YMCA of Greater Toronto celebrates the official opening of its first Centre of Community in Vaughan

20 June 2022

Newest and largest centre in the GTA features health and fitness, camp and child care programs in the heart of Vaughan’s new downtown, co-located with new city spaces and library

Toronto – June 20, 2022 – At a ceremony this morning, alongside the City of Vaughan and Vaughan Public Libraries, the YMCA of Greater Toronto marked the official opening of The YMCA at The David Braley Vaughan Centre. Located in the heart of Vaughan’s emerging downtown core as part of the David Braley Vaughan Metropolitan Centre of Community, the new 77,000-square-foot YMCA features a full-sized gymnasium, two pools including a 25-metre lap pool and program pool with hydraulic floor, whirlpools and steam rooms, a multi-purpose fitness room, and a state-of-the-art conditioning floor. It will also host summer camps and provide employment and volunteer opportunities.

The new YMCA offers a wide range of quality programming for the whole family including children’s swimming lessons, basketball and soccer, all run by passionate Y staff. Members can also enjoy a variety of group fitness classes such as Yoga, YMCA Arriba, and YMCA TotalFit, plus a-la-carte offerings like adult swim lessons and personal training to help you reach your individualized goals.

The YMCA at The David Braley Vaughan Centre is part of the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Strong Start, Great Future Capital Campaign to bring the charity’s essential programs and services to more people in more neighbourhoods. The campaign focuses on rapidly growing cities like Vaughan, where residents need places where they can rebuild community and belonging after two years of lockdowns and accompanying isolation, job loss, disruptions to schooling, and many other setbacks. Fundraising to bring the new centre to life was led in Vaughan by Campaign Cabinet Co-Chairs Andrea DeGasperis-Ronco and Peter Cortellucci.

“We’re extremely excited to be opening our doors to this vibrant community. It’s only possible thanks to the generosity of donors like The David Braley Charitable Foundation, and funding partners like the City of Vaughan and Ministry of Education, that we’re able to provide Vaughan with the healthy infrastructure needed to rebuild in the pandemic’s wake,” says Medhat Mahdy, CEO and President, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “As Vaughan’s new downtown develops, we’re thrilled that the new YMCA will offer this community safe, inclusive spaces where neighbours can gather once again and shine, just as we have seen in the many other communities we serve across the GTA.”

A generous donation of $5 million from The David Braley Charitable Foundation helped make this centre a reality. David Braley was a champion for sport, health, and community. He impacted countless lives as a philanthropist, business owner and Canadian Senator, and was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to the Canadian Football League. As a charity striving to build vibrant communities where everyone can reach their full potential, the YMCA of Greater Toronto is proud to honour the legacy of such an inspiring leader.

The building will also house an innovative licensed YMCA child care centre. This is made possible thanks to $2.5 million in Community-Based Early Years and Child Care Capital Program (CBCP) funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

“We are proud to welcome and open a new YMCA Child Care Centre in Vaughan — providing affordable child care in the heart of our city,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP-Elect for King-Vaughan. “We celebrate this upcoming opening in Vaughan knowing that the Ontario-Canada child care deal will reduce costs for working parents in King and Vaughan.”

As part of the David Braley Vaughan Centre, the City of Vaughan made a substantial financial contribution to bring this new YMCA to the Vaughan community. The YMCA is co-located within the broader complex operated by the City of Vaughan, offering a 19,000-square-foot recreation venue and rooftop terrace, professional music-recording studio and teaching kitchen, as well as two new VPL locations including a 9,000-square-foot modern and innovative VMC Library and a 400-square-foot self-serve storefront called VMC Express. This state-of-the-art centre aims to enhance the well-being of the community and enrich the lives of everyone who lives and works in Vaughan.

“Today, we officially opened the David Braley Vaughan Metropolitan Centre of Community to the public – marking the arrival of Vaughan's newest state-of-the-art facility in the heart of our downtown core. This recreational centre is the manifestation of what can be achieved when committed partners come together to create a place where everyone is welcome to participate, interact and thrive,” says Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor, City of Vaughan. “It is a world-class space that encourages active play, healthy lifestyles and continuous learning. I want to express my warmest and sincerest gratitude and appreciation to Vaughan Public Libraries, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and City of Vaughan staff for making this vision a reality. Together, we remain dedicated to building public spaces that enhance our community's exceptional quality of life and standard of living.”

“Every community deserves a library, and we’re proud to introduce the VMC Library and VMC Express to Vaughan’s new downtown,” says Margie Singleton, Chief Executive Officer, Vaughan Public Libraries. “They will offer access to a world-class collection, programming for all ages and multipurpose spaces where customers can work, study, play, and discover something new. Alongside our partners, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and the City of Vaughan, we are excited to be part of this remarkable building.”

To learn more about the range of programs and services available at The YMCA at The David Braley Vaughan Centre, and to redeem a Try the Y free 7-day pass, visit braleycentre.ymcagta.org.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For over 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 400 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, the Y is a leading charity that helps everyone shine. For more information visit ymcagta.org.