Brooklin Community Centre & Library Project

Optimist Club pledges $100,000 to future Brooklin project

Thu Mar 06, 2008
By Melissa Mancini

BROOKLIN — The Optimist Club of Brooklin meets wherever it can: homes, the current community centre and even the local Tim Hortons — but that’s all about to change.

The club has pledged $100,000 to the Brooklin Community Centre and Library, which has an anticipated opening date of 2010. The club will sponsor parts of the building in exchange for usage rights.

“We don’t have a set meeting space right now,” said club secretary and treasurer Brian Wick. “We really believe that it’s important to help cultural aspects of our community grow.”

It’s a big donation for a club with 24 members.

“We have a nest egg,” Mr. Wick said. “And we will continue fundraising over the next few years.”

Councillors were thrilled with the donation when it was discussed at operations committee Monday.

“This is a very significant contribution from a club in Brooklin,” Mayor Pat Perkins said. “They do fantastic work for youth.”

The committee directed staff to work on a sign acknowledging the donation to be put on the site of the centre’s future home.

Starting this year, the pledge of $100,000 will come annually in four equal instalments. The gymnasium in the new facility will be named the “Brooklin Optimist Gymnasium” and a room on the second floor will be named the “Brooklin Optimist Room” for 10 years. The group will also receive complimentary room use privileges for meetings for 10 years.

The club provides programs for youth, including weekly basketball games, dances and the “Girl Get Movin’ ” program for active females.

The Optimists hope to be able to start a Junior Optimist Club in their new guaranteed space, Mr. Wick said. The junior club would be for youth ages 10-18 and would teach members how to be good citizens in their community.

Construction sign for Brooklin Community Centre and Library 2009


Construction began on the new Brooklin Community Centre and Library in the summer of 2009 on Vipond Road, site of the former Brooklin Branch library and the former Fire Hall. The 40,000 square foot two storey building includes a new and larger branch library, senior’s activity centre, a youth centre, pre-school program space, gymnasium, a large multi-purpose room and a number of smaller meeting and craft rooms. The new facility opened at 8 Vipond Road on November 15, 2010.

The Vipond Road site was chosen as the ideal location in central Brooklin for it is within easy walking distance for many residents. The Community Centre and Library will enhance the downtown and is expected to be a catalyst for economic development. The building will highlight the natural beauty of the site and has been designed and oriented on the site to take advantage of existing open areas and the natural forest setting. The spaces within the building have also been carefully designed to welcome visitors to the various activity areas surrounding a common lobby and central exterior courtyard. The natural stone and wood exterior finishes of the building will be carried on throughout the interior, where vaulted wood deck ceilings and natural flooring materials will be combined with splashes of vibrant colour to create a rustic yet very contemporary feel.

These sustainable materials, combined with a very sophisticated energy management design, will ensure an efficient and environmentally sustainable facility. The mechanical, electrical and data communication systems will be of the most current design and highest quality of energy efficiency. The automated building systems will maintain optimal conditions throughout the facility at all time based on the nature of the activity and occupancy levels. Even the lighting levels will be controlled based on the amount of natural light that filters into the various program spaces. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2010.

Fundraising & Sponsorship

Public fundraising for the new Brooklin Community Centre and Library has a champion in the Optimist Club of Brooklin. In 2008, the Club demonstrated great civic leadership by pledging $100,000 to the project. The first installment is expected at ground breaking this fall. The Brooklin Optimists are a service club with a focus on youth and service. They have a long history in Brooklin providing youth basketball, volleyball and other programs, and partnering with the Town in providing a series of youth dances.

In recognition of their donation, the gymnasium will be named the Brooklin Optimist Gymnasium in perpetuity. As well, one of the public meeting rooms will be titled the Brooklin Optimist Room for the next ten years. Further major gifts to the new Community Centre are anticipated. Whitby has a history of civic-minded corporations, organizations and individuals who have stepped up and contributed materially to the success of important projects. Their names are associated with features in many of our public buildings from arenas to libraries, and are a lasting testament to their legacy. Call 905.668.7765 or email for more information.

More articles Dec 14, 2012 Whitby This Week, article and editorial