Today (Dec. 14), the Islamic Society of Toronto (IST) and Metrolinx are pleased to announce that an existing IST building, at 20 Overlea Boulevard in Thorncliffe Park, will be converted into a new Islamic Centre with significant additional community benefits, as part of the Ontario Line project.
The new centre will include larger and more extensive prayer spaces, new religious services and facilities, a mezzanine area that will provide bigger and better prayer spaces for women, as well as areas for educational and schooling programs.
This new space will also offer a business centre for local, community-based organizations and businesses to relocate to and will offer new gymnasium facilities to play sports such as, basketball, volleyball, and indoor cricket.
This exciting, new centre realizes the Islamic Society of Toronto’s vision for a new, expanded mosque with new facilities that can serve the communities in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, all just steps away from the future Thorncliffe Station on the Ontario Line subway.
“Transit has always been a catalyst for community building, development and growth,” said Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster.
“Helping the Islamic Society of Toronto deliver on their vision for a new, bigger Islamic Centre will bring benefits to the community far beyond the positive impact the new Ontario Line subway will bring.”
The agreement between Metrolinx and the Islamic Society of Toronto to bring this facility to a part of Toronto that needs this kind of investment is now going through approvals with the IST’s current active founding members.
“This will bring to life the dream that we have had for our community for the past two decades. This collaboration with Metrolinx will deliver a better and bigger facility for our growing community,” said the Islamic Society of Toronto Leadership.
“We can’t wait to bring more prayer space for women, more recreational and educational spaces for our children, youth and seniors and more spaces for local businesses and organizations.”
The plans for 20 Overlea Blvd. include:
- a facility approximately five times larger than the current facility at 4 Thorncliffe Park Drive, to support a growing community
- a range of new facilities that will provide space for youth activities, basketball court, educational programs, and better and improved prayer spaces for women
- ensuring businesses and organizations stay in the community with up to 24,000 square feet of additional business centre space dedicated for as many as 19 other businesses and organizations from the community whose properties are impacted by Ontario Line plans
- facilities that, for the first time, enable the mosque to provide an Islamic funeral service in the Thorncliffe Park community
Community input, engagement and feedback is important and Metrolinx will continue working collaboratively with the Islamic Society of Toronto to ensure the community vision is realized and residents, businesses and organizations continue to thrive and grow for years to come.
“This is one of several transactions happening with businesses and groups in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park as we prepare to bring the Ontario Line to the community,” Metrolinx’s Verster said.
- The Ontario Line is a 15.6-kilometre, 15-stop subway line will run from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown, and all the way to the Ontario Science Centre, including stops in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park.
- The Ontario Line will give people major relief from crowding on the Line 1 subway and other busy transit lines across the city thanks to connections with dozens of other travel options along the way, from regional GO trains, to existing subways, to new light rail transit lines like the Eglinton Crosstown, and more.
- The maintenance and storage facility, where the 44 Ontario Line trains will be housed and maintained to keep them clean and safe for our customers each and every day, will be located in Thorncliffe Park and is being designed with community input.
- The maintenance and storage facility will also bring upwards of 300 new jobs to the community once the Ontario Line is in service.
- Thorncliffe Park will have access to the Ontario Line as well as the soon-to-open Eglinton Crosstown, which will both connect the community to more jobs and new opportunities throughout the city.
- By 2041, Thorncliffe Station will:
- Bring 12,800 people within walking distance to transit
- see approximately 3,100 customers pass through the station during the busiest travel hour (2,100 getting on and 1,100 getting off the Ontario Line), with 500 of them transferring to or from other transit
- connect to 3,000 jobs in the area