Vancouver Council will create a new seniors centre in East Vancouver, Mayor Gregor Robertson has announced.
"Last month, I had the privilege of visiting with the Indo Canadian Seniors Society at the Sunset Community Centre. I was able to celebrate the birthdays of community elders Manjit Dhillon and Joginder Johal and hear about their decades-long work to make Vancouver a more diverse and accepting place for all newcomers.
"After this meeting, I felt energized to provide a much needed place for seniors in South Vancouver and I'm pleased that Council responded by passing a motion last week that directs staff to create a new seniors centre in Sunset," the Mayor said in a press release.
Robertson said in the next 25 years, the population of seniors and, in turn, the need for seniors' facilities in Vancouver would grow exponentially: the number of residents aged 65-74 would increase almost 80 per cent and the number of citizens older than 75 would more than double.
"The demand for seniors' facilities is expected to increase city-wide as our population ages. East Vancouver is already underserved: although there are eight seniors facilities on Vancouver's west side, East Vancouver only has three (including the recent new facility in Southeast Vancouver adjacent to the Killarney Community Centre)," he said.
He said the motion to create the new seniors centre in Sunset was well received. Several community members, including the Indo-Canadian Seniors Society and the City's Senior's Advisory Council, came to Council to echo support for this motion, and reiterate the need for a new seniors facility in Sunset.
"Over the coming months, City staff will explore options for the location and funding of the new centre. Ideally, the new centre will be located in an accessible, well-traveled part of the neighbourhood with easy access to transit and amenities. Staff will be exploring potential funding sources for the centre, including looking for partnership opportunities to match federal and provincial funding," he said.
In addition, City staff will look at governance models, building design and potential building sites in Sunset.
"We will build on previous work in Killarney, where the new Killarney Seniors' Centre had a successful financial model that leveraged a city investment of $2.5 million by securing matching provincial and federal government contributions, for total funding of $5 million. Located adjacent to the Killarney Community Centre, this Seniors' Centre will be breaking ground in 2017," Robertson said.
He said Council and city staff will collaborate with the broader South Vancouver community, particularly the Indo-Canadian Seniors Society and other seniors groups in the Sunset area, for their input into the establishment of a new seniors (centre).
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