The Carter Effect in Toronto — 3 places Vince Carter made a mark in the city
From basketball courts, playgrounds and a nightclub the former Toronto Raptor star left a legacy in the city
Highlight-reel dunks, game-winning shots and a bittersweet relationship are just some of the things that many Canadian sports fans remember about the Toronto Raptors' first and most polarizing basketball superstar — Vince Carter.
The story of Carter's rise and fall with the Raptors between 1998 and 2004 has been well documented for sports fans, but the story of his impact both on and off the court is now being told on the silver screen for the first time by Carter himself and some of the people he has inspired.
The Carter Effect — a highly anticipated documentary from UNINTERRUPTED, a digital sports programming network co-founded by Lebron James, made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday to much fanfare.
From Toronto hip-hop sensation Drake to three-time NBA Champion LeBron James, the film directed by Hamilton, Ont., director Sean Menard brought out some of the biggest stars to see the type of impact Carter had on the sport and Canadians.
Beyond the game of basketball, Carter was also a philanthropist and businessman in the seven years he played in Toronto — donating to local communities.
While Carter may no longer play for the Toronto Raptors there are still several places where his work and legacy lives on throughout the city.
Here is a rundown of the spaces Carter helped build.
Dixon Park Basketball Court
In July 2003, Carter, former mayor Mel Lastman and former police chief Julian Fantino unveiled a $120,000 basketball court to hundreds of youth in Etobicoke at Dixon Park.
The professional NBA-sized court, which can be found near Dixon Road and Islington Avenue, was a community initiative of Carter's Embassy of Hope, a charitable foundation he started in 1998.
Although the court has seen its fair share of wear and tear over the last 14 years, Carter's "VC15" logo still sits prominently along the backboards of each hoop helping dozens of kids learn the sport.
Wickson Trail Park Embassy of Hope Playground
In November 2004 Carter, former mayor David Miller, police and city councillors helped open the Embassy of Hope playground in Malvern's Wickson Trail Park.
The $100,000 playground was once again funded by Carter's Embassy of Hope Foundation and represented the second time he helped create projects that provide sport and recreation opportunities for youth in the city.
Inside nightclub — 218 Richmond Street West
Some two decades ago, Carter partnered with Toronto businessman Travis Agresti as co-owners to open Inside lounge, a three-storey nightclub that boasted celebrity guests such as Tyra Banks and Mark Wahlberg.
At the time, Carter and Agresti made large plans to transform the club into a coveted entertainment destination, featuring a large outdoor rooftop patio that was ultimately never realized.
Now the building serves as a daycare for children up to age four and the outdoor space operates as a green playground for tots of Kinder College Early Learning Centre.