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  • ESSEX FREE PRESS

$76,600 Trillium grant funds improvements at Maedel Community Centre

- the facility will receive new windows, basketball nets,

and retractable room divider -


Essex MPP Anthony Leardi, Cindy Crump, a volunteer for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy, and Director of Community Services, Jake Morassut, celebrate a $76,600 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant

by Sylene Argent

Thanks to a $76,600 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant through the Community Building Fund – Capital Stream, the Town of Essex will be able to install new basketball nets, a retractable room divider, and new windows at the Maedel Community Centre.


Representatives from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Town of Essex met with MPP Anthony Leardi on Wednesday, December 21 at the facility to announce the funding.


“The Maedel Community Centre is a special place for our residents here in Essex Centre, serving as a community hub for events, celebrations, and recreational programming,” Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy said, noting the Town of Essex is excited to offer an even better experience to residents through the upcoming upgrades.


“These new amenities will provide more opportunities for our user groups and provide better functionality for utilizing the space. Without the help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, these upgrades would not be possible,” she added.


The upgrades are planned to be completed by March.


Leardi said he was happy to hear of the improvements planned for the facility, and pleased the Ontario Trillium Foundation provided a grant to make that happen.


Cindy Crump, a volunteer for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, said the upgrades will continue to ensure the Maedel Community Centre is a space all people can enjoy.

The Maedel Community Centre was once the former Holy Name Catholic Elementary School, Essex’s Director of Community Services, Jake Morassut, explained.


The Town of Essex purchased the facility prior to amalgamation, and later sold half of the facility, which became a medical centre. In April of 2020, the Town of Essex rebranded the facility as it had three recreational hubs in Essex Centre with similar names.


After garnering public feedback, the facility was named in honor of Edward Charles Maedel, who purchased a struggling soft drink company on Talbot Street in Essex in 1908. He renamed it “Maedel Beverages.” In 1935, he received the first Pepsi Cola franchise in all of Ontario, and the second franchise in all of Canada. He later built a new shop at the corner of Talbot Street and Brien Avenue. In 1989, the Maedel family sold the business to a company from Toronto.


In addition to being a local business leader, Maedel helped to establish Boy Scouts in Essex, volunteered with youth sports and activities, provided leadership within the Essex Rotary Club, served as a firefighter, and helped support the construction of a bandshell.

Leardi spoke on how the facility keeps the spirit of community Edward Charles Maedel had alive by keeping residents connected.


At the December 19 meeting, Essex Council approved the additional funding of $19,971.48 for the basketball net winch at the Maedel Community Centre.


Originally, $11,500 was set aside for the project in the 2022 Budget to replace the pulleys. The entire net systems are now being replaced, bringing the total project cost to $31,471.48.


Of the additional funding, $544.30 will come from the Town’s Asset Management Reserve and $19,427.18 will come from the Ontario Trillium Grant. This reallocated some funds from the grant back into the facility as the window replacement project associated with the grant came in under budget.

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