To celebrate Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, we’re sharing stories from our program participants, staff, and volunteers about what makes our House so special.
Here, longtime board member George Jolly remembers how amazing it felt to move our House into a new building in the 1980s.
Listen here or read below:
We started talking about having an expansion, or a new neighbourhood house—that’s how 800 East Broadway, the new Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, came about.
The City gave us the property that we have here now, but we still had to raise a couple million dollars to build the House. It took about six or seven years to work with the Association of Neighbourhood Houses and other community organizations. Finally, the City issued the permits for our House.
I’m very proud of the people who helped to put this House together, along with myself. It was a community effort of some great people.
For example, Brother Lo, who eventually became the Board Chair. He and I shared that position. And Goa, Brother Goa. And Julie, Madeline, and probably some other board members, but I just don’t have the memory right now.
They worked together with the architects—and the architects were really great in the development of this House at the time. It was quite a project!
I think my favourite moment was the day when we had the opening of the House, when it came together.
We walked in and looked at it. We had an idea from the architect’s drawings what it was like. But when you see it—and all the beams and the wood and the openness—that was probably the greatest moment. It was like … wow we did it! And it’s so beautiful. Still is beautiful!
I’ve been a part of this community for almost 40 years and I always tell people when I’m driving by, and show my family and friends, this is the House that I built. Because, I feel, this is my House.