Pandemic pushes YMCA into a corner, forces association to sell Geneva Park

If possible, YMCA might still be able to use centre over the summer months

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has been forced to begin the process of selling one of its longstanding outdoor education destinations due to pressures brought on by the pandemic.

On Thursday, the Y announced it is selling Geneva Park, its leadership and conference centre at Lake Couchiching. “This is not a decision we undertook lightly, but the pandemic has caused financial pressures that are, quite simply, beyond our control,” YMCA Board Acting Chair and Geneva Park Ad-hoc Committee Chair, Lynn Strachan said in a statement. “COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on many businesses and organizations, and our YMCA is not immune to this.”

The YMCA says it will begin a Request for Proposal process to choose a real estate provider in the coming weeks. However, given the length of the process, some at the Y believe they may still be able to put the centre to use over the summer. “We don’t yet know what health regulations will bring for the summer season, but if possible, we are committed to a process that would allow us to honour current bookings and run family camp this summer – if health authorities tell us it is safe to do so,” said Association CEO Jill Tettmann. “We’ll be working closely with our staff team to ensure they have the support they need and are kept up-to-date on the impacts of this decision.”