Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Town of Aurora Council Items – Aurora Youth Centre

How much does the Aurora Youth Centre cost, is there funding, and what is the impact on residents tax rate?

What is the Aurora Youth Centre, do we need it, how will it impact our Youth?

What will our Youth do, and will they use the Aurora Youth Centre?

Design and construction is $3.9 million plus **$300,000 for a SkateBoard Park. Development Charges (DC) funds 90%, and Capital Reserves funds 10%. This project will not affect the tax rate assessed. **(Note: The SkateBoard Park has an upset limit of $800,000, however Staff will be presenting options that are lower in cost)

The location for the Aurora Youth Centre is the Aurora Family and Leisure Complex on Industrial Pkwy. The Youth Centre will be added on to the existing Facility that will still include the existing ice rink and pool. This location was selected from a list of 6 possible sites.

Ongoing operating cost for the Aurora Youth Center, would have the majority of funds required sustained by revenue generated through program registration. For example, the Town’s Park and Recreation Department ran Youth Orientated Programs for 2012; there were 145 programs, at 11 locations, with 969 youths paying registration fees of $93,585. It should be noted there were 1286 youths attending drop in programs.


We know they will come because the programs exist already. The Town has commissioned 4 separate studies over the past 12 years. The research and consultation with our Youth is exhaustive.

It’s conclusive, we need a Youth Center, most of the Funding is in place, and we have demonstrated it can be sustained with current Program registrations and revenues.

Here’s the best part, and it is perhaps the most difficult to quantify – social infrastructure. There is a huge upside that one cannot put a price tag on. Engaged Youths, are active, are better students, in better physical health, community orientated, with less social pitfalls such as; smoking, alcohol, drugs, disorders and criminal activity. We’re investing in our Youth.

In November, Council visited 2 high schools in the Town of Aurora. A total of 700 students, from 3 high schools gathered in the Auditoriums. There was an in depth presentation on the Youth Centre, followed by some 40 questions from the students. The response and buy in from the students was overwhelming.

All are welcome, there will be no barriers. The Youth will decide what programs they want. Lounges, art, music, recreation. There will be sport related activities, a Skateboard Park with other outdoor programs. There will be a sense of ownership, a connectivity of belonging for our Youth.

We’re a better Community, and that would likely translate into an increased value on our homes. We’re investing in our future, together, with our children.

John Abel
Councillor, Town of Aurora

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