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Massive Toronto youth sports centre to be built in vacant space

Last Updated Apr 19, 2015 at 11:00 am EDT

New Sport for Development Centre to be located at 261 Jarvis St. TWITTER/ @MLSEFoundation

The 42,000-square-foot vacant space will include gymnasium, classrooms, cafeterias and kitchen.

Toronto youth will soon be able to shoot hoops on a shiny new court at 261 Jarvis St.

MLSE Foundation and Toronto Community Housing (TCH) have joined together to build a new multi-purpose centre with a gymnasium, classrooms, a cafeteria and a kitchen at the vacant space that was originally intended to be a roller-skating rink.

The 42,000 square-foot space has been collecting dust for two decades and will now be transformed into the Sport for Development Centre that will open its doors in 2017, according to TCH.

But instead of having people roller skate in circles, the new space will offer sports-based after-school programs for youth, cooking classes, breakfast programs and educational training.

“The future Sport for Development Centre will be a cornerstone for our city, providing a place where dreams can become realities and interests can become talents,” said Mayor John Tory at the unveiling of the project Saturday morning.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was in town for the unveiling along with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Interim President and CEO of Toronto Community Housing Greg Spearn said the housing is home to many brilliant young minds and budding athletes and by providing more opportunities to youth, it builds a better city for all.

The centre’s aim is to improve the health and mental development of Toronto youth through sport, education and research.