Trillium funds render Legion fully accessible

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Members and guests gathered at the Creemore Legion last Friday to celebrate the successful completion of an accessibility renovation that will ensure the public’s access to the facility’s many uses.

“In most smaller communities, you realize how important the local Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is, it’s a meeting place and offers comradery and a sense of belonging to members and visitors alike. I’m thrilled to see the terrific improvements made at the Branch 397 in Creemore,” said Simcoe Grey MPP Brian Saunderson in a media release.

Saunderson was in attendance for a ribbon cutting March 1 to celebrate the completion of the accessibility upgrades made to the side entrance, hallway and washrooms thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In his remarks Saunderson noted that the upgrades have “breathed new life into this very important place” referring to the Legion as a community hub that is reflective of the lasting legacy of its veterans.

With Capstone Renovations doing the work and Michael Loranger as project manager, the renovation went off without a hitch.

“Michael is very humble and doesn’t want a lot of praise,” said Byron Beeler, who chairs the steering committee, “but everyone going through a renovation like this should have a Michael Loranger.”

With additional support from the Ladies Auxiliary, an automatic door was installed at the entrance on the west side of the building, along with non-skid flooring in the hallway and washrooms, touchless soap dispensers, hand dryers, new fixtures, touchless faucets, and automatic flush urinals.

When faced with the dilemma of how to pay for automatic doors for the washrooms, Legion president Jim Henderson said they decided to design the washrooms in a way that didn’t require doors.

“Our founding principal is to help veterans,” said Henderson. “We are fully accessible now and it is a wonderful feeling.”

Attendees were reminded of the many youth groups that use of the facility, and the Legion volunteers who serve the community in many ways. The facility hosts veterans’ dinners, markets, meetings and is home base for several youth activities who benefit from free use of the space.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF invested over $110 million last year into 1,022 community projects and partnerships.

Anyone wishing to enquire about using the space for an event may call 705-466-2202. With a capacity of more than 500, the Legion is the largest facility in the area and is used for weddings, celebrations of life, events, and dinners in addition to weekly darts and euchre. The majority of events and activities are open to non-members.

Trina Berlo photo: Simcoe Grey MPP Brian Saunderson (centre right) and Clearview Township Mayor Doug Measures (centre left)have the honour of cutting the ribbon at the Creemore Legion March 1 to celebrate the completion of an accessibility renovation funded by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, with Legion president Jim Henderson (left) and Ladies Auxiliary president Dee Hanson.

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