The Cabbagetown Youth Centre was founded in 1972 by volunteers to provide social and recreational programs for youth in the eastern inner city core of Toronto. The CYC is a private, not-for-profit organization governed by a of community residents. Over the years, the CYC has expanded to meet the growing needs of the community, by providing a range of recreational, social and skill development programs for all ages, with a specific focus on at-risk children and youth.
The CYC was developed in response to a need for preventative services in a community with one of the highest youth crime rates in Metro Toronto.It has gradually expanded programs from sports to social activities to learning skills, health promotion and vocational development for residents of all ages.
In 1996, a site at 240 Wellesley Street East was developed. It includes classrooms for ESL instruction and computor training, child-care facilities and a large auditorium.
In 1999, the CYC redeveloped an old YMCA in the sub-basement of a large apartment building in St. James Town. Following this opening, recreational, community and skill development programs were offered at 650 Parliament Street. The site operated at capacity six days a week.