Major Wellington County, Guelph projects receive $6.2 million boost

Some big projects in Wellington County and Guelph will be getting $6.2 million from the provincial and federal governments.

The projects are renovations and expansions of the Elora Community Centre, the YMCA of Three Rivers in Guelph, and Hope House.

“The newly renovated Elora Community Centre will provide everyone equal opportunity to participate,” said Centre Wellington mayor Kelly Linton. “Whether its seniors, youth, or anyone else in your family, we’re very pleased to see the project moving ahead with the support of all levels of government.”

The federal government will be giving $3.4 million this weekend, while the province will be chipping in $2.8 to help pay for all the work.

“We operate out of a 184-year-old church building that has now become a community hub that offers a whole bunch of services to help people address poverty,” said Jaya James of Hope House. “Whether it’s financial poverty, emotional, relational, all the different aspects, so we’re really thankful we’ll be able to do some key updates for this building.”

Community leaders like Peter Sweeney with the YMCA adds that, in a year upended by the pandemic, the funding will pay off major dividends in the long run.

“There were cracks in the community prior to COVID-19, and what we’ve seen is the pandemic has exacerbated them in many cases,” he said. “We can’t afford to let our young people fall through the cracks, particularly those struggling in ways we can’t always see, so we’re very honoured to be part of this and we’re honoured for this investment.”

The government money is set to be combined with money from the organizations themselves as well as fundraising efforts.