The YMCA’s ongoing impact in downtown Montréal
The YMCA has a long history in downtown Montréal and we want to keep having a social impact in this community for years to come. For over 170 years, we have shown resilience and the ability to adapt to changing times and community needs. We are carrying on in the same manner. Every day, we strive to positively impact the lives of the participants in our programs and we aim to pursue this mission in the long term.
A necessary transformation
Just as downtown Montréal is currently reinventing itself, so must the Y. We have thus analyzed how the situation is evolving, in light of certain major challenges:
- Fewer people coming into the downtown area for work or other reasons
- Changes in workers’ habits
- Changes in fitness and workout behaviours
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.
The future is taking shape
Today, we are taking an important step by announcing the beginning of the process to put our downtown Montréal building up for sale. Our intention is to create a new community hub in a smaller space, which better suits the programs we offer, while staying in the same neighbourhood.
The revenues from the sale will be invested in our mission-driven investment fund, which will generate income to support our mission and enable us to focus on our programming rather than on the management of our building, to the benefit of the entire community.
The current programming at the Downtown YMCA, which includes the TeenZone, the various community programs, and the YMCA International Language School, only occupies one third of building.
As such, 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.
Call for temporary tenants
From now until the building is sold, the YMCAs of Québec wants to optimize and use the spaces to serve the needs of the community. The YMCAs of Québec is offering community organizations struggling to keep operating in downtown Montréal special rates adapted to their ability to pay.
There are various multipurpose spaces available. There is also a space that could temporarily house a daycare and has been laid out to adhere to the standards of the childcare industry.
Interested parties can communicate their needs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Y is still going strong in downtown Montréal
Thanks to program-specific funding and to our donors, we continue to offer youth and community programming, both in-person and online, to the downtown community, specifically:
- Social inclusion and reintegration services for offenders and people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness;
- A TeenZone for 12-to-17-year-olds with sports, recreational, and leadership activities, homework help, and a program geared to students suspended from school.
Learn more about our community programs.