Dishing up a 'recipe' for community vitality



    Generous Torontonians make vision of Alexandra Park residents a reality

    TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - Residents of Alexandra Park were joined today by
Mayor David Miller and Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina) as
they got their first taste of a new project aimed at creating a more vital
community.
    The "Recipe for Community" project, a resident-inspired partnership
between the Toronto Community Foundation, the City of Toronto and Toronto
Community Housing, blends four key ingredients into building a safe and
healthy community: food, convening, youth engagement and neighbourhood
beautification.
    The 'recipe' was inspired by a fundholder at the Toronto Community
Foundation who was eager to help the community in the wake of the most recent
Toronto's Vital Signs(R) report, an annual snapshot on the quality of life in
Toronto, which highlighted a low sense of belonging and safety as key issues.
The partners - or 'chefs' - paired the priorities identified by Alexandra Park
residents to create the Recipe for Community initiative. Other fundholders at
the Toronto Community Foundation jumped on board with their financial support
as well.
    "This initiative is about community building - supporting the development
of safe, vibrant and prosperous neighbourhoods where residents feel a sense of
opportunity and belonging," said Mayor Miller. "I'm pleased that the Toronto
Office of Partnerships, the Toronto Community Foundation and Toronto Community
Housing worked together to help make the residents' vision a reality."
    Residents young and old rolled up their sleeves and worked together
building window boxes, painting murals and planting an organic vegetable
garden.
    Over the course of the summer, a barbecue and cooking area will be added,
along with benches, picnic tables and bleacher seating to provide a great
place to enjoy a meal, watch a basketball game, or catch up with friends and
family.
    "The 'Recipe for Community' project will help create a more vital
community in Alexandra Park," said Toronto Community Foundation President &
CEO Rahul K. Bhardwaj. "By creating public spaces, residents can meet and get
to know their neighbours better, which helps build a safer community and a
stronger sense of belonging."
    Local youth will be hired and trained to assist in the ongoing community
beautification efforts, including the creation of public art installations
(mosaics) and the construction of 300 custom-made window flowerboxes.
    A community recipe book will also be published to showcase the many
diverse people, stories and favourite dishes that contribute to Alexandra
Park's vitality.
    "Toronto Community Housing is committed to creating safe and healthy
communities," said David Mitchell, Chair of Toronto Community Housing's Board
of Directors. "Partnerships like Recipe for Community help us deliver on that
commitment by promoting tenant engagement and fostering a sense of community
pride and belonging."
    Councillor Vaughan thanked the Toronto Community Foundation and its
family of fund-holders. "Thank you for your vision, trust and commitment to
building a more vital Toronto in partnership with residents. We are all proud
to partner with the Toronto Community Foundation on this important
initiative."

    About Toronto Community Foundation:

    With more than 400 endowment funds, and assets of over $220 million,
Toronto Community Foundation is one of Canada's largest charitable
foundations. Community vitality has been our purpose, promise and passion
since 1981, when we started connecting donors to community needs and
opportunities. We help our individual and family foundations invest in
Toronto, making it a strong and resilient place to live, work, learn and grow.
We monitor the health of our city, identifying its strengths and weaknesses.
We provide the leadership and guidance to bring people together from all parts
of our community. We exist for Toronto - for now and for always.

    About the Toronto Office of Partnerships

    The Toronto Office of Partnerships (TOP) grew out of the mayor's election
platform and was created in 2007 with the mandate of making the City a more
desirable and efficient partner. Since then, TOP has quickly matured into a
Centre of Excellence for partnership knowledge, policy development, customer
service to internal and external stakeholders and support for the City's
programs, services and priorities through a one- window approach.

    About Toronto Community Housing:

    Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider and
home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate income - about six per
cent of the City of Toronto's population. These families, seniors, refugees,
recent immigrants and people with special needs reside in 58,500 households in
communities throughout Toronto.





For further information:

For further information: Kyle Rooks, Media Relations, Toronto Community
Housing, Cell: (416) 688-8277, kyle.rooks@torontohousing.ca; Carole Boivin, VP
Marketing, Communications and Donor Services, Toronto Community Foundation,
(416) 921-2035 ext. 212, cboivin@tcf.ca; Manjit Jheeta, Toronto Office of
Partnerships, City of Toronto, (416) 392-8684, mjheeta@toronto.ca


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