Frequently Asked Questions

  • For close to a decade the Tamil community has been taking steps toward the creation of a community centre to address the gap in services available to them. Those efforts culminate in this project to streamline services to the community and the neighbourhoods they inhabit, while also incorporating the needs of the surrounding communities who would be able to access and use this facility.
  • While the project is being mobilized by the Tamil community, it is carried out with sensitivity to the needs faced by Black, Caribbean and Indigenous communities who face similar issues regarding access to resources. These include travel time to access vital human services, a lack of recreational services, a lack of neighbourhood improvement projects, and affordable spaces for community and cultural events.
  • The TCC would serve an invaluable function as a site to gather data to improve vital human services to all communities in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
  • For more information in the Tamil community in this neighbourhood, please visit here.

  • Last summer, we conducted an online survey for GTA residents and had over 1,000 people participate.
  • The survey gave us a good start to understanding what the Tamil community is looking for in terms of space and programming in a community centre.
  • Around 100 people who participated in the survey are from the neighbourhood around 311 Staines Road.
  • Information sessions with the local community will begin in 2021.
  • The City of Toronto will go through the required public consultations as with any development project.

  • Around 100 people who live in the immediate neighbourhood around 311 Staines Road participated in an online survey last summer.
  • Information sessions with the local community will begin in 2021.
  • The City of Toronto will go through the required public consultations as with any development project.

  • We submitted an application for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program under the Community, Culture, and Recreation Stream for federal and provincial funding for the construction of the community centre.
  • If we are successful, we will spend the next two years in planning, design and public consultations.
  • We hope to break ground in Q4 of 2022 with a completion date of Q2 in 2026.

  • The Tamil Community Centre will be located at 311 Staines Road.

  • We worked with CreateTO, the City of Toronto’s real estate division, to identify a suitable location for the TCC. 311 Staines Road is close to a significant portion of the Tamil community in the City of Toronto, Markham, Pickering and Ajax. This area is also underserved by community services. For more information on demographic needs, please visit here.

  • 311 Staines Road was purchased by the City of Toronto from a housing developer in 2007 for a new community centre run by the City Parks division.
  • Following further analysis, the City decided to build a community centre at Joyce Trimmer Park instead so this land has sat vacant.
  • 311 Staines Road has a north parcel and a south parcel separated by a hydro corridor. Our understanding is that both parcels have historical importance to First Nations communities and consultation with the appropriate representatives will be required before any work is undertaken on this land. Discussions have been initiated with the relevant First Nations.

  • The term naturalized state, as defined by the City of Toronto’s Official Plan, means that the location has to be maintained primarily in a natural state while allowing for recreational, cultural and educational uses and facilities. A community centre falls into this category.
  • At the time of purchase, the City was looking at building a community centre on 311 Staines Road. Following further analysis, the City decided to build a community centre at Joyce Trimmer Park instead so this land has sat vacant.

  • The City of Toronto has put together proposed lease terms that are available here.
  • While we will have a lawyer review these lease terms in detail, we did work collaboratively with the City of Toronto and are generally pleased with the lease terms.
  • Here are high level points:
    • Annual rent of the land will be $1.00 plus HST
    • The length of the land lease will be 30 years with an option to extend for 10 years
    • A capital investment of no less than $30M (our project costs ~$40M)
    • Construction must be completed and open for operations within 10 years of signing the lease

  • For the following three reasons, the Steering Committee incorporated with the current eight members as “First Directors” in order to advance critical processes for the TCC. This idea was presented at the community townhall in August 2019 and was accepted given the progress the Committee had made to date.
  1. The Committee needs to be an incorporated entity to sign a lease agreement with the City of Toronto for 311 Staines Road.
  2. The Committee needs to be an incorporated entity to apply for funding from the provincial and federal governments.
  3. The Committee needs to be an incorporated entity to apply for charitable status which will set up the TCC for success and financial sustainability from the outset.

  • The Committee plans to spend next year consulting with the community on a governance structure.
  • The Committee will do this by meeting directly with community organizations, hosting public townhalls, and online through our website.
  • If you have other ideas on how the Committee can engage the community on this topic, please email info@tamilcentre.ca.
  • The Committee looks forward to the robust discussion that will take place on this topic next year and putting together a representative governance structure for the community centre.

  • Estimated cost is $40 million.

  • We have been following up with the provincial and federal governments, remain optimistic, and hope to hear soon.

  • We will have conversations with the community about the best way to fundraise the amount needed to complete the project.

  • We are committed to mitigating traffic impacts in the neighbourhood.
  • We will work with the City of Toronto to make sure everything can be done to ease traffic including extending streets, adding more lanes, new streets, pedestrian safety measures, bike lanes, and increasing access to transit.
  • We also plan to have appropriate parking at the community centre so those accessing the community centre by vehicle do not park on residential streets.
  • As part of the City of Toronto’s site plan approval process, a traffic impact study will be conducted to look at any traffic measures that may be needed as a result of the community centre.

  • The Steering Committee has reached out to the Huron-Wendat Nation to develop relations and begin conversations about this project.
  • An archaeological assessment is currently underway on the south parcel of 311 Staines Road by the City of Toronto. Relevant First Nations are engaged in the field work and report reviews.

  • 311 Staines Road comprises both a north parcel and south parcel. Our understanding is that some years ago, development on the north parcel revealed historic artifacts from a past Indigenous settlement. The TCC project site will be located on the south parcel.
  • At this time, there is no indication of a burial site. An archaeological assessment is currently underway on the south parcel of 311 Staines Road by the City of Toronto. Once the work is complete, more details might come up.