Ontario has selected four projects across the province that will receive support under a new program to help establish community hubs, offering a number of public services for local residents under one roof.
One of the projects selected includes establishing a hub at Rideau High School in Ottawa.Through the Surplus Property Transition Initiative (SPTI), the province will provide funding to cover property holding costs such as ongoing operating and maintenance costs for up to 18 months. During this time community groups will be able to find additional partners and develop long-term business plans to transition the properties to community hubs.
The proposed community hub at Rideau High School is a joint project between the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre and Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Rideau High School in Ottawa, which are focused on Indigenous and non-Indigenous services including: alternative secondary school, urban Indigenous healthy living, life-long care, programs such as those for homelessness and bail, community justice, healing and wellness, cultural resources, a food bank, Indigenous job fair, housing, HIV/AIDS awareness, employment and training, and Inuit supports for students and youth. Other community services will include: health, social, recreation, life-long learning, and community engagement services.
The government says that supporting community hubs is part of a plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change.
- The Surplus Property Transition Initiative was announced by the Government of Ontario in May 2017 and started accepting applications in July 2017. This initiative is designed to provide more time for local communities to develop viable business plans and complete due diligence before transitioning surplus properties into community hubs.
- While community hubs are locally-driven, the province’s role and objective is to make it easier for community partners to offer services that are integrated and coordinated, strengthening community partnerships and making the best use of public space.
- CommunityHubsOntario.ca offers free resources on community hub development, including webinar training sessions, a community hub mapper and various other tools.
- In 2017, Ontario released its second progress report on Community Hubs, describing the progress made since the release of the Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan.