Kingston Road YMCA re-named in honour of the Stavro Family

September 26, 2019

Medhat Madhy, Virginia Dimoglou, and the Stavro Family

Donation from family foundation among gifts honouring deep roots in east end Toronto through renaming to “The Steve & Sally Stavro Family YMCA”

Toronto, September 26, 2019 – The Stavro family’s deep connection to the east end Toronto community and their support for the YMCA will see the Kingston Road YMCA centre of community re-named “The Steve & Sally Stavro Family YMCA.”

The announcement was made today by the YMCA of Greater Toronto, which received a $1 million donation from the Steve & Sally Stavro Family Foundation in support of the new centre, set to open next year. In addition, the renaming was supported with a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor and numerous contributions from additional donors.

“Steve grew up in this area and had a life-long love for the community and organizations like the Y that help people live better lives and contribute so much to the fabric of the city. He would be honoured to have this wonderful new centre bear the Stavro name, as is the rest of our family,” said his wife, Sally Stavro.

A passionate sportsman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Steve Stavro arrived in Toronto in 1932 when his family came to Canada and settled in the city’s emerging east end. He went from helping out at his father’s small meat market at Queen Street and Coxwell Avenue to building the iconic Knob Hill Farms chain of food terminal grocery stores. The founder of the Toronto City Soccer Club, Stavro later became controlling owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, bringing the two franchises together with the creation of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and overseeing construction of the Air Canada Centre (now Scotiabank Arena).

“Steve Stavro and his family embody the values of commitment to community and giving back,” said Medhat Mahdy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto. “He and Sally have been dedicated to ensuring the health and vibrancy of the east end, and tremendously supportive of those who need assistance and the organizations who provide it. That dedication and their financial generosity make naming our new centre of community in their honour a perfect fit.”

The Steve & Sally Stavro Family YMCA centre of community will span 60,000 square feet on the south side of Kingston Road between Balsam and Beech avenues, which was the site of a previous YMCA location that served the community. Amenities of the new centre will include two swimming pools – a fully accessible four-lane, 25-metre lap pool and a fitness and therapeutic pool – as well as a whirlpool, a conditioning/weight room, fitness studios, a full-size gymnasium and a community space.

Along with the health and fitness programs, the new YMCA will offer a range of social and educational programming tailored to meet the diverse needs of the community, for students, seniors and new Canadians. The opening of The Steve & Sally Stavro Family YMCA will aim to bring everyone in the community and surrounding areas the resources they need to reach their potential and achieve their dreams. In fact, YMCA research provides evidence to suggest that participation in YMCA programs and services leads to improved well-being, better general and mental health, and a stronger sense of belonging. It also shows that in neighbourhoods where there’s a YMCA, there’s better well-being, health and belonging for everyone, not just those individuals who use Y programs, services and facilities.

Local residents can sign up for newsletter updates about the project at The YMCA of Greater Toronto is actively fundraising for the development of The Steve & Sally Stavro Family YMCA and community donations remain welcome.

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About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

For more than 165 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided leadership and worked with partners solving complex social problems to create real, measurable outcomes that have strengthened the social health and fabric of communities. As a charity, the Y offers a variety of programs responding to the needs of the community, including education and training, employment and immigrant services, family and youth services, health and fitness programs, child care and camps. Serving the population of the Toronto, Durham, Peel, York and Halton regions and Dufferin County, last year the YMCA made more than 620,000 connections across more than 450 locations.

For more information contact:
Communications, YMCA of Greater Toronto,

Sarah Nazzarro,
Veritas Communications
(416) 646-1841