Community News Update - April 26, 2023

Dear Community,

On Saturday, April 29 at 1PM, join St. Paul's community members at 55 Brownlow Avenue to rally in support of affordable housing for all!

See here for more information and to RSVP!

The PSAC strike continues! Public service workers across the country are rallying together in their fight for fair wages, and I stand with them in solidarity. The workers united will never be defeated!

Are you a striking PSAC worker? I want to hear from you! Reply to this email and tell me what this strike means to you!

Yesterday, the ODSP Action Coalition partnered with the OD Coalition for their 4th Rally4ODSP at Queen's Park!

We've seen first hand the rising cost of inflation, the housing crisis, the inaccessibility of public transit, the collapse of our health care system, and somehow this government expects folks on ODSP to survive on $1228 per month? That's legislated poverty. That's inhumane. For all intents and purposes: that's a death sentence.

I stand in solidarity with all folks on ODSP & OW, and will continue to call on this government to raise the rates NOW!

To little surprise, there's been yet another wrench thrown in the construction of the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT. 

On the east end of the track at Sloane station, an uneven layer of concrete was found on the platform, meaning it's being torn back up to be rebuilt. While the need for repairs are common along transit projects, this should only come after decades of use. This line hasn't even seen its first passenger and already, its infrastructure is on shaky ground - literally.

As our incredible Critic for Transit, MPP Joel Harden (Ottawa-Centre) said, this latest finding feels like deja vu for him after witnessing, firsthand, the series of disruptions that continue to plague the Ottawa LRT.

This is, and has been, the story of public-private partnerships (P3s). One this government insists on telling over and over again, despite higher budgets, longer delays, and worse outcomes each time they do.

It's long time this government learns from their mistakes and scraps this failing delivery model. Ontarians deserve accountability, transparency, and to see return on their public investment. Through P3s, and their allowance by this government, they aren't. 

Read how your Ontario NDP is demanding answers.

Good news alert! The founder of Toronto Cares, Sarah Robinson, has been nominated for a volunteer award in both the Eglinton-Lawrence and Davenport wards, as has her daughter, Kali Robinson-Huff! You can read more about these honours here!

Concrete Jungle Mural Project Launch
April 27th-30th, 5-9pm
at Worth Gallery (830 Dundas W.)
 
The “Concrete Jungle” is a multimedia mural that will be available on the Concrete Lab App later this summer.  The objective is to create a mural where viewers will experience graffiti coming to life with three dimensional animations set to synchronize music production by DJ Merciless. 
 
The inspiration of the mural concept is the ever changing landscape of our city, Toronto.  The Eglington and Oakwood business community has been negatively impacted by the construction of the Metrolinx railway construction that has been ongoing since 2018.  Combined with the Covid 19 Pandemic, the Eglington community businesses have clearly been operating at a deficit for a long time.
 
Funded by the OAC, the Eglinton BIA and ArtworkxTO,  the Concrete Jungle mural will be painted on both the East and West side of the top half of the five storey building at 1674 Eglinton West in Toronto's affluent little Jamaica community by local renown artist Adrian Hayles, who painted the Reggae Lane Mural in 2015.

Our neighborhood gallery at 830 St. Clair Ave. W. is hosting two photography exhibitions in May in participation with the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival which runs through out the GTA in May. We are exhibiting two internationally renowned photographers at the gallery, Vincenzo Pietropaolo and Rafael Goldchain, the exhibits will be stunning and truly engaging for all visitors to the exhibitions. i have attached the two exhibition notices with exhibition details, I thought the community would enjoy visiting these exhibitions. Both artists are very well known Toronto based artists .and Vincenzo just had a book published by Cormorant books this spring titled "Toronto as Community, Fifty Years of Photographs". A number of the  photographs in the book will be on display at the gallery. 

Summary of exhibitions:

Vincenzo Pietropaolo: Diversity and Community, Fifty Years of Photographic Works,  May 3  -31

In his practice as a social documentary photographer, Vince Pietropaolo has explored daily life in cities as diverse and distinct as Havana, Mexico City, Rome, and Toronto. The exhibition consists of a survey spanning over fifty years, with a focus on social justice issues, including diversity, immigration, working class culture, LGBTQ, the search for home and place, and identity and displacement.

Marked by the artist’s empathetic approach, the works are poignant time capsules, revealing the poetry of people’s ordinary lives, whether in celebration or in struggle.

The exhibition is part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival and also coincides with the release of the artist’s newest book, Toronto as Community.

In his practice as a social documentary photographer, Vince Pietropaolo has explored daily life in cities as diverse and distinct as Havana, Mexico City, Rome, and Toronto. The exhibition consists of a survey spanning over fifty years, with a focus on social justice issues, including diversity, immigration, working class culture, LGBTQ, the search for home and place, and identity and displacement.

Marked by the artist’s empathetic approach, the works are poignant time capsules, revealing the poetry of people’s ordinary lives, whether in celebration or in struggle.

The exhibition is part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival and also coincides with the release of the artist’s newest book, Toronto as Community.

Rafael Goldchain is a Chilean-Canadian Jewish artist born in Santiago de Chile. He has lived in Jerusalem and México City and moved to Canada in the late 1970s. His photographs are included in the collections of major museums including the National Gallery of Canada, the BIbliotheque Nationale de France, the Museum of Modern Art, the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y Las Artes (Mexico), and the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile. Goldchain has been a professor of photography at Sheridan College for the last 28 years.

Exhibition at the gallery: Rafael Goldchain: Journeys to the Imaginary, May 3 -31

 

Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.

As the sun comes out more and more, inviting us back outside to do good for community, I encourage folks to get in touch with Nia Centre for the Arts. As Canada's first, and now award-winning, professional Black arts centre, they are looking for volunteers to help facilitate their creative programming. 

If this sounds like you, submit your details to be a part of their incredible work here.

On May 27, St. Michael & All Angels Church will be hosting their Community Buzz Day!

On Saturday, April 29, Toronto Cares is hosting a clothing & more drive. Get a head start on your spring cleaning and donate your gently used items!

Unsmoke Canada and The Great Outdoors Fund are offering grants for organizations to host an Unsmoke Canada cleanup event in their area, focused on collecting and recycling litter and cigarette waste.  

The grants (up to $5,000) are targeted for non-profit organizations with a connection to nature, outdoor recreation, outdoor conservation, health and wellness, volunteer engagement, and/or community service.
 
Interested organizations can apply here before May 5, 2023.

Low income individuals may be interested in making use of The Stop's Free Tax Clinic, which is open from March 1 to April 28! See below for more information!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

 

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