The Argyle Community Association continues to liaise with the city regarding the future of the Argyle Community Complex. The facility will feature a community centre, an indoor pool and twin gymnasiums. The location is intended for the city property of East Lions Park at the North-East corner.

Funding for this project has been included in the 2015 budget noted on pages 35 & 165. The original START date was to be 2018, however, according to this February 5th LFP news-clip below, it looks like the FINISH date will now be 2018……hope we all get new swimming suits next Christmas.

* A new $16.8-million recreation centre with a pool and gym for east London was accelerated by two years with work to start in 2016, completed by 2018. It will be located at East Lions Park, on Wavell St.

This long awaited Community Complex will be most welcomed by the 55,000 residents of the Greater Argyle neighbourhood, (London’s largest), because it will knit the community together as people of all ages participate in healthy living activities year round.

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Getting a community complex built in Argyle was no easy task. After a major annexation in 1961 citizens in Central East London watched in envy as recreational facilities sprang up all over the city. In the year 2000 a tiny group of locals led by Donna Taylor formed a committee to try and have a community centre built or located somewhere in Central East London. The little committee grew to about twelve people, it even included city staff along with councillors Armstrong and Caranci. A name for the group was chosen, a constitution and by-laws were written. The membership (@ $5.00 each) grew to a respectable number. Many long and arduous meetings seemed to hold out hope we would finally get our community centre when the city purchased the old White Rose store on Dundas St. East. Alas, at the last minute, the deal fell apart. The East London Community Centre morphed into the East London Resource Centre.

Years passed but the dream remained. Argyle residents longed for a community/recreational facility they could enjoy. By then the immense benefits of community centres had been well documented in many studies.

In 2008 less than a handful of residents formed the Argyle Community Association. Our Board of Directors consisted of four people, our entire membership. However, this tiny group had big dreams.

The first order of business was to resurrect the Community Complex idea. The need for such a facility in Central East London had become urgent and certainly overdue. Though the association promoted other issues, such as infrastructure, construction of an Argyle Community Complex always remained front & center.

Momentum for the idea grew and finally the city called several public input meetings led by Donna Baxter a clever and determined city staffer. All the while our ( now one) Councillor Bill Armstrong continued to lobby city hall and staff for our cause.

Meanwhile the Argyle Community Association increased its membership to more than 1,500 people becoming London’s largest community group.

Argyle consists of 27,000 residents and Greater Argyle has 55,000, London’s biggest neighbourhood.

At this point the ACA is suggesting that input from the community be sought by the city to obtain views and ideas as to what is actually required and desired in our dream facility.

There will surely be hurdles to overcome such as listening to people who have concerns about the local impact a community complex will have.

But we’re a resilient lot out here, just a hard working community simply striving to receive its fair share of good things enjoyed by the rest of London’s citizens.

Nick Sauter

Have ideas, comments?? Please direct them to our Committee Chair, Linda Davis