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News on the Transformation

Downtown YMCA - October 11 2023

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Montréal, October 11th, 2023

The YMCA’s Ongoing Impact in Downtown Montréal

The YMCAs of Québec has a long history in downtown Montréal and it is important for us to keep having a social impact for many years to come. Since the foundation of the organization, we have always shown resilience and made sure to keep up with the times and changing needs of the community. Every day, the positive impact we have in the lives of our members and of the participants in our programs motivates us to pursue our mission in the long term.

To learn more about the community programs offered in downtown Montréal and our impact in the community, please consult our 2022 impact report.

A necessary transformation

Just as downtown Montréal is currently reinventing itself, so must the Y.

Like several other organizations and businesses are noticing every day, the situation in downtown Montréal has changed. We took the time to analyze this situation and we are working to find solutions and pursue our transformation. We must tackle considerable challenges, particularly the drop in the number of people coming into downtown for work or other reasons, new work habits, and changes in fitness and workout behaviours.

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The future is taking shape

One thing is clear: downtown Montréal has changed and this affects how our charitable organization delivers its services at several levels. The Y can no longer cover the costs of its large fitness facilities, such as the pool, gym, and conditioning room, on its own as it did in the past. It is for this reason that we need to act.

A sustainable solution for us is the sale of our downtown building and the redefinition of our real estate footprint in the Peter-McGill district. Revenues from the sale would boost our mission-driven investment fund, which generates income to support our mission while allowing our organization to focus on delivering its programs to the community rather than managing its real estate.

Our intention is to create a new community hub in a space that better suits the programs we offer, while staying in the Peter-McGill district.

We are launching a call for tenders to find a real estate broker who will help us explore different possibilities so we can maintain our physical presence in the area, namely as a tenant. This is a long-term process that will require several years to come to fruition.

But do not worry. It will be business as usual for the YMCA International Language School as well as the TeenZone and community programs during this period.

The Downtown YMCA is opening its doors to the community

Until the sale of the building is finalized, we plan to optimize the use of our spaces, making our premises available to serve the needs of the community. The Y has thus implemented special rates for community organizations struggling to continue operating in downtown. There are various multipurpose spaces available. There is also a space that has been laid out to adhere to daycare industry standards and could therefore temporarily house a service of this nature.

We would also like to point out that the Ballet Divertimento dance school and studio took advantage of these preferential rates and moved into our premises at the beginning of September 2023. The dance studio now welcomes close to 300 students of all ages and levels in our building.

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About the YMCAs of Québec

Since 1851, the YMCAs of Québec, a charitable organization, has had the mission to encourage and inspire all people to fulfill their potential, thrive, and contribute to the community. The YMCA’s diverse expertise reaches far beyond the walls of its centres. In addition to the YMCAs of Québec’s online programming, its 1,200 emplo- yees and 550 volunteers support the organization’s activities in over 60 service points throughout Québec, Canada, and abroad.

The organization’s work is carried out daily thanks to the unwavering support of its staff, members, partici- pants, numerous partners, volunteers, donors, its foundation, and its various financial partners at different levels of government.

To learn more, please visit ymcaquebec.org

Contact information:
Isabelle Huiban
Integrated Communications Director
The YMCAs of Québec
514 222-4307
isabelle.huiban@ymcaquebec.org

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