Alexandra Park Community Celebrates the Unveiling of Refinished Basketball Court Alongside John Tavares and Pascal Siakam
In a remarkable demonstration of unity and community empowerment, Alexandra Park residents and sports enthusiasts celebrated the grand reopening of a refinished basketball court, made possible through a joint initiative by Their Opportunity, the PS43 Foundation, the John Tavares Foundation, Tridel, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC), and the Alexandra Park Community Centre (APCC).
The official unveiling of the revamped basketball court took place today at the heart of the Alexandra Park community, marking a significant step towards enhancing sports facilities and community engagement in this vibrant downtown Toronto neighbourhood. Youth enrolled in programs at the community centre participated in activities run by Their Opportunity, practicing their skills alongside Pascal Siakam and John Tavares.
Speakers in attendance included Ausma Malik, Deputy Mayor for the City of Toronto; Randy Gill, President of Their Opportunity; John Tavares, Captain and Centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs; Pascal Siakam, Forward for the Toronto Raptors; Jim Ritchie, President of Tridel; Tom Hunter, Interim President and CEO of TCHC; and Mohsin Khattak, Interim Executive Director of the APCC.
The project was initiated in response to the needs expressed by community members during a Community Revitalization Working Group meeting, comprised of members of the Atkinson Cooperative, TCHC residents, and Tridel and TCHC employees. Recognizing the opportunity to make a more meaningful impact, Tridel stepped forward to fully restore the basketball court, with additional support from their network of trades and suppliers and contributions from like-minded organizations.
Key enhancements that transformed the court include a professionally resurfaced playing surface and brand-new basketball poles and hoops. The renovation not only addresses the community's need for improved sports facilities but also fosters a sense of unity and empowerment among residents.
With the successful completion of Court 1, attention has now turned to fundraising efforts for Court 2. The team has successfully raised 50 per cent of its funding goal so far. Court 2 is envisioned as a multi-use, multi-sport area designed to support youth skill development and accommodate players of all ages and skill levels. Renovations will also feature a curated art mural by artist Jessey (PHADE) Pacho, with active community participation in its creation.
The Alexandra Park community is currently undergoing revitalization efforts by TCHC in partnership with Tridel. This extensive project encompasses rebuilding aging buildings, creating new market condominiums, and reimagining community amenities such as parks, childcare centres and more. The goal is to provide improved homes for residents while promoting active community engagement and economic development opportunities.
The collaborative effort to renovate the basketball court at Alexandra Park is a testament to the power of partnership and community-driven initiatives. It is an inspiring example of how sports can unite and empower a neighbourhood, fostering a sense of pride and camaraderie among its residents.
“Alexandra Park is an incredibly vibrant, connected, and growing community, that is an example of the best of local leadership in Toronto. These new basketball courts are welcome additions that I know will be well-used. Public spaces and high-quality recreation facilities create opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to learn new sports, get exercise, and build community bonds. As part of the Alexandra Park community's ongoing revitalization, I am excited to see development partners and some of Toronto’s best athletes invest here.”
- Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik, City of Toronto
“In the heart of Alexandra Park, we’ve rallied together to do more than just revive basketball and hockey courts – we are revitalizing a sense of community and hope. These freshly painted lines and gleaming hoops aren't only mere structures; they're threads weaving us closer, stitching dreams and friendships with every pass and shot. This project isn't just about renewing the court's surface, but about renewing spirits, forging connections, and uplifting dreams, while empowering our community through an active and healthy lifestyle. Here, the youth aren't just playing sports; they're learning about passion, sacrifice, dedication, resilience, confidence, and kindness. This is more than a court reborn; it's a community reawakened, and through its vibrant energy, we stand stronger together."
- Randy Gill, President and Founder, Their Opportunity
"Giving back has always been important to my family and seeing this first phase of the Basketball Court come to life is an incredible milestone. My family spent time growing up in this area and seeing kids being able to continue playing sports and have a meeting ground is why we started this foundation."
- John Tavares, Founder and Director, John Tavares Foundation
“The City of Toronto has been home to me and my family, and what makes this City special is the people. This court is a place where all youth can come together to play, work on their skills, and build connections. We know how important working hard and practicing can be, and we’re grateful to be able to contribute to a space like this where people can do that together through sport and community.”
- Pascal Siakam, Founder, PS43 Foundation
“At Tridel, true to our Built for Life promise, we aim to redefine community living by building more than just homes. We believe in the power of building strong, long-lasting connections and creating places where people can grow and thrive. It's also a commitment to empower the community to drive causes that they are passionate about. We learned that these courts are a defining feature of this wonderful neighbourhood. This initiative represents our on-going commitment to continue to invest in residents throughout the revitalization process. We hope these enhancements to the court will contribute to lasting positive impact and continue to bring people together.”
- Jim Ritchie, President, Tridel
“For our tenants, this is more than just a basketball court. It’s a place for the community to gather and a spot for children and youth to have fun and dream about the future. I have no doubt it will become the heart of this vibrant community and a welcoming space for all neighbours to enjoy.
"On behalf of TCHC, I want to thank Pascal Siakam, John Tavares and Randy Gill along with their respective foundations, Jim Ritchie and our developer partner Tridel and everyone else involved in making the new court a reality for our Alexandra Park families. We're beyond grateful.”
- Tom Hunter, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Community Housing
“Having grown up in this community and playing basketball, hockey, and lacrosse on this court for the majority of my developmental years, I am thrilled and excited to see this overdue renovation take place. Many children and youth will benefit from this new court as well as support future programming that Alexandra Park Community Centre will be able to provide.”
- Mohsin Khattak, Executive Director, Alexandra Park Community Centre