Manitoba

East Elmwood residents welcomed at other clubs

As people in Winnipeg's East Elmwood neighbourhood wait to hear what caused the community centre to burn, other centres have opened their doors and offered their programs to those displaced by the blaze.
Firefighters battled for seven hours to extinguish a blaze that ultimately destroyed the East Elmwood Community Centre on Wednesday. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

As people in Winnipeg's East Elmwood neighbourhood wait to hear what caused the community centre to burn, other centres have opened their doors and offered their programs to those displaced by the blaze.

The East Elmwood centre was engulfed in flames that collapsed the roof and left a gutted shell on Wednesday.

Investigators are still searching for a cause of the million-dollar fire and the president of the centre, Eugene Beaucage, said it could be a month before they know whether they can rebuild.

He said he is hopeful after hearing reports the mayor and city councillors are willing to rebuild, which means a new club could be better suited to community needs.

"[We have] visions of making the club a bit bigger because there's no gym in the area for the kids to have basketball or anything," he said.

In the meantime, other community clubs are offering help providing programming of all sorts. And those who want to register for spring sports programs are welcome to do so at Morse Place Community Centre.

It's a great offer, but Beaucage wonders how many people will take up the offer. The East Elmwood centre is at 927 Beach Ave. while Morse Place C.C. is near the corner of Munroe Avenue and Grey Street, about three kilometres away.

"Oh, it's a long ways for the kids to walk and most of the kids in this area don't have transportation, so, yeah it's hard," he said.

As for the 40 families who relied on the daycare that was housed in the East Elmwood centre, they are still hoping to find somewhere else to go.

The director of the Elmwood morning, lunch and after-school program has been struggling to find a new space. Christina Bell said it may take some time because of a lack of available space and the permits that need to be obtained.

Those parents who want the latest information are asked to call 204-669-0656.

The East Elmwood Community Centre and Morse Place C.C. are about three kilometres apart. (Google Maps)