Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Toronto Jewish campus sign of booming community growth

The $185 million Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus
is one of the most ambitious Jewish projects ever undertaken in Canada.
(Shai Gil Photography)
Standing in the sprawling new $185 million Jewish community complex just north of Toronto, Taali Lester Tollman sweeps her outstretched arm in a wide arc.

"Just a few years ago," says Tollman, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto's vice president of marketing, "all this was pasture."

Actually it was woodland, but no matter. On the space now stands one of the most ambitious Jewish projects ever undertaken in Canada.

Spread across 50 acres, the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus is testament to the dramatic growth of Toronto's Jewish population. The 200,000-square-foot complex, which officially opened Sunday, houses social service agencies, conference facilities, a Conservative egalitarian synagogue with afternoon classes, a day care and preschool, a theater and art gallery, a Jewish high school (with an elementary school slated next year), a residence for developmentally challenged adults and a gleaming 10,000-square-foot fitness center with three saltwater pools. There is underground parking for 350 vehicles and plans for an infirmary staffed by 10 doctors. It's all set on grounds wound with pathways and gardens. -- Ron Csillag, JTA

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