Bathurst Jewish Community Centre

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Coordinates: 43°45′46″N 79°26′30″W / 43.762884°N 79.44171°W / 43.762884; -79.44171 The Bathurst Jewish Community Centre (BJCC) was a Jewish Community Centre for the Toronto area. It was located along Bathurst Street in the Bathurst Manor neighbourhood of Toronto and had over 100 programs and services, serving daycare to stroke recovery, seniors, Maccabi athletes, and campers.[1] The BJCC was run by a non-profit charitable organization funded through UJA Federation, United Way, the government, fees and private support.[1]

History[edit]

The BJCC was founded in 1930 as the YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association), and it offered members various programming opportunities in rented rooms in the Brunswick Avenue and College Street area in downtown Toronto.[2] In 1953 a new facility was built, the Bloor Street "Y" at Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue. It is still there today, but has been completely renovated and is now called the Miles Nadal JCC.[2]

As Toronto's Jewish community moved northward up the Bathurst Street corridor, so did the Jewish facilities and services. In 1958 saw the groundbreaking of the North "Y", which was the location of the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre.[2]

In addition to a fitness club, two pools, squash courts, gyms, running tracks, and an aerobics studio, the BJCC contained the Leah Posluns Theatre, Centre Camp, Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning, the Family Resource Centre, and the Koffler Centre of the Arts. The BJCC property is currently under a large redevelopment. The new facility will be called the Prosserman JCC and is being constructed in phases.[2]

Koffler Centre of the Arts[edit]

Opened in 1977 inside the BJCC, the "Koffler Centre of the Arts" is a broad-based cultural institution that was established by Murray and Marvelle Koffler. The Koffler Centre teaches dance, music, and visual arts; presents exhibitions of cutting-edge contemporary Canadian art; and is home to the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards, the Annual Jewish Book Fair, the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, and the Stars of the 21st Century Gala. It presents concerts, film screenings, poetry, spoken word, comedy, and discussions on world issues through the lens of culture.

Leah Posluns Theatre[edit]

Centre Camp[edit]

Lipa Green Centre for Jewish Community Services[edit]

While not part of the BJCC, the Lipa Green Centre for Jewish Community Services shared the same property but was a separate building. The redevelopment plans call for all buildings to be connected by bridges and atriums with the Lipa Green Centre itself having just undergone a major renovation.

Sherman Campus Project[edit]

In 2007, the UJA of Greater Toronto announced plans to demolish the BJCC and build a newer, more advanced, and larger complex on the same site. The name given to the lot and the all of the proposed buildings therein was the "Sherman Campus". In 2009 the BJCC was demolished and in its place started construction on the Prosserman Jewish Community Centre. The first phase (The Donald Gales Family Pavilion) was completed in 2010. The first phase of the Prosserman Centre is considerably smaller than the BJCC and offers very limited programming. It is the current home to the Koffler gallery for the arts, and has absorbed many of the employees and programs offered by the BJCC, however, many more people were laid off when the building was demolished. The Prosserman JCC currently houses a limited health centre. UJA continues to fundraise to begin the second phase of construction.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jewish Info
  2. ^ a b c d UJA Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]