Toronto mayor reopens Agincourt Community Recreation Centre 2 years after fire

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Mayor John Tory says the Agincourt Community Recreation Centre has been a hub in the community for years, and the fire in 2019 impacted the lives of many. (CBC - image credit)
Mayor John Tory says the Agincourt Community Recreation Centre has been a hub in the community for years, and the fire in 2019 impacted the lives of many. (CBC - image credit)

Toronto Mayor John Tory officially reopened the Agincourt Community Recreation Centre in Scarborough on Sunday, following extensive work to repair damage from a fire at the facility in January 2019.

The arena facilities were reopened for ice programming in September 2019 and the community recreation centre opened its doors for public use of washrooms and showers in April 2021, after being closed to the public for about two years.

Tory said the Agincourt Community Recreation Centre has been a community hub for years and the fire in 2019 impacted many people.

"Before the fire, the last full year we have to look at was 2018, just to give you an idea of the magnitude of what was affected by this fire, there were 1,700 registered courses and drop-in programs and permits for community use. So that's what was affected," Tory said.

While there were no injuries during the fire, the roof and other areas of the community recreation centre were extensively damaged.

Given the severity of the damage, significant reconstruction work was required to ensure public safety.

"Our firefighters did an incredible job in conditions I can't even begin to describe to you on this warm summer day … it was way below zero and they were fighting the fire as they do, heroically, for us all the time in winter, in spring, in summer and fall.

Repairs and improvements completed as part of reconstruction work include:

Building and facade

  • New timber roof, shingles and windows, woods-inspired cedar panelling on pool exterior, painted building exterior, rooftop chiller and basement boilers, fire dampers, fire pump and back-up generator, as well as a new HVAC system.

  • A refresh of the existing courtyard with the installation of a new concrete patio, mulched gardens and interlocking pavers.

Community Centre

  • New lighting, window treatments, flooring and counter surfaces, new Lions Club dedicated kitchen and improvements to the existing teaching kitchen, new washroom partitions, increased community and office space, new dance hall flooring and equipment.

Aquatic area

  • New pool slide with refreshed tile in the tower access, improved insulation and wood panelling features, new windows, improved change room and the replacement of the chlorine gas pool sanitizing system to a more efficient liquid chlorine model.

"The damage of the fire at the community centre has been a tremendous loss for the residents of our Scarborough community," Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson said.

"While many programs and permits were relocated during the reconstruction work, I'm glad that this updated facility will once again be equipped to serve as a well-loved community hub," added Thompson, who chairs the Economic and Community Development Committee.

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