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YMCA Geneva Park Announcement

April 1, 2021

In January, we initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) to engage a real estate provider to help us gather and assess all possible community-based solutions for Geneva Park. We were heartened by the overwhelming desire to preserve the park and the passion shown by Geneva Park supporters and the general community.

Today, we are excited to announce that we have selected Colliers as our professional real estate advisor.  A national multi-disciplinary team of real estate experts from Colliers, including Colliers’ Not for Profit Advisory group, Unique Properties practice, and Strategy and Consulting Group will work in partnership with the YMCA to evaluate proposed business cases for the future of the park.

With 32-years of not for profit real estate advisory experience, the Colliers’ Not for Profit Advisory group has a proven track record in supporting the mission, vision and values of not for profit organizations like ours, and provides methodologies and solutions to fully engage non-profit sector teams and stakeholders in a way that goes deeper than a traditional real estate process.

Over the coming weeks, we will be working closely with the team at Colliers to establish the next phase of our process to seek the best community use of the property and ways to continue the legacy of the Park, while also looking at the long-term sustainability of our YMCA.

We expect to have a community proposal process confirmed and launched by late April/early May, and remain committed to a transparent process where all ideas and potential partnerships are considered equally and fairly.

For 110 years, our YMCA has been an organization rooted in community. We are excited to be starting this next phase of community exploration with you.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Updates:

Click to see our March 4 update.

Click to see our January 29 update.

Click to see our January 24 update.

Click to see our January 21 update.


On January 21, our association announced a decision by our Board of Directors to initiate the sale of Geneva Park.

This video from Board Acting Chair and Geneva Park Ad-hoc Committee Chair, Lynn Strachan, and Chief Executive Officer, Jill Tettmann, explains the decision and next steps in the process in more detail.

Geneva Park has been in the YMCA family for more than 100 years. We know it is a cherished community that holds a special place in the hearts of countless families, organizations and groups – as it does in ours. We are proud of the positive impact it has had on so many lives and in honour of that, we will make every possible effort to minimize the effects of this process on our staff and the communities who enjoy Geneva Park.

We know this is difficult news for many families who have fond memories of the park. If you need help talking to your kids about this news, please click here.

Our YMCA is committed to transparency and continued communication throughout the decision-making process and we want to hear from you.

To receive updates on the sale process, please fill in your name, contact information and any questions you have, using this form:

FAQs

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause hardships and challenges for individuals, families and communities across Canada and, unfortunately, our YMCA is not immune to these negative impacts. Our board of directors takes seriously our responsibility to ensure the long-term strength and sustainability of this YMCA, on behalf of the over 100,000 participants we serve across the region. We intend to be here, working hard to build healthy communities, long after the pandemic has passed. That’s why, after careful consideration, our board of directors decided to begin the process to sell Geneva Park.

The YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka is currently exploring ideas to remember and celebrate the legacy of Geneva Park. You are welcome to submit ideas in the form above where you can also indicate your interest in staying up-to-date on next steps.

Thank you for your interest in Geneva Park and the YMCASM. Summer program positions will be posted on the YMCA’s website as they become available. We will continue to monitor how COVID-19 impacts the programs we can offer.

Thank you for submitting your application for our 2021 family program. We know you’re excited about spending time in this wonderful place and will confirm your cottage or suite acceptance in late February to early March. All groups with current bookings can be assured that the YMCA will do everything it can to honour these bookings in accordance with both public health guidelines and the sale process. We intend to connect with all contacts by the end of February. You can also stay up to date on the process on this page.

Thank you for your interest! We understand that this news may be sparking additional interest in the park. At this time, we welcome you to contact the park at 705.325.2253 to inquire about availability. If these circumstances change and there are new opportunities to book, we will communicate those via the website. As well, we know there will be great interest in honouring the wonderful history of Geneva Park, so you can sign up for our email list to be sure you’re informed about plans to mark this legacy using the form above.

The YMCA will do everything it can to honour all current bookings in accordance with both public health guidelines and the sale process. We intend to connect with all contacts by the end of February.

The selection criteria is detailed in the RFP, which is available through Biddingo – a link can be found above. To request a copy directly, please email david.rourke@ymca.ca.

The selection criteria will be developed in consultation with our real estate advisor.  At this early stage, we are focused on ways to support the long-term sustainability of our YMCA while seeking best community use and ways to continue the legacy of the Park. However, full criteria is yet to be developed and will be done with the expert advice of our real estate advisor.

Over the last 7 days, we have heard from our current partners, new partners and our community with new possibilities we were not aware of when our Board made the sale decision. Time continues to be of the essence and we are eager to explore how we can support the long-term sustainability of our YMCA while seeking the best community use and ways to continue the legacy of the Park.

We are committed to being transparent and communicating throughout the process which includes:

  • We expect to select a real estate advisor by the end of February.
  • We hope to have a community proposal process confirmed and launched by mid March
  • All interested individuals, families, community organizations and groups can sign up to receive more information on the process at ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca/genevapark. This will include sharing the results of the process when they are available.

If it is not possible to find a solution through this process, a traditional real estate approach will begin with the real estate provider selected.

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