Community News Update - December 15, 2023

Dear Community, 

Yesterday marked the final night of Chanukah. May we all commit to upholding the spirit of this tradition year round. I'd also like to express my deep gratitude for having been able to attend some of the many Menorah lighting ceremonies hosted by the Jewish communities here in St. Paul's. As we head into a new year, let us continue to wish for light even in the impossible.

Yesterday, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released its long-awaited final report on anti-Black racism in the Toronto Police Service (TPS). The findings revealed that Black community members are "carded" 3 times (3 times!!) more often by police than white community members.

St. Paul's, this comes as NO surprise to many of us in the Black community here in Toronto. As Black folks, we live the realities of systemic racial discrimination, racial profiling, and anti-Black racism every single day. Yesterday's report hit home for many of us. The right to feel safe in your home, in your community, on your way to school or work should be a right for ALL -- not just some. 

Thank you to the many advocates in the Black community who have long been calling for systemic change. We will continue to echo these calls and demand concrete actions to address systemic anti-Black racism not only in the TPS but across ALL Ontario institutions. Click here to read more.

Doug Ford flops again!

Earlier this week, Ford walked back the government's terrible plan that would have left folks in the Peel region buried under killer tax hikes. Now it's time for Ford to walk back his attack on housing! Community, it's time to call on Ford to bring back REAL rent control on ALL buildings now.

This government has proven time and time again that they're out of touch with the needs of Ontarians. We need AFFORDABLE housing NOT alcohol. At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is at an all-time high, this government needs to turn its attention to the things that matter. 

Click here to read more about Ford's latest (and previous) policy reversals. 

Earlier this week, I treated myself to a FABULOUS solo date night at Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) Holiday Pops at Roy Thompson Hall. 

I got to take in the breathtaking sounds of the legendary Billy Newton Davis (a St. Paul's treasure!) and the breathtaking jazz phenomenon Molly Johnson. Both these internationally beloved award-winning superstars treated us with their unbelievable talent.  

It was great to see a packed house! Thank you, TSO for a wonderful evening. And to the Etobicoke School of the Arts Holiday Chorus and choir Director Mr. David Ambrose, you were all EXCEPTIONAL! Hats off to the fabulous conductor, Steven Reineke, and of course, every single member of the TSO. What a night!

Live music ALWAYS does it for me. It helps bring me back, and it reminds me that brighter days are not only possible. They are inevitable! Also, thank you dear Bella for encouraging me to take this little moment of self-care.

Last night, I had a FANTASTIC time stopping into the Carpenters Regional Council (CRC) Christmas Gala! This was my first time attending this gala and wow have I ever been missing out! 

It was a great opportunity to thank so many tradespersons for their hard work and dedication to literally building our city and province from the ground up. I want to especially thank Chris Campbell, the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the CRC and the Vice President of the Toronto Carpenters' Union, Local 27. 

Trades offer an excellent career path and one that more and more women and BIPOC community members among others in St. Paul's and beyond are leaning into eagerly! We will always continue to advocate for support and ongoing investments in our trades and for the protection and rights of each and every worker!

🎄🍪Tomorrow! From 12-4 pm visit the Tollkeeper's Cottage Museum for their annual COOKIE DAY sale! 🍪🎄

Bring your own container and stock up on delicious cookies to get you through the holidays. ALL baked items are made by their wonderful and dedicated volunteers. 

$1.00 per cookie. Cash or e-transfer are accepted. 

The event is at 750 Davenport Road. 

There will also be an opportunity to pick up some cozy knitted items, dryer balls, door snakes, and other gift items. This event will be crowded, so the organizers are encouraging you to wear a MASK!

Winona Drive Senior Public School is holding its very first Secret Art Show and Sale on Dec. 18th from 5-8 pm in the school cafeteria!

Winona students will create 5x7 works of art and they will be displayed and available for purchase alongside the work of celebrated contemporary artists and notable Canadians whose art is collected and exhibited locally and internationally. The twist: the name of the artist is ONLY revealed after the painting is purchased. This is your chance to get your hands on a masterpiece for $25! Proceeds from sales will go toward end of year student trips, a Pride Committee speaker event and more. 

Some of the artists donating original works of art include: Anda Kubis; Ted Fullerton; fatspatrol; the Broadbent Sisters; Nicole Katsuras; Joseph Osei Bonsu; Emmanuel Osahor; Jane Theodore; Mr. Hydde; Isabella Fassler; Kurt Rostek; Jessica Lui; Rodney Bowers; Meredith Shaw; and more!

Cash, cheque, debit, and credit will be accepted!

December 17th! St. Matthew’s United Church & the TOGOGOS present a Christmas Goodies and Crafts Fair from noon to 3 PM at St. Matthew's United Church (729 St Clair Ave W). 

Join them in the church parlour of seasonal baked goods, boxes of organic chocolates, cozy handmade quilts and knitted items, special note cards, stocking stuffers, and more!

Applications for Black Women in Motion's Black Youth Employment Assistance Program (BYEAP) are now OPEN!

BYEAP is a 13-week, virtual employment and entrepreneurial-focused program for Black survivors of gender-based violence. BYEAP provides employment-focused training opportunities and mental health resources to support survivors in developing their employability skills, business ideas, and wellness strategies for job retention.

For general inquiries, please email us at [email protected] 

Registration for the Winter/Spring 2024 cohort closes on Thursday, January 18th, 2024, at 11:59 P.M.

Interested applicants are asked to email their resumes to [email protected] with BYEAP-2024 in the subject line.

Calling all poets of St. Paul's and beyond! The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is seeking nominees for the next Poet Laureate of Ontario. The role was created in 2019 in honour of the late Gord Downie.

The application is open until January 15, 2024. Click here for more information.

In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at

This is a reminder to get up-to-date on your COVID-19 boosters. The XBB 1.5 updated boosters are NOW available. I got mine and I encourage you to join me! 

Consult this page for information about where you can get vaccinated.

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.

In solidarity, 

Dr. Jill Andrew

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's


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