Celebrating its 11th year in 2014, the Neighbourhood Challenge has grown rapidly, out of our desire to have the marathon give back to the communities we run through. For the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to be really successful, it has to have a sustainable, year-round impact on our local neighbourhoods, groups, charities and families. It can't be something that imposes itself on the city one day a year, and expects everyone to stand to attention. This is how great marathons have been made in New York, London, Chicago and Paris—by involving, engaging and giving back to the community.
To achieve this goal, we've tried to find 12 local charities and groups who could put on a festival, a celebration of their 'hood at our Neighbourhood Cheering & Entertainment Centres along the marathon route—groups like the Ukrainian Festival Committee representing Bloor West/High Park, who strive every year to find the money to put on a marvellous festival in late August/early September that is so important to the many Eastern Europeans who have settled in the west-end of the city; or The Revue Cinema Society that has fought so hard to save and renovate "The Revue", a landmark in their Roncesvalles neighbourhood, but also a place for children and families to go all year round, to have the joy of watching movies, but also to preserve a vital, vibrant community meeting place.
These are the kinds of things that make Toronto's neigbourhoods world-famous, that breathe life into them, and make them such special places to live.
The other major goal of the Neighbourhood Challenge is to help showcase our evolving waterfront, and reconnect it to the city. The Cheering Centres are a great excuse for us to come out in great numbers, to gather along Toronto's Waterfront, to celebrate our different neighbourhoods from the Humber to The Beach—to enjoy the music, dancing, performers and food on hand; to shout ourselves hoarse cheering on our friends and neighbours, our thousands of charity runners, 12,000 weekend warriors from 30+ countries around the world, and some international-class athletes running some of the fastest times ever on Canadian soil. Most of all, we can cheer for and put a pledge or two on a Neighbourhood Champion, a friend or neighbour who has committed to go the entire 42.195 kilometres on behalf of an important community cause.
Together, with these millions of footsteps, with a marathon effort, we CAN make a difference!
It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the vibrancy of our waterfront city, and to showcase it to a world watching on live television and live internet.
Toronto's most-vibrant Waterfront neighbourhoods are out cheering the runners on! If you're one of the 2 million or so Torontonians who won't be running on October 14, come out and join all the fun of the Festival, and cheer on our heroes from every Canadian province, more than 40 American states, and 30+ countries worldwide. Many will help raise $2,000,000 for our official charities. All will need your support to encourage them along every step of their run!
An accessible seating platform will be available for finish line viewing. The platform will be located on the west side of Bay St, just north of Queen St (north of the bleachers) — please access the platform from Queen St. At 8:15am the 5k runners will start crossing the finish line and east-west access across Bay St will NOT be available. If arriving to the finish area after 8:15am, arrive from the west of Bay St.