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Top 5 Takeaways from 17th KESKUS Community Engagement Session March 24, 2022

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Update #132

The 17th Community Engagement Session for KESKUS International Estonian Centre took place on March 24th, 2022, via Zoom and the ceremonial groundbreaking of KESKUS was announced!

Although construction work has begun on site, the start of building this historic and monumental project will officially be marked with a ceremony on Friday, April 8th, 2022, gathering starting at 12:00 noon with 12:30 start, on-site at 9 Madison Avenue in Toronto. All are invited to attend, rain or shine.

The virtual Community Engagement Session can viewed here, but following are the top five takeaways:

1. KESKUS stands with Ukraine

A thorough review has been done of all suppliers of equipment, materials, and know-how to make sure that not a single component in KESKUS is sourced from either Russia or Belarus. The review has been completed and KESKUS is confident that there will be no contribution from either of those countries in the KESKUS project.

2. Budget pressures in construction market

The last two years of pandemic induced delays and cost increases, led to a review of project costs in two ways: first, a value engineering exercise was undertaken, reviewing every detail of the design to squeeze the budget as much as possible, and second, deferrals and substitutions to align with the budgetary realities were decided, while ensuring that the overall feel and quality of the building would be maintained.

Regardless of the modifications, the overall budget still left KESKUS with a 40% increase in the build portion of the budget of $20 million, taking that part of the budget to $27 million.

3. Donors rally to ensures vision of KESKUS

Leadership donors to KESKUS at the Kalevipoja Laud donation level appreciated the inflationary pressures facing KESKUS and so they doubled and tripled their donations to ensure that construction of KESKUS could responsibly begin.

A big thank you to every one of these generous leadership donors. Everyone in the community is encouraged to give to the best of their ability, even if they have already made gift.

4. KESKUS construction begins

Construction has begun on project KESKUS. The construction process was simplified to 3 main phases:

· Phase 1: Downward to tunnels (shoring, deep foundations, excavation)

· Phase 2: Upward to watertight (vertical construction)

· Phase 3: Internal and external finishes and occupancy

KESKUS is targeted for completion in late 2023. A 2-minute clip of the construction work over the past two weeks:

5. Estonian House Updates

The purchaser of the Estonian House on Broadview has agreed to extend our community’s use of the building, by extending the leaseback to at least the end of October 2022. Estonian House remains open to be enjoyed by the community.

Estonian House will set up meetings with each group using the Estonian House to explore continuity options should the one-move option to KESKUS turn out not to be viable.


KESKUS valued donors make a critical difference!

KESKUS International Estonian Centre’s donor categories are Kalevipoja Laud for gifts of $100,000 and above (including naming rights for specific areas), Viru Vanemad for gifts of $10,000 and above, and Kungla Rahvas for gifts under $10,000. KESKUS leadership donors are recognized here.

To make a donation, please call +1.647.250.7136 or email Donations may be made as a family gift, or in honour of an individual or family and leadership gifts can be paid over time. All donations are issued a tax receipt.

Let’s keep in touch!

  • Visit the KESKUS website for all the latest news

  • Sign up for the KESKUS monthly email newsletter

  • Follow KESKUS on Facebook @EestiKeskus, Twitter @keskus, Instagram @keskus.iec

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