stavro Family Foundation

17 October 2019 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto
YMCA City Builders are philanthropic leaders who have generously given 1 million dollars or more to date to the YMCA of Greater Toronto. On October 17, 2019, we proudly honoured The Steve & Sally Stavro Family Foundation as they were inducted into our growing circle of esteemed YMCA City Builders. Read their 2019 induction citation here to learn about the incredible impact they are making possible.

Steve Stavro arrived in Toronto in 1932 and lived in the city’s emerging east end. Embracing his new community, he went from helping out at his father’s meat market at Queen and Coxwell to building the Knob Hill Farms chain of food terminals, which employed thousands and also served as a meeting place for kids and adults during their weekly shop.

Steve was also a passionate sportsman and was inducted into both the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. In 1990, he purchased a controlling interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs and, in 1996, the Toronto Raptors. He united the franchises and created Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. He also oversaw the building of the Air Canada Centre (now the Scotiabank Arena).

Steve, a generous and compassionate man, constantly provided assistance to the less fortunate and believed in providing others with the same opportunities he experienced as a new Canadian. As his success grew, he and his wife Sally remained dedicated to promoting the east end’s health and vibrancy. It’s our pleasure to see the new Kingston Road YMCA Centre of Community named in the couple’s honour as The Steve & Sally Stavro Family YMCA. Together, these YMCA City Builders acted as passionate representatives of the newcomer community and assisted those in need, giving back to the people and places that supported Steve’s endeavours.

Thank you to our YMCA City Builders and all of our donors for your spirit of giving. Together, you are building vibrant communities where everyone can shine! To read about some of our other donors and their impact, visit


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