Armenian Community Centre
The Armenian Community Centre (ACC) is a non-profit organization that offers the GTA and community at large the richness and traditions of Armenian culture through artistic, athletic, recreational, intellectual, social and spiritual programs.
The ACC is built on a solid foundation of Armenian-Canadian values, with a strong connection to Armenia. Our objective is to offer an inclusive and welcoming environment based on Armenian traditions and customs for every age.
As we look forward and continue to grow, we encourage you to experience the unique blend of ancient Armenian culture and contemporary Canadian living that comes together at the Armenian Community Centre. Be a part of the moments that matter, experience the sensation of a vibrant community – all of which you can savor through daily community involvement, here at the ACC.
A community does not just happen overnight. It must be created, built, nurtured and supported. It is a product of shared vision, values, a love of one’s culture and the desire to cultivate a community life that serves as your extended family.
We started small, through the dedication of countless volunteers and donors we were able to grow in phases, and today, we have become the primary point of contact for all Armenian Newգomers in Ontario and the focal point or “hub” of the Toronto-Armenian community.
Located at the heart of north Toronto (401/404/DVP) the Armenian Community Centre (ACC) 45 Hallcrown Place and the Armenian Youth Centre (AYC) 50 Hallcrown Place serve over 50,000 Canadian Armenians living in the Greater Toronto Area. It is home to the A.R.S. Armenian Private School (which offers nursery, kindergarten, elementary and secondary level education), St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Youth Centre.
The ACC also houses local chapters of several national and international community organizations such as the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic and Scouting Union, Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society, the Armenian National Committee of Canada, the Armenian Youth Federation of Canada, Armen Karo Student Association, the A.R.F. Junior Organization of Canada and the Armenian Senior Citizens Club.
The ACC and AYC combined are a multipurpose, multi-venue facility with a full size gymnasium, 500 Seat Theater, banquet hall, conference rooms, and meeting/seminar rooms. These facilities are made available to the community organizations which use them on a weekly basis, to organize cultural events, sports tournaments, social banquets, meetings and other and recreational activities.
Armenian immigration in Canada can be categorized into four waves.
Up to WWI, post WWI – 1950, 1950-1990 and finally 1990 and present day
With each wave of immigration there was civil war and/or destabilization in the region Armenians were living in and in seeking a safe new home settled in Canada.
The Canadian Armenian story
As waves of immigrants settled, maintaining tradition and custom was essential. The quest for survival was to ensure the Armenian identity continued and remained alive within its new home.
In accordance to Armenian tradition and norms, a place of worship, a community centre and educational institutions were established soon after the arrival.
- During the 1950 and 60’s Holy Trinity Church on Woodlawn Ave. at Yonge St. served the religious needs of the Armenian Community.
- In the 60’s, the Dupont St. / Avenue Road community centre became the focal point of all Armenians in Toronto and eventually, this new and small community participated in significant Canadian cultural traditions including hosting the Annual Caravan. We were known as the “Yerevan Armenian Pavilion” where all Canadians were welcomed and introduced to Armenian culture, culinary art, and dance.
- Summer schools and Saturday schools were established focusing on language and culture.
- The community quickly outgrew the Dupont / Avenue Road building and the now more established community started to look for a new home.
- And soon, it was decided that 45 Hallcrown Place would serve as the new home of the Armenian Community, and continued serving the religious needs of the community from St. Augustine of Canterbury
- The Armenian Community Centre opened its doors in 1979 at 45 Hallcrown Place, followed by the A.R.S Armenian Private Day School 1982, St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church 1990, the Armenian Youth Centre 2004 at 50 Hallcrown Place, and the A.R.S High School 2004.
As the community settled, we were able to strengthen our footprint with the primary intention of ensuring a continuum between Armenian family life and community life thereby creating the hub for a vibrant and growing extended family. This inevitably required us to provide a more organized support structure, activities, and laid the foundation for our present day ecosystem.
Today this centre serves as the Armenian home away from home, it is the continuum of the Armenian home and family-life. The ACC is where young and old come together, join friends, celebrate holidays and traditions – it’s where we live every stage of our lives.
1967 – The original ACC was acquired (18 Dupont St.)
1975-1976 – As the community grew and new space was desired, the Dupont property was sold. With the proceeds of the sale and fundraising efforts, the 45 Hallcrown place was purchased
1978 –The construction of the ACC was completed on the 45 Hallcrown property
1979 – The ARS Armenian Private School opened its doors
1982 – Construction of the ARS School kindergarten and elementary wing was completed at 45 Hallcrown place
1986 – Further expansion of the ACC led to a new restaurant and office space
1991 – The building of St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church was completed
1998 – The 50 Hallcrown Place property was purchased as home of the expanded school and the Youth Centre
2004 – The Youth Centre and the School expansion on 50 Hallcrown was completed
2011 – The ACC major renovation (45 Hallcrown) was initiated and completed in 2012, leading to extra boardrooms, office space and “The Hallcrown” Banquet Hall
2016 – Major renovations in the kindergarten and elementary wing of the school were completed to accommodate for the ARS Nursery
2017 – Cultural and recreational expansion project at the AYC on 50 Hallcrown place is initiated