Corriere Canadese

To North York Community Council
City Clerk’s Office, Ground Floor
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 5V7
 
After attended the May 11 public meeting, the passion presented by the elderly Italian
Canadian members, reminded me of the 1970’s when I was growing up in an Italian Canadian family. Hearing stories from my parents about the italian immigrants and how they overcame prejudice, loneliness and the language barrier. 
My parents were asked to donate to the centre and they donated what little they could. My parents legacy includes the Columbus Centre and I believe it is important this legacy be preserved.
The Columbus Centre was the vision of the founders listed on the wall in the main foyer and they worked hard to realize this vision. This building was built to provide the community with a place for the Italian Canadians to maintain their culture in the spirit of multiculturalism. In that spirit, the Centre hosted important italians such as Sophia
Loren in 1979 and Luciano Pavarotti in 1982.
The rotunda was built with the columns like the roman colosseum. 
The expansive entrance is endowed with marble, a building material that is used extensively in Italian architecture. The Cultural Loops Guide (Explore North York -Art, History and Nature Self-Guided Tours Guide Loop 3, Blue color code, Page 76) compares the gallery architectural features to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 
With the Dufferin Street Secondary Plan (Ref Number 15 130874 NPS 00OZ) allowing intensification of the area, the Columbus Centre green space is especially important as an oasis and must be preserved. It allows the elderly residents and children attending the summer camps to enjoy the outdoors in a safe space within a busy city. 
Also you can enjoy a coffee or lunch in the peace of the gardens under mature trees which is very rare to do so in this City. 
For all the reasons outlined above, and many more, I feel the Columbus Centre building should be preserved as a Heritage Building for its cultural, community, and architectural characteristics.
Regards,
Laura Barzelatto 

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Corriere Canadese

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