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By Jim Stewart
Hundreds of residents and dignitaries assembled at the Caledon East Community Complex on Saturday afternoon to witness the building's Grand Reopening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony.
A blue and gold balloon arch centered the event held outside the Complex's East exit.
Citizens young and old from Canada's rich multicultural mosaic were in attendance, many of whom vied for Mayor Annette Groves's attention and photo with the municipal leader who embodied the positive feeling created by a sun-drenched mid-September afternoon.
Mayor Groves cheerfully acknowledged the radiant late-summer sunshine that washed over the assembly by noting at the top of her address that, “The sun always shines in Caledon” and then she solemnly acknowledged the Indigenous Lands on which the Caledon East Community Complex is built.
With the new and improved Complex as a backdrop, Mayor Groves introduced the members of Caledon Council—Mario Russo, Christina Early, Lynn Kiernan, Dave Sheen, Doug Maskell, Nick deBoer, Tony Rosa, and Cosimo Napoli – and thanked them for their civic leadership.
She also singled out the attendance of new Caledon CAO Nathan Hyde who was recently appointed under the auspices of the “strong mayor powers” implemented by the provincial government.
Although a phalanx of black-uniformed event security guards took up the left perimeter and fanned out to more strategic deployments, there was no need seemingly for crowd control at this celebratory event that was dominated by Mayor Groves's connection to the Councillors on her team and to the family members of Cory Trepanier who were present not only for the Ribbon Cutting, but also for a dedication ceremony of the Cory Trepanier Studio housed in the East Caledon Library branch in the Complex.
Mayor Groves spoke glowingly of Trepanier—a Canadian landscape painter and filmmaker who passed away in 2021 after a valiant battle with cancer—and his contributions to the Caledon arts and cultural community.
She said she found it to be a fitting tribute that Trepanier's memorial studio was located in “the largest recreational complex in Caledon.”
Groves also outlined the features of the Complex including its swimming pool, a new branch of the Library, an arena, an indoor walking track, meeting spaces for community groups, notably a space designated for the Caledon Sports Hall of Fame, as well services for the owners of canines such as dog-washing and drinking stations.
After the Mayor highlighted the Complex's impressive slate of features and services, she noted its Green and Sustainable attributes including “LED lighting, electric motors, and in-floor heating” all in keeping with “the Town's Climate Action Plan to be fully implemented when zero emissions are achieved before 2050.”
Despite the dire images conjured up by references to climate change, especially given this year's catastrophic wildfires and related chaotic weather events, Mayor Groves said she looked toward the immediate future with positivity and issued an invitation to citizens to “enjoy the outdoor rink and pavilion that will be in place this winter.”
Mayor Groves closed her upbeat and succinct address by noting that, “the Complex serves our plan for livability.” She added that it will “meet the needs of our community as we grow in population.”
Following her speech, dozens of residents approached her for a photo and, for some, a hug.
After the hugs and photos, she reflected on the best part of the ceremony which was “seeing everybody at today's grand opening.”
“All the different groups from our community were represented; so many grandparents and children were present. It's very nice to see so many segments of our community supporting and using the Complex. I especially like it because it's so walkable.”
Regional Councillor Mario Russo echoed Mayor Groves's remarks about the importance of a vibrant community center.
“It's a flagship — on the doorsteps of Town Hall – and serves as a way to welcome visitors and residents as they drive or walk into East Caledon. We're happy to have it here.”
Councillor Russo also expounded on how services have risen exponentially in Caledon from generation to generation.
“One of the things that long-time residents have mentioned to me is that they had next to no recreational facilities when they were growing up in Caledon and they praised the new Complex because there's something for nearly everyone.
“It's not perfect and we'll address its deficiencies, but we think the Complex's new physical plant will provide enough for a wide range of citizens' interests. The Complex will be enough for so many in search of recreational activities.”
Both Mayor Groves and Councillor Russo's words were in keeping with a celebratory occasion during which local citizens were invited by municipal leaders to recreate in a beautiful new facility in the Town of Caledon on a sunny September afternoon.
Post date: 2023-09-21 11:30:28
Post date GMT: 2023-09-21 15:30:28
Post modified date: 2023-09-28 11:07:29
Post modified date GMT: 2023-09-28 15:07:29
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