Vancouver City Council


Director of Social Planning


Capital Grant for Mount Pleasant Family Centre





Council approved funding of $1.5 million in the 2000-2002 Capital Plan for City-owned social service and cultural facilities, and subsequently approved an allocation of $500,000 in the 2002 Capital Budget from the Capital Plan.

Approval of Capital Grants requires eight affirmative votes.


This report seeks Council approval of Capital Grant to help pay for renovations to Mt. Pleasant Family Centre, a City-owned facility located on Robson Park.


Mount Pleasant Family Centre (MPFC) was founded as a non-profit society in 1976. Since 1980, it has been located in a small City-owned building on Robson Park, at the corner of St. George Street and E. 13th Avenue. This 2,100 square foot facility was built in 1931 and is in dire need of upgrading.

The MPFC is not a day care. It is a resource centre for both adult caregivers and their children. The centre's core program is a family drop-in offered twice daily, four days per week. The fifth day is used for structured programs. Adult visitors may socialize or take part in a number of structured activities, while their children make use of the supervised play areas on the second floor and outdoors. During the year, there are an average of more than 100 visits per day (40 adults with 60 children). Support and programs are provided by six full-time staff and a number of volunteers.

The current facility is too small for the program needs of MPFC. There is not adequate play space for the children, enough meeting and classroom space to meet the demands of adult users, or preparation space for staff and volunteers. As a result, caregivers and children are limited in their use of the building (users are restricted to visit only twice per week), many programs have lengthy wait lists, and new, needed programs cannot be started.

Since 1998, the MPFC Board and staff have been working on plans for improving this situation. Even though there is a strong preference among program participants and the community at large for MPFC to remain on Robson Park, a number of alternate sites were investigated, but all required much more money than the Society was able to raise. Finally, in 2001, they developed a plan for substantially increasing the size of the current facility, along with a fund-raising plan to pay for it. However, late in that year, the Park Board advised them that an expansion of the building footprint into Robson Park would not be approved as it would result in the reduction of open space in a neighbourhood that is already deficient in open space.

Subsequently, MPFC prepared a proposal for a small addition (250 square feet) on the second floor of the existing building (see Appendix A), and interior renovations to the playroom area, expanded, updated washrooms for the children and a redesigned kitchen/painting/clean-up and craft area. On December 12, 2002, the Park Board advised MPFC, in writing, that they would not be opposed to an addition to the Family Centre as long as the increase in program space did not infringe on green space. An architect has been hired, working drawings have been prepared and the development and building permits will be applied for shortly.


Social Planning staff have acknowledged the need for improvements to the MPFC facility for a number of years. As there wasn't a specific proposal available when the 2000-2002 Capital Plan was developed, this project was presented as an example of the types of improvements that could be funded from the City-owned Social Services and Cultural component of that Capital Plan. For the first two years of the Capital Plan, staff made sure that enough money remained in the budget to help finance the MPFC improvements. Then when the Park Board advised MPFC that a major expansion of the facility was not going to be approved, this freed up most of the funding that had been held for the MPFC project and we recommended that it be spent on other capital projects.

The project is estimated to cost $110,000. MPFC has confirmed enough funding to go ahead with phase 1 of the project (the addition), and has started the process for proceeding with this phase. The organization has formally requested that the City provide them with a capital grant in the amount of $30,000 that will permit the implementation of phase 2 (the interior renovations).

On August 1, 2002, Council approved $90,000 in capital projects from the City-owned Social Services and Cultural component of the 2000-2002 Capital Plan. Then, on March 27, 2003, City Council approved allocations totalling $380,000 from this same account. This left a balance of $30,000 in that account. Given the high priority for improving the MPFC facility and the original intent that funding be set aside in the 2000-2002 Capital Plan for this purpose, staff are recommending that a Capital Grant of $30,000 be given to MPFC for the building additions and renovations, as described above.


It is anticipated that the development of the new City multi-use project at #1 Kingsway, in combination with the upgrading of the MPFC, will go a long way to meeting the current and future needs of families in Mt. Pleasant .

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Mt. Pleasant Family Centre - Proposed Addition

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