Ontario is investing $1.6 million over four years in a new facility — the first of its kind in North America — that will combine sport, education and research to help at-risk youth build a brighter future.
Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement today with Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services, at the construction site for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (M.L.S.E.) LaunchPad in Moss Park in downtown Toronto. Ontario’s investment will help support evaluation and research efforts aligned with Ontario’s Youth Strategy, Stepping Up, and will enhance non-profit organizations’ capacity to serve youth.
M.L.S.E LaunchPad will give 200,000 young people aged 6 to 25 from underserviced communities in the Greater Toronto Area access to a multipurpose gymnasium, classrooms and teaching kitchen. The 42,000 sq. ft. facility will encourage teamwork, resilience and striving for excellence; promote a healthy and active lifestyle. “Our government is pleased to support these innovative programs, which, will help youth develop the skills and habits they need to reach their full potential, Premier Kathleen Wynne said.” The Launchpad will provide education on nutrition to encourage healthy eating habits; and teach life skills to prepare young people for school and work. It is set to open in 2017.
The funding builds on the government’s $55-million enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan, which supports at-risk youth to help them reach their full potential.