On Friday, MPP Laura Smith congratulated the team at Reena on the Capital grant it received from the provincial government’s Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2023 to replace its HVAC systems in the building that hosts its community participation programs for persons with developmental disabilities. Joining MPP Smith at the event were Moshe Ronen, a member of OTF’s Board of Directors, and the team from Reena’s Toby and Henry Battle Development Centre.

“It is my great pleasure to congratulate Reena on receiving $150,000 through the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Laura Smith, MPP for Thornhill. “The new HVAC units funded by this grant will ensure that our most vulnerable residents have the quality care and enriching programming that they deserve.” 

This marks the conclusion of a pivotal project aimed at significantly enhancing Reena’s Community Participation programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. This ambitious project, which started last October, involved the crucial replacement of three HVAC units at The Toby and Henry Battle Developmental Centre, located at 927 Clark Avenue West in Vaughan. In light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly vital to ensure that Reena’s facilities meet the highest standards of safety and comfort for community members. The installation of state-of-the-art HVAC units will not only improve air quality and circulation but also incorporate cutting-edge UV purification technologies, reflecting Reena’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for our participants.

“We are immensely grateful for the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s support, which enables us to take a significant step forward in our mission,” noted Bryan Keshen, CEO of Reena. “This project not only extends the life of our facility but also ensures that we can continue to provide essential services to our community in a safe and welcoming environment.”

This project addresses a critical need within the community, as identified through Reena’s direct engagement with the families and individuals it supports. Many of the 1,000+ persons with developmental disabilities served by Reena have faced unprecedented isolation and reduced community engagement due to the pandemic. By upgrading its main facility’s ventilation systems, it aims to safely reintroduce and expand its in-person Community Participation programs, thereby enhancing the mental, emotional, and social well-being of participants.

“Non-profit organizations across Ontario deliver programming that makes a difference,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “That’s why funding that my ministry is providing through the OTF is so important. Our government wants to ensure that these programs and spaces remain the heart of communities across our province.”

Reena has been a steadfast advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities for over 50 years, fostering inclusivity, independence, and a sense of belonging. This project, supported by OTF’s generous capital grant of $150,000, is a testament to our ongoing dedication to removing barriers and creating opportunities for those we serve.

For more information about Reena and our programs, please visit www.reena.org