In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has been forced to make several difficult decisions related to the reopening of its many programs and facilities.
In a prepared statement, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka CEO Rob Armstrong shared the following:
“As an organization with limited reserves, we can’t compromise our long-term ability to serve the community by continuing to operate facilities that are not financially viable. As a result, our Board of Directors has approved the very difficult decision to close our fitness facilities in Barrie, Orillia and Parry Sound,” said Armstrong.
In the future, the Parry Sound Y will continue to operate as a licensed child care centre.
Day camps in Barrie and Orillia as well as licensed child care at the Barrie Y will continue to operate through to the end of the summer; in the coming days, staff will be contacting families impacted by the closure of the Barrie Y to find alternative spaces at other YMCA Child Care Centres. The Y is also making every effort to relocate staff to other locations and/or to support them in finding new employment opportunities.
As a charity, the Y remains committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities of Barrie, Orillia and Parry Sound and will continue to serve these communities through the delivery of licensed child care, before and after school care, day camps, immigrant services, youth counselling and outreach programs and employment services.
Looking to the future:
- The Y will continue to fundraise and work with all levels of government to open a new Barrie Y
- The Y will continue to work with municipal partners in Parry Sound and the surrounding area to build a
- new health and recreation centre to the North
- In Orillia, the Y is committed to exploring new opportunities to promote health and fitness through
- strategic partnerships
Armstrong added: “I would like to thank all of our members, participants, donors, and partners for their support over the years. I would also like to extend a very special thank you to our staff and volunteers for their day-in day-out commitment to our mission, vision and values.
"While we are deeply saddened by today’s announcement, we remain committed to serving the communities of Barrie, Orillia and Parry Sound and will look for new and innovative ways to do so.”
The YMCA anticipates re-opening its health and fitness facilities in Collingwood, Gravenhurst, Innisfil, Midland and Wasaga Beach in the coming months.
Watch for more on this tomorrow.