MAC Youth Centre
The MAC Youth Centre (MYC) on opened in 2007 through the efforts of a group of young men and women and London community, and located at 366 Oxford St East. This was unique facility focusing on Muslim youth, and the first of its kind. A key focus of the facility and its program was to build youth leaders that would be able to appreciate their Islamic and Canadian identities in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. Please watch the video below for further details about this amazing facility.
The MYC was popular for its Friday night programs for Brothers’ Youth Group and Sisters’ Youth Group, where high school youth would be able to enjoy each other’s company while playing ping pong, pool, air hockey, and many other activities. The youth would also make use of the nearby gym in the winter and playground in the summer at St. George’s Public School. These sessions further integrated important Spiritual and Life lessons lecture by older youth that could connect with the younger youth help address any challenges they were facing by building bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. Moreover, the MYC also hosted various different halaqas (religious circles) to facilitate the development of young leaders in the Muslim community. Other activities included the following that were carried out with a similar vision and approach;
- High School Competition (athletics, arts, academic, religion, etc.)
- Spiritual and Leadership conferences tackling the important topics faced by youth and the community
- High School Summer Camps at various camping facilities throughout Ontario
- University and College Spiritual Retreats that creative mixed camping and spiritual growthMuslim Students Network to facilitate collaboration between the various MSAs at schools
- MAC Give that inspired in Muslim youth and community the need to participate and give back to the larger community by participating in charitable runs, supporting the local food bank and women’s shelter, taking care of the environment, and participating in local soup kitchen efforts.
- Interfaith activities that involved visiting places of worship for other faith groups such as Churches, and having their youth visit our facility.
- The Revivalist Series that was made of lectures by various community leaders reflecting on the historical strengths and perseverance of the Muslim community
- Mom ‘n Tots sessions
- Children’s Winter and Summer camps
- Quran tajweed (recitation rules) and memorization halaqas
- And much more!
Another way the MAC Youth Centre was unique was the financial model that was used to finance the activities of the Centre. The MYC was purchased by the community in a Vendor Take Back for around $700,000 to avoid interest associated with a tradition mortgage. With the main level and basement leased out to tenants the income was used to pay for building utility and maintenance costs, as well to finance the Activities mentioned in the list above. The relief of having to fundraise donation regularly gave the MYC great flexibility and consistency with regards to the services it delivered to the community. The MYC was sold in 2021 for $2.1M after consultations with community to facilitate opening of new centres.