Our beginning

If it isn’t the soulful strains of the Spanish guitar or the idiosyncrasies of the English language, it most certainly is the message of caring that draws the Hispanic community to the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre. Founded by Fr. Hernan Astudillo, the Centre, which is totally self-sustaining, was established to provide a space for the Latin American immigrant and for the preservation of the Latin American culture in Canada. With close to 300 active and 500 occasional members, which include children, youth, adults and seniors, we strive to preserve, promote and share the rich Latin American culture and traditions.

As the number of Latin American immigrants coming to Canada rises steadily, the Centre also provides a support system for the community to ease their transition into the Canadian way of life. Whilst providing emotional succor, we are also engaged in encouraging an understanding of Canada’s multicultural society and work towards creating harmonious relationships with diverse communities. Albeit Latino in flavour, the Centre welcomes many non-Latinos into its heart.

Dedicated in its mission to empower the Hispanic community, the Centre plays a vital role in the community’s development. As a community of immigrants, one of the major issues that we tackle is that of assimilation and we therefore focus on programs to assist and support newcomers to Toronto.

The attainment of a radio broadcasting license for a Spanish language community radio station in 2003, was a historical first; and one of the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre's proudest moments. Radio Voces Latinas 1610AM, is the first community radio station in Canada devoted to the Spanish speaking community. With the creation of the radio station, this is the first time that the Latin American people in Canada have been recognized by the Canadian government as a significant demographic group in need of their own cultural identity and expression.