Team East York is not a team; it's a group of skateboarders who love to skate for fun - anywhere, any time, with anyone. They consist of a diverse group of skateboarders, of varying skill levels, which aim to promote a positive skateboarding community in Toronto, with a focus on East York.
Since their inception in 1998, Team EY has aspired to create a welcoming skateboarding community to both new and current skateboarders. They began with word-of-mouth contests hosted for free in local schoolyards and do-it-yourself skateboard videos featuring local talent. Over the years they continued to grow and connected with local community groups and City Councillors to establish an understanding and acceptance of skateboarding in East York, which culminated in 2006 with the construction of the permanent East York Skatepark in Stan Wadlow Park.[Team EY wikipedia page]
To build the skatepark, Team EY worked hard with the local community, with the support of city councillor Janet Davis, to engage youth to participate in the development process of designing and building the skateboard park to ensure that it reflected the needs of the local skateboarders. Once completed, Team EY hosted the opening celebrations and have continued to be involved with the skatepark ever since: organizing annual spring cleanup weekends, mural paintings, contests, and even concrete repair work, as well as hosting a memorial fund raiser and annual remembrance events for local skateboarder Sebastian “Sabby” Perez who passed away in 2008.
Team EY has also been involved in many different areas along the way. They created an 'I Love East York' clothing line dedicated to community pride. Their local skateboarding videos developed a strong following, which led to a series of skateboarding films produced by PEPstudios & ZooMedia that have documented their progression and extensive travels around the world, including: across Canada, across the U.S., Spain, England, Morocco, U.A.E. and Japan [watch Team EY videos]. These videos have premiered in local theatres (The Roxy & Danforth Music Hall) to crowds of 300+ and have been featured in the Toronto Star [article].
To further engage the youth in skateboarding, Team EY has been offering skateboarding camps every summer since 2006, which emphasize teaching safety and the development of skateboarding skills in a fun, positive and healthy environment. Team EY has also partnered with Toronto Parks & Recreation to organize winter skateboarding lessons and drop-in programs at S.H. Armstrong Community Center (2007-present) and the St. Lawrence North Market (2008 & 2009). To further alleviate the skateboarder's winter-blues, Team EY built the first ever indoor skateboard park in East York [EY Skate Loft] in October 2010.
The dedicated work of Team EY has been recognized by the greater community, earning the award for 'City of Toronto Youth Group of the Year' in 2007 and more recently being the focus of one of 14 essays in the 2010 book, "Local Motion: The Art of Civic Engagement in Toronto".
Skate Fast, Skate Hard and Have Fun!
- Nick Pierre Nov, 2010