Reliable Community Recreation Association in NDG
In operation since 1972, the Westhaven Elmhurst Community Recreation Association (WECRA) has developed a reputation for providing much-needed services to residents of all ages in the N.D.G. area of Montreal. Offering a range of activities from after-school clubs and basketball leagues to art classes for teenagers and computer courses for our 50+ participants, means that we can proudly say that we have helped strengthen the social fabric of our neighbourhood and surrounding areas.
However, we are not happy with standing still or settling for where we are right now. That is why we are looking firmly to the future to see how we can grow and develop Westhaven even further—and we hope that you can be part of the journey!
What We Do
Started with a desire to strengthen the sense of social inclusiveness and community engagement of our participants in N.D.G. and nearby areas, WECRA is always looking for new, innovative and practical ways of helping our users achieve their respective goals. Over the years, this has seen us work very closely with a variety of other community-based groups and organizations in the area to offer services that we think could be of benefit. They have included but are not limited to the following:
After-School Club: One of our most popular programs, our after-school program caters to children ages 5 to 12 in the N.D.G. area. The safe and secure setting that we provide means that you, as parents or guardians, can rest assured that your children have somewhere to go after school. We also cater to their social and creative needs by ensuring that they receive allocated time for art, cooking or computer classes. While the sportier amongst them can partake in basketball or soccer lessons.
Teen Drop-In Center: Another extremely popular program that we have been able to develop has been our teenage drop-in center. Teenagers ages 14 to 18 years old in the area are invited in to use the gym, take out DJ-ing courses or to participate in our cooking, computer or art classes. Running in conjunction with the school year, the teen drop-in center runs from September to December and January to June. It takes place three days a week from 7:00-9:00 PM and is supervised fully by our dedicated and trained team of staff and volunteers.
Summer Day Camp: As a parent in N.D.G., you don’t need us at WECRA to tell you how challenging it can be to keep your children entertained during the busy summer months. This is obviously a far bigger consideration for those of you who work. Well, don’t fear. Our summer day camps are the perfect opportunity for your kids to mix and socialize with friends and friends to-be while also exploring new parts of the city and sampling its rich cultural heritage. We also make sure that our day camps are as inclusive and active as possible, which is why we include swimming, skating, bowling and team sports such as soccer and basketball as standard.
Westhaven Elmhurst Community Recreation Association’s History
Formed on March 17th, 1972, the WECRA has changed a lot in the past 45 years. However, one thing that has remained constant during this time has been our commitment to putting the needs of the participants who have used our service above all else.
It is this dedicated approach to what we do that has seen our association grow from strength to strength since we first opened our doors. In that time, quite a lot of change has taken place!
Created by local parents in the N.D.G. area who wanted a safe and secure space for their kids to meet, socialize and grow, the first 12 years of the WECRA’s existence was spent at a small apartment on Patricia Avenue. However, as the popularity and numbers of children and adults attending the space increased, it soon began time to look for a new home. This location duly arrived in 1984 when we moved to a former appliance Warehouse on Harvey Avenue.
The initial Harvey Avenue location was maintained until 1998 when the increasing growth of the association demanded the expansion of a bigger space. This arrived in a recently vacated dry-cleaning store next to the centre. With the necessary renovations being completed by October 2000 we moved into our current home with help from the City of Montreal.
The close relationship with the City of Montreal has been a feature of the centre since 1996, and to this day we work in partnership with them to help fund many of our youth programs mentioned above.
What Does the Future Hold?
At WECRA we are very excited about what’s to come for our community and recreational association. We have always been concerned with catering to the needs of our participants. So, in an ever-changing world it is vital that we stay relevant and continue to offer assistance and services that cater to the needs of the many, not the few.
With that in mind, we have recently developed a five-year plan that will aim to do the following:
- Increase youth participation in our summer camp programs.
- Continue the integration of seniors and those with mobility issues into the fabric of the centre.
- Enhance the diversification of the curriculum of services offered by increasing volunteer numbers.
- Tackle food security problems by looking at local and organic alternatives available in N.D.G.
- Improve the visibility of the association on the internet and through social media platforms.
- Continue to foster collective group organization to expand the association from the ground-up.
Want to Join the Team?
If you like the sound of what we do and have some time to spare or need relevant working experience from college or university, then why not contact us today and let us explore how we can work together to achieve these goals.
Interested in our services?Get in touch with us