Toronto City Council presents Community Centre 55 with a Civic Award of Merit
The Great Lake Race was the longest and most intense marathon north canoe competition in the world. The race was a 30 mile marathon across Lake Ontario, one of the fiercest and unpredictable fresh water bodies in the world.
The Civic Award of Merit was presented to Community Centre 55 to recognize it’s significant contribution toward improving the quality of life for City of Toronto residents with disabilities.
Community Centre 55 staff, assisted by a team of engineers and physiotherapists designed and adapted the only north canoe of it’s kind in the world, for paraplegic athletes. The crew of this boat demonstrated how athletes with disabilities, who have the tenacity of purpose, and grit to compete with the able bodied, can face multiple challenges head on, and over come them one-by-one.
The athletes had to adapt the equipment and learn how to use it, they not only completed the race, they finished second to the Toronto Police Services Emergency Task Force. They paddled from Niagara on the Lake to Ontario Place. When they landed, ‘there wasn’t a dry on the shore’. People wept and cheered as they disembarked from their boat. It was a moment that reminded everyone about the triumph of the human spirit. These paddlers were later presented with the Order of Lake Ontario medal.
The effort and success of these athletes inspired other people with disabilities to consider all sports to be within their abilities, and will encourage creative engineers, common sense coaches and steadfast fellow athletes to make such goals possible.
Community Centre 55 has been recognized, for three consecutive years, by our black community for our work with at risk children. We are privileged to have had the opportunity to work with these youth.
Community Centre 55-Graffiti Removal Program