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The York University - TD Engagement Centre will build on new and existing relationship opportunities within the community TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - York University, with the support of a $1 million gift from TD Bank Financial Group, today opened the doors to a new facility that will serve the university and its neighbouring communities. The York University-TD Community Engagement Centre is a unique facility that will extend the University's presence by offering faculty, students and community members opportunities to participate in mutually beneficial research and learning experiences. Located on the second floor of the Yorkgate Mall at Finch Avenue West and Jane Street in Toronto, the centre opened thanks to a $1 million dollar commitment by TD Bank Financial Group. With a mandate to enhance student learning and build stronger community ties, the centre will lead a variety of community and university-related initiatives. "This Centre is a great opportunity for York University and its neighbouring communities to share information in a way that will benefit everyone," said York University president and vice-chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. "It will give community members access to the knowledge and services they need, and an opportunity to share their experiences with students and faculty who want to enhance research and learning in a meaningful way." Bill Hatanaka, Chairman and CEO of TD Waterhouse, member of York University Foundation Board of Directors and Co-chair of the York to the Power of 50 Campaign, expressed TD's commitment to making a difference in the community. "The Centre is a demonstration of TD's desire to be a positive force in the economic development of the communities in which we serve," he said. TD's commitment is part of the York to the Power of 50 Campaign, in honour of York's upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations in 2009. The Centre's opening is timely as it provides an accessible "front door" to York University for Black Creek residents and organizations. It will enhance learning opportunities by giving students hands-on experience and will support research partnerships among stakeholders with like-minded concerns. Almaz Reda, community resident and Chair of the Jane Finch Caring Village said, "There is a hope in the community that this Centre will serve as a more obvious and beneficial link to York University. Having a Centre located in Yorkgate Mall will help the community to partner with one of its greatest assets." The Centre is slated to offer programs including tax preparation clinics, small business consulting, initiatives to help mature female students return to school, counselling, tutoring and mentoring. Ideally, someone entering the Centre for one program may come across other available services on-site, such as legal advice, university entrance information or community nursing. Sue Levesque, executive director of the Centre, will use her expertise in experiential education and community-university initiatives to administer the satellite centre, with guidance from an advisory council comprised of local service providers and senior university members. "The Centre represents a true partnership between York and the community and I am grateful to all who have played a role in making it a reality," said Levesque. "I am anxious to demonstrate the many ways in which we all can make a difference in the community." About York University York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada's most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 190,000 alumni worldwide. York's 11 faculties and 23 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation. TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three main areas of focus for community giving at TD. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD is also involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2007, TD donated $33 million to more than 2,000 organizations across Canada. For further information: Keith Marnoch, Associate Director, Media Relations, York University, (416) 736-2100 ext. 22091,; Matthew Cram, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 983-1514,

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