Take a look inside MLSE’s fancy new Moss Park sports facility for kids

Take a look inside MLSE’s fancy new Moss Park sports facility for kids

Moss Park kids are getting a gift from the sports gods on Thursday, when MLSE LaunchPad, a new multi-sport activity space, opens near Dundas and Jarvis.

It’s a project by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Maple Leafs, the Raptors and Toronto FC. The facility is a registered charity, and its primary funder is MLSE’s charitable arm, the MLSE Foundation. Tanya Mruck, LaunchPad’s executive director, says no other North American professional sports owner has founded and run a permanent youth centre like this one.

The place will be available to anyone between ages 6 and 29, but the intent is to serve those who are most in need. “It’s not a YMCA, and it’s not a community centre,” Mruck says. “What we’re trying to do in there is very purposeful. There will be drop-ins, but that’s mostly for outreach. Ideally, we’d like to transition kids into programming that’s combined with skill development—whether that’s finding a job, or helping out with their education.” Kids will be referred to sports and educational programs at LaunchPad through partner organizations like Pathways to Education.

The facility is located at the base of a TCHC apartment building, in a formerly vacant 42,000-square-foot cavern that was originally supposed to be a roller skating rink. Fortunately, the new space has a bit more flexibility. Inside, there are three multi-sport courts, a rock climbing wall, and a teaching kitchen.

LaunchPad’s official opening day is January 26. Here’s an early look inside.

There are three multi-sport courts:

The murals are by the artist Steven Harrington:

Here’s the climbing wall:

MLSE is behind all of this, so of course all the courts have official team logos:

The courts are surrounded by learning and activity spaces:

Correction

January 25, 2017

This post originally misidentified MLSE Launchpad's location. It's on Dundas Street East, not Dundas Street West. Also, Tanya Mruck's surname was originally misspelled.