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In 2008, the York University – TD Community Engagement Centre opened its doors, with the support of a $1 million gift from TD Bank Financial Group. The facility serves the University and its neighbouring communities, with a focus on academic innovation through community building and experiential learning.

Sept. 26, 2008  The centre extends the University’s presence in the community by offering faculty, students and community members a variety of opportunities to participate in mutually beneficial research and learning experiences. Located in a University satellite office on the second floor of the Yorkgate Mall at Finch Avenue West and Jane Street in Toronto, the centre has a mandate to enhance student learning, build stronger community ties and lead a variety of community and University-related initiatives.

The opening, complete with festive music supplied by the student musicians of the Oakdale Park Middle School Steel Pan Band, brought together members of the Black Creek neighbourhood with members of the York University and TD Bank Financial Group communities to hear all about the centre’s mandate and importance to area residents and University researchers.

“TD’s commitment is part of the York to the Power of 50 Campaign, in honour of York’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations in 2009,” said York alumnus Bill Hatanaka, chairman and CEO of TD Waterhouse. “The centre’s opening is timely, as it provides an accessible ‘front door’ to York University for Black Creek residents and organizations. As a two-way conduit, the centre will enhance learning opportunities by giving students hands-on experience and will support research partnerships among stakeholders with like-minded concerns.”

Almaz Reda, community resident and chair of the Jane Finch Caring Village, said, “There is a hope in the community that this centre will serve as a more obvious and beneficial link to York University. Having a centre located in Yorkgate Mall will help the community to partner with one of its greatest assets.”

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The author ggravina