Lebovic Campus receives $15 million boost from federal government


Funds to help build phase 3 of project including theatre, outdoor pool

Construction on the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus ground to a halt on the morning of March 14th.

For one hour, the site was still as the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State for Seniors and Member of Parliament for Vaughan, announced a $15 million contribution by the Government of Canada to Phase 3 of the Lebovic Campus.

“Our government remains focused on the economy which is why we are proud to invest in this local infrastructure project that will create jobs, strengthen Vaughan’s economy and improve the quality of life of all York Region families well into the future,” said Fantino.

The Phase 3 project, at the corner of Bathurst Street and Lebovic Campus Drive, includes a conference and celebration pavilion and atrium, a theatre and lecture hall, an outdoor pool, as well as a number of multi-purpose programming and meeting facilities that will be available to all citizens of York Region. Construction of Phase 2 is already well underway, and will feature the incredible Schwartz/Reisman Centre, home to two indoor pools, a fitness and conditioning centre, daycare and preschool, and a community arts centre.

Elizabeth Wolfe, Chair of the Board, UJA Federation, thanked Minister Fantino for the government’s generous support of one of Canada’s fastest growing communities, and reflected on Jewish Toronto’s proud past and bright future.

“The story of Toronto’s Jewish community, in many ways reflects the narrative of our great nation. Canada is a country built on the hopes and dreams of those searching for a better life for themselves and their families,” said Wolfe. “In Canada, we found safety and success; opportunity and acceptance. We found a place to put down roots and build community. And today, as you see all around you, that building continues.”

“Through UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign, we are following in the footsteps of the visionaries who came before us; the men and women who planned and built for generations to come,” said Wolfe. “Today, through projects such as the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus we continue to build not only stronger communities, but stronger Canadians as well.”

The Lebovic Campus is one of three exciting centres of Jewish life being built as part of UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign. The $400 million capital endeavour, chaired by Gerald Schwartz and Lawrence Tanenbaum, with leadership at the Cabinet level by Leslie Gales, also includes the midtown Sherman Campus at Bathurst and Sheppard, and the Miles Nadal JCC and Wolfond Centre for Jewish Campus Life in the downtown district. With the support of all three levels of government and numerous Jewish community philanthropists, $300 million has already been raised.

Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of the City of Vaughan, also addressed the chilly but cheerful audience which included representatives from many of the community agencies and partners that will form the fabric of the Lebovic Campus. He spoke of the city’s support for this “world-class” campus from the beginning, more than a decade ago, when the now prime 50-acres was just farmland and a dream.

“Today, we not only celebrate community building, not only do we celebrate the great achievements of the Jewish community here in the city of Vaughan and beyond, but I do believe that today is a day when we truly celebrate nation building,” said Bevilacqua.

It was a sentiment echoed by Ted Sokolsky, President and CEO of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

“This is one of those great moments that we can celebrate – as citizens of Vaughan, as citizens of Ontario, and as proud Canadians – what we can achieve when we work together,” said Sokolsky.

“Those who believe in the future, help build the future. And all of you here today - especially our representatives of government – they believe in the future, they are creating the future, and it has been our honour and pleasure to be their partners in this city building.”

For video highlights and photos of the event, please visit LebovicCampus.com

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