Sunset Community Centre…and Bing Crosby?

This was a very interesting story about the beginning of Sunset Community Centre. The town was short in coming up with the funding for the original project. The people decided that they needed to send the President of their organization, Stan Thomas, to Hollywood, California. His job was to approach the person holding #1 in record sales at the time, Mr. Bing Crosby, about performing his popular radio show in Canada to raise funds for their community centre. Mr. Thomas must have been very convincing because Mr. Crosby agreed. After the show, the funds were raised. Bing Crosby broke ground for the first Sunset Community Centre in 1948. That is amazing.

The Sunset Community Centre officially opened in 1950 as the but did so off of main street by a few blocks. Because of that, it wasn’t able to be seen and was more difficult to access. In the early 2000’s, it was becoming aged as far as the programs it offered and the structure was also showing signs of wear.

In 2005, Bing Thom Architecture broke ground for a new Sunset Community Centre, this time on Main street. It promotes cultural diversity with its location in the Punjabi Market and with the design of the building itself. The architect made the roof look like “flower petals” and wanted people to do a double take when going past the building.He wanted it to appear like something they had never seen before.

The centre sits on over five blocks of property and provides the community with not only recreational activities but also educational. They cater to young, young-at-heart and with any type of ability. It’s a great place to visit before or after a trip to the nearby weed dispensary WEEDS.

Things Offered at the Centre

  • Childcare
  • Preschool classes
  • Out-of-school care
  • Multi-purpose rooms
  • Fitness center – with all the latest equipment you can possibly think of
  • dance studio

The Sunset Community Centre is also associated with the nearby Sunset Rink as well as the Moberly Arts Cultural Center. The rink provides ice throughout the entire year for skating. The arts center has a studio center and an herb garden that is cultural.

The Sunset Community Centre is in the planning stage for a community garden. This is really nice to involve friends and neighbors to participate and partake of a garden. It encourages building relationship and interacting neighbors.

At one point, the community centre was disconnected from the park but it has since been brought back together with several improvements being made along the way.

  • The East/West sides were joined.
  • Paths were not only added but old ones were improved and there were fences put up.
  • More green areas were added.
  • Pavilion areas were brought in with benches.
  • The play area was redone.
  • There is an off-leash puppy park with surround.
  • There’s an area where people can plant with a rain garden.
  • They put in a nature area where new trees were planted.

Fortunately, this well-rounded community centre brought with it from it’s old home, a story stone telling it’s history. Everyone should know the unforgettable beginning to this special place.

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