Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw YMCA set to close doors after 114 years of operation

The board of directors for the YMCA of Moose Jaw have announced it's doors will close for the last time.

Regina Y will take over child care services in the city

The Athabasca Health and Fitness Centre, seen here, is one of the YMCA of Moose Jaw facilities that will soon be shutting its doors. (Google Maps )

Residents of Moose Jaw will soon be losing a piece of history as the local YMCA, which is more than a century old, will be closing its doors.

The Fairford and Athabasca Health and Fitness Centres will be closing on June 30, 2019.

"I am disappointed by the news of the Moose Jaw YMCA  ceasing operations. For 114 years the Moose Jaw 'Y' provided fitness, employment and life opportunities for Moose Javians of all ages and abilities." said Mayor Fraser Tolmie in a statement.

The decision was announced Wednesday. Dwindling membership and increased expenses were among the contributing factors. The board of directors stated there was no viable choice but to shut the doors.

The closing date is just four months shy of the 115 year anniversary of the YMCA of Moose Jaw.

In a statement on its website, YMCA of Moose Jaw said it is working with community partners who will continue to operate as many community programs and services as possible.

Over the past few years, YMCA and the City of Moose Jaw have looked at alternative means of keeping the facility going. The Board of Directors put a pause on closure last year with hopes a resolution would be found.

A deep dive into the finances by former Interim CEO Darryl McKenzie found the centres were no longer viable.

The YMCA of Moose Jaw's child care will continue until July 2, at which time the YMCA of Regina will assume responsibility of the operations.  

Currently the YMCA Child Care Service offers care for almost 250 children from early years to school-aged children at five locations across the Moose Jaw

Residents are encouraged to check back on the Moose Jaw YMCA website to find links for programs and services that are available in the City of Moose Jaw. 

Anyone with concerns is asked to contact YMCA officials for help. 

About the Author

Penny Smoke

Journalist

Penny Smoke Cree/Saulteaux born and raised in Saskatchewan. She currently works with CBC Indigenous and has spent time with the CBC Storytelling Project, CBC Saskatchewan as a reporter and assisted as an Associate Producer with CBC's The Afternoon Edition.

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