Embarking on 30 years of service
In September 1987, Frontlines opened its doors to the children and youth in Weston, offering them a safe place to “hang out” away from the streets. Since then, we have welcomed hundreds of “Westonians”, providing programs and services in our quest to help make Weston a better and safer place.
Started as a drop-in centre that focused primarily on music, Frontlines has been a haven for many children and youth from the Weston community – many of whom had lost their way.
Weston in the late 1980s was very different demographically from what it is now but many of the problems that currently exist, such as a high poverty rate, low income household and high unemployment, existed back then.
The first director and founder of this community centre was Tim Huff who saw a need and approached the Weston Park Baptist Church and Youth For Christ (Youth Unlimited Toronto) to partner in establishing the drop-in centre. An avid musician, Tim was able to use music to engage the youth in the initial stages. As times changed so did the types of programs and each of the directors kept building on the foundation that was laid.
Through all this, relationships were being forged, partnerships were formed and children and youth came in off the streets because they felt safe and respected. Frontlines has become well-known in the community as a safe place – a haven – for children and youth, and a place that welcomes everyone. This became the hallmark of Frontlines.
One of the most important aspects of programming at Frontlines is giving the youth opportunities and opening up possibilities for them. They are encouraged to participate in projects within the community such as picking up garbage and beautifying their surroundings by removing graffiti, and many of them embraced the opportunity, demonstrating a willingness to be involved.
In 1991, Frontlines moved to its current location at 1844 Weston Road, a property of the Weston Park Baptist Church. The space is shared with the Weston Area Emergency Support (WAES) food bank which provides assistance for many of the families that participate in our programs.