On Saturday, June 25, residents of the St. James Town community celebrated the opening of its refurbished outdoor basketball court in style with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, DJ and community barbecue.
Mary Adams, an avid basketball fan who has been living in the community since 1969, recalls a youth who honed his skills on the neighbourhood court, now playing in the United States on a scholarship. We should encourage [the youth]. It's a good thing for the community.
St. James Town residents, Mary Adams (left) and Jordan Tynes (right)
"This court is important to me because it feels like it's part of the community where we all bond and have fun, said 15-year-old Letitia Lopez, the only female playing in the tournament.
Refurbishing the only outdoor basketball court in St. James Town will help improve the lives of area youth through sports and recreation and will provide a place for the community to gather, said Councillor Pam McConnell.
Jordan Tynes, a member of the winning senior-level team, Air Jordan Flight Supreme, agreed: This new court right here, it's going be more open for the community. It's going to bring kids out and give them a chance to do something and be active.
The renovations to the basketball court, located on the north side of 375 Bleecker Street, were made possible thanks to Recipe for Community, a partnership between the City of Toronto, Toronto Community Foundation, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's Team Up Foundation, and Toronto Community Housing. Recipe for Community is dedicated to community building and the development of safe, vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods.
The MLSE Team Up Foundation invested more than $100,000 in significant upgrades and improvements to restore the court to its original condition. Just in time for summer, it is sure to be a hub of activity for basketball players and fans of the game alike.
The new basketball court is a slam dunk for St. James Town, said Mitzie Hunter, Toronto Community Housing's Chief Administrative Officer. Partnerships like Recipe for Community and the MLSE Team Up Foundation help build healthy communities by promoting tenant involvement and fostering a sense of community pride and ownership.
Chief Administrative Officer, Mitzie Hunter with Letitia Lopez