Work begins on site of future Glace Bay Youth & Family Centre 

A transformational project for the community of Glace Bay and beyond marked a milestone on Friday, April 26, with a sod-turning event hosted by the project partners.

A transformational project for the community of Glace Bay and beyond marked a milestone on Friday, April 26, 2024, with a sod-turning event hosted by the project partners. 

The Glace Bay Youth & Family Centre is slated to open in 2026 and will provide a vibrant, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable place for families, children, youth, seniors, and community organizations to enjoy and deliver a range of programming and activities. 

The 24,000 square foot facility will be located on 6 acres of land in the heart of downtown Glace Bay at the corner of Reserve and Union Streets and will include: 

  • a creative lab and makerspace for children, youth, families, and entrepreneurs 
  • a nursery and indoor playground 
  • a community kitchen for programming and entrepreneur use 
  • indoor and outdoor recreation and multi-use spaces with programming for youth, families, and seniors throughout the day 
  • a community café  

The Glace Bay Youth & Family Centre will feature accessible/barrier-free spaces and a net-zero carbon design, making the building highly energy efficient. It represents a significant investment in the future of the community, providing a much-needed space for families and individuals of all ages to come together, learn, and grow.  

“Glace Bay has faced some difficult circumstances and has shown time after time that it can overcome these trials. In that respect, the new inclusive youth and family centre will help do just that and more. The operator of this new centre, New Dawn Enterprises, and its anchor tenant, Undercurrent, will be able to offer more of their fantastic programming for the community, strengthening youth, and supporting families and people of all ages and abilities. This new centre will be an extraordinary asset for all of the community,” said Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway on behalf of Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. 

The federal government is contributing $8.8 million to the project through the Green and Inclusive Communities Building Program and the Nova Scotia government has committed $6 million in funding.  

 “I am thrilled to be part of today’s sod-turning ceremony for the new Glace Bay Youth and Community Centre. As one whose life has been positively impacted by the Police Boys and Girls Clubs I stand as a living example of the statement ‘it takes a community to raise a child,’” said Glace Bay-Dominion MLA John White, speaking on behalf of Allan MacMaster, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage. 

“This centre represents more than just a building – it is a commitment to our youth and families. Community hubs like this are vital in providing a safe, accessible place for education, recreation, and support services. By investing in this facility, we are investing in a stronger, more vibrant future community.” 

The goal of this project is to serve vulnerable youth and families, with a focus on breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty and addiction. As a community hub, it will meet the needs of economically marginalized youth and families, providing daily free programming for children, teens, families, and seniors including life skills classes, parental supports, sports and recreation and opportunities in entrepreneurship, volunteerism, mentorship, and employment. 

“The well-being of our youth and children today is a strong predictor of the well-being of our communities tomorrow. This project reflects the aspirations of the people of Glace Bay for a future and that is vibrant, diverse, healthy, growing, and compassionate and a community that sees and supports each person from infancy through to their elder years. Projects like this are a toehold in the turn towards this different kind of future,” said New Dawn President & CEO, Erika Shea.  

“We are grateful for all the voices and perspectives that have, and continue to, shape the designs, programming, and drive for this project. All our children are deserving of spaces that reflect their beauty and worth back to them, that challenge them, that carry them through hard times, and that help them uncover the unique gift they want to offer to the world.” 

Find out more about the Glace Bay Youth & Family Centre here.