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Published on Monday, April 16, 2018

Oakville's Bronte Youth Centre shutting its doors May 18

Closing due to declining attendance and program participation

Oakville's Bronte Youth Centre shutting its doors May 18
Metroland photo
Aabed Farag plays a game of pool with Mayor Rob Burton at the official opening of the Bronte Youth Centre in 2009
Oakville Beaver

The Bronte Youth Centre, located at 2996 Lakeshore Rd. W., will close its doors on May 18 due to a steady decline in attendance and program participation.

Town staff made the announcement April 12 and noted the Town of Oakville would reallocate centre’s funding to new youth initiatives, including temporary “pop-up” youth centres to better meet the needs of various neighbourhoods throughout town.

They said the Queen Elizabeth Park Youth Centre, located at 2302 Bridge Rd., is less than three kilometres from the Bronte Youth Centre and has experienced steady growth in attendance.

This facility will continue to operate as a dedicated youth centre.

“Engaging and involving our youth is critical to the success and livability of our community. We are exploring new ways to reach and connect with them.”

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.
Town staff said the Nottinghill Youth Centre, which opened in Glen Abbey in 2016, has also been very successful and will remain open.

“Engaging and involving our youth is critical to the success and livability of our community,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“We are exploring new ways to reach and connect with them.”

The town is implementing a temporary youth centre model at River Oaks Community Centre and Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.

Town staff said when large groups of youths started gathering in the lobby areas and hallways of these facilities, staff opened up available rooms and made video games, ping pong and snacks available along with staff supervision.

They said in both locations, the pop-up youth centres attracted a significant number of participants.

“This more flexible approach to engaging youth will allow our youth services to be more responsive to trends and demand in all areas of town,” said Nina de Vaal, the town’s director of recreation and culture.

The town will explore other potential youth centre locations such as school gymnasiums and parks.

The Bronte Youth Centre officially opened in April 2009, however, youths had been attending the facility since January of that year.

In its first few weeks the centre had 100 youths registered and attracted upwards of 20 teens a night.

The centre was established for teens aged 13-19 years old and opened with a wide range of programs and services such as homework help, resume writing and job search workshops, community volunteer opportunities and free activities including movie nights, cooking/baking classes.

It also had an on-site library, computers with internet access, a big-screen TV with surround sound, gaming system with video games, a foosball table and a pool table.

“Most of the time, you really come for the people,” said Aabed Farag, 17, during the Bronte Youth Centre’s official opening in 2009.

“Sometimes we have nothing else to do, so we just come here. You meet new people, new friends and meet people from different schools.”

For more information about the town’s youth services visit www.oakville.ca.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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