From the time of its creation in 1949, Centennial Community & Recreation Association has provided a united voice on behalf of residents. CCRA was formed initially by a group attending a meeting at the Centennial Road Home & School Association, where a question was posed: “Should the Centennial Road School site be developed as a Recreational Centre?
Enthusiastic attendees at that meeting included Hugo Wolter, a community consultant; Tom McMorrow, a merchant who was active in the community; Gladys Oxley, parent from the Home & School Association; and William A. Dempsey, a planner with the Ontario Community Planning Branch. The newly formed Centennial Recreation Association felt a sense of urgency to protect parkland and natural spaces for public usage, before large-scale development took place.
From the beginning, the objectives of CCRA have been community improvement, environmental preservation and sound land use aimed at meeting the needs of all residents.
Just a few of the community issues that involved advocacy by CCRA:
1952: Gymnasium/auditorium with stage built at Centennial Road School
1952/53: Creation and protection of Adams Park
1952/53: Recommendation for train and transit improvements
1966: Passing of the Centennial Community Zoning By-law
1967: Building and dedication of gates at Adams Park
1973: Pedestrian underpass of CNR railway tracks at waterfront, Port Union waterfront and commons
1974: Safe pedestrian crossing of Hwy. 2A (following the fatality of CCRA Executive member Jean Dempsey while crossing Hwy 2A)
1978: Development of Port Union Recreation Centre
1978: Swimming pool at Sir Oliver Mowat C. I.
1983: Ontario government review of the asbestos polluted Johns-Manville site
1993: Centennial Creek Watershed Study, to preserve Centennial Creek
1998: Port Union Village Common
1999: Creation of William A. Dempsey Eco Park
2013: Port Union Waterfront Trail
Today, with a dedicated volunteer executive, CCRA continues to be actively involved in issues that affect our community such as biosolids management at the Highland Creek Treatment Plant and the Highland Creek Transportation Master Plan, among others. We continue the CCRA tradition of supporting improvements to our community, preserving and protecting the environment, upholding sound land use planning through our planning bylaws and initiating and providing resources for recreational programs and events.
As the Centennial community changes over years, the vision of CCRA remains the same: to create something better for our residents.