Club History

Leaside Memorial Gardens

Leaside Memorial Gardens


The Rotary Club of Leaside had previously purchased a piece of land to build a community centre.  Some time later, East York Council informed Leaside Rotary that what was needed was a community centre with an arena.  Council already had the land and asked Rotary to assist in raising funds.  The club sold its land and added the funds from the sale to their commitment to East York Council.  It would cost $400,000 to complete the new Leaside Memorial Community Gardens and Leaside Rotary was proud to have raised a substantial contribution for this project.

However, Leaside Rotary had some interesting challenges to deal with while attempting to raise these funds!  One of the club’s members was president of a local company that sold large equipment and donated a tractor for a raffle.  The raffle was very successful until the R.C.M.P. came calling and insisted that all the money be returned.  It seems that in 1950, holding a raffle was not in compliance with the law.  Leaside Rotary went on to find other, legal means of raising the funds and Leaside Memorial Gardens was opened in 1951.

In 1967 the community was asking that a pool be added to Leaside Memorial Community Gardens.  Again, Leaside Rotary helped the community be raising the full amount of $200,000 to build the pool.


Recent Contributions:

Since the club was founded in 1940 it has raised and donated over $2,000,000.00

The following are some of the areas that have received those donations in the Leaside area and internationally.


  • Major donation to the new Leaside arena
  • New steps for the Leaside Swimming Pool
  • Replacement of  playground equipment at Trace Manes Park
  • Contributions to the purchase of playground equipment at the following schools
    • Northlea
    • Bessborough
    • Bennington Heights
    • Rolph Road
  • Supplied funds to furnish  the new Leaside Library
  • Contritutions to the new Artificial Turf Playing fields at Northlea and Bessborough
  • Scholarships awarded at Leaside High School
  • Sponsorship of Leaside Minor Hockey team
  • Donation & volunteers for Veteran’s K Wing at Sunnybrook Hospital Bingo Night

Thorncliffe Area

  • Scholarships awarded at Mark Garneau Collegiate
  • Funding the purchase of jerseys for the Girls Winter Indoor Soccer Teams
  • Sponsoring tennis memberships for youth at Thorncliffe Tennis club
  • Sponsoring teams in the youth summer soccer league


  • We have supported Rotary Projects in Mozambique , Nicaragua and Kenya
  • Stephen Lewis Foundation
  • Howard Hospital – Zimbabwe