Kawartha Credit Union lends helping hand to exciting new social hub

Deal with Kawartha Credit Union secures future for Mount Community Centre in Peterborough.

A deal penned with Kawartha Credit Union will ensure the Mount Community Centre continues with its redevelopment of a historic landmark in Peterborough.
Steve Kylie, chair of the Mount Community Centre board, says the bank confirmed financing for the Mount project which is in the process of transforming the former Mount St. Joseph convent into a community hub with affordable housing apartments, office space, performing arts space, food centre and community meeting rooms. The Mount Community Centre, a registered non-profit agency operated by community members, began the redevelopment of the building in 2014.

At the time, Kylie says they arranged three pools of funding for the project — money provided by the City of Peterborough, money from the County of Peterborough and money collected through the sale of Mount Community Centre bonds which allowed individuals and agencies the opportunity to invest in the building’s mortgage. Those pools of funding provided some $2 million which was enough cash to complete phase one of the Mount project. Phase one included the construction of 43 affordable apartment units, that are now occupied, and office spaces for agencies including the Victoria Order of Nurses.

Kyle says now that some rent revenue is coming in, the  group was in the position to speak with financial institutions to secure loans for phase two of the project. He adds they kept coming back to Kawartha Credit Union because of the company’s commitment to address social challenges in Peterborough. “Kawartha Credit Union is pleased to facilitate the refurbishment of a Peterborough landmark to create The Mount Community Centre. This innovative, multi-use social hub will provide non-profit and private rental properties, performing arts spaces and event venues,” says Rob Wellstood, CEO of Kawartha Credit Union. “Like The Mount Community Centre, Kawartha Credit Union supports the well-being of the communities we serve, and we are proud to be part of this beneficial social development in our city.”

Kylie says Kawartha Credit Union was excited to assist the Mount group with developing a financial plan to consolidate existing debt while providing financial assistance as the project moves forward. “This is a huge thing,” says Kylie, adding they now have access to money they can borrow when phase two gets underway next year. He says any future fundraisers will be extremely important because it lessens how much The Mount would have to borrow from the bank. “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone (with Kawartha Credit Union) and are now focused on delivering a major reinvention of this landmark as part of a wider program of investment and improvements to the property,” says Kylie.

The Mount Community Centre is an outstanding property within the City of Peterborough that has heritage significance by virtue of its’ architectural, historical, and environmental aspects dating back to the 1860s. Purchased in 2013 by the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network, the facility became the Mount Community Centre after it received non-profit charitable status. There are ambitious plans to repurpose the facility by 2020 which includes residential housing and non-residential office units, performing arts space, community food service and meeting rooms, while respecting the historic character of the building.