Community News Update - January 10, 2024

Dear Community, 

Without warning, the Ford Conservatives closed and locked the gate on Ontario Place this week, shutting Ontarians out of the West Island to push through their luxury spa. Is this how the government says Happy New Year to the people of Ontario?! By locking them out of publicly owned parkland? 

In December, the Auditor General’s report confirmed the Ford Conservatives had planned to move the Ontario Science Centre years before the public even knew about it, and based their decision on inadequate information. This latest development marks another move in their irresponsible plan to push through a luxury spa at the public’s expense. They continue to move ahead despite the concerns raised by experts and the local community. Enough is enough!

Click here to read the full press release.


The Ford Conservatives are skipping over Ontario's largest city in its consultation, so we're holding our own. Join us on January 18th at Queen's Park from 3 to 8 pm to share your priorities for a stronger Ontario. 

Your voices matter. Whether it's putting money into public healthcare, education, housing, investing in the arts, or anything in between, we want to hear from you!

Click the link to RSVP: 

Remote options will be available. 


Last week, I joined Official Opposition Transportation Critic Joel Harden, Faisal Hassan, and members of the Mount Dennis community. We heard the community’s concerns about Metrolinx, particularly around protecting local parkland, protecting local ecosystems, and respecting and protecting local Indigenous land practices. 

It’s possible to support public transport expansion, while also hearing, respecting, and empowering community members in decision-making processes. The Mount Dennis community has been calling for meetings with their elected officials and Metrolinx. These calls have been met with silence. Instead, in the fall of 2023, the Indigenous-led coalition of community members was met with threats of legal action for standing ground and protecting the parkland from destruction, including the 1,500 trees set to be clear-cut that serve as flood and erosion protectors, sound barriers, and wildlife habitat. These parks are used for ceremony, education and recreation, and contribute to the mental well-being of the residents within their community. 

Our own St. Paul’s community knows the struggle all too well after living through years of the Metrolinx’s Crosstown fiasco. The Mount Dennis community deserves to be heard. 

To the Mount Dennis community and the many advocacy organizations involved – thank you for your hard work! I’m proud to amplify your calls. 

You can read more about their work here

Click here to sign their petition.


Earlier this week, I attended a screening of the new comedy series ONE MORE TIME at the TIFF Lightbox. 

From comedian D.J. Demers, the show features D.J. (Demers), a hard-of-hearing manager of a second-hand sporting goods store, and his unlikely family of oddball employees. 

This show is the first scripted Canadian TV show to have a lead character with a disability, and only the second in North America. Thank you to Counterfeit Pictures and CBC for supporting programming by Deaf artists with Deaf culture represented. Hats off to the talented cast, crew, producers, writers, and everyone who had a role in this fabulous show!

On a personal note, it was so wonderful to be joined by my friend and former boss, Catherine MacKinnon. We met many years ago back when I worked in journalism. When she started the Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival, she took a chance on me and brought me onto her team as Director of Communications. So wonderful to enjoy yet another history making moment with you!

The first episode is now available to watch on CBC Gem. Episodes are released every Tuesday.


Attention St. Paul's, Toronto, & surrounding area!

Join Joy Bullen, Culturpreneur is bringing a concert in honour of Black History month!

Celebrations & Revelations 2024: Unyielding Roots
Second generation Canadians with roots in the Caribbean and Africa, Rashaan Rory Allwood, pianist/instrumentalist, and Kathryn Patricia Cobbler, Loop pedal violist, will premiere their original compositions, with the outstanding soprano voice of Nadine Anyan.

Rashaan and Kathryn will take you on a musical journey with pieces that reflect upon elements of the Caribbean immigrant and African diaspora experience. A program of original ambient jazz, folk, and classical compositions performed against a background film of images and events from life in the Caribbean and in Canada, exploring themes of being raised within multiple cultures and redefining beauty against a North American colonial landscape.

The performance will take place Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 3 pm at Holy Blossom Temple. Early bird tickets are $35 (until Jan 16th). Regular price: $45. 

Click here to buy yours!


The Black Student Summer Leadership Program (BSSLP) is back! 

BSSLP is a 7-week full-time paid summer experiential learning opportunity. Students hired will explore a range of academic and career placements including but not limited to: Business, Community Development, Information Technology, Public Health and Youth Justice. 


  • Black TDSB student (current, graduating or returning)
  • Must be available for Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) paid training (April 9-May 28)
  • Must be available for full-time summer employment (July 2 - Aug 16, 2024)
  • Must be available for interview from February 15 - 23, 2024)
  • Currently in Gr. 10-12 and must be 16 years old as of July 1, 2024. 

Click here to apply!

There will be an information session on January 16, 2024 from 6-7:30 pm. 

The deadline to apply is January 19, 2024.


Hillcrest Village Community Players are looking for volunteers for their upcoming production of Footloose (Feb 22–March 2, 2024)! 

There is a lot of fun to be had in their Front of House team! Roles available include:

  • Two ushers
  • Two ticket-takers
  • Two merch sales people
  • Two cafe and intermission sales people
  • Two coat-checkers

Interested? Fill out their interest form by January 29th here

Tickets for the production are on sale NOW. You don’t want to miss it! Click here to purchase. 

Also, from Hillcrest Village Players–

Hello Community - 

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a Trivia Night at The Gym Pub (782 St. Clair Ave W) on Thursday, January 18th 6:30pm!

Brush up on your knowledge about the community, our upcoming production of Footloose and MORE to win Food/Drink prizes  throughout the evening… and the grand prize of Footloose tickets for your team!

Book a table for your team of up to 6 people. A minimum donation of $5 per player will be collected before trivia begins. 

Event: HVCP x The Gym Trivia Night
Date & Time: Thursday, January 18th, 6:30pm
Location: 782 St. Clair Ave W, Toronto
Minimum donation of $5 per player 

See you there!

Krista & Catherine

Click here to book your table


dance Immersion Presents the North American Premiere of
Traditional Future
by Kenya’s Fernando Anuang’a
Friday, January 19, 2024:
Pre-Show Reception – 7:15 PM
Performance & Artist Talk – 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2024:
Performance & Artist Talk – 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto, ON
General – $32.50    
Students/Arts Workers – $22.50
About the Performance:
dance Immersion presents Kenya’s Fernando Anuang’a in his internationally-renowned contemporary Maasaï dance solo, TRADITIONAL FUTURE, in North America for the first time!
With this work Fernando explores: How do we evolve tradition toward modernity without obliterating its tracks, without betraying one’s roots?
Fernando Anuang’a is an autodidact artist (self-taught dancer/choreographer) from Kenya. He is supported and inspired by Kenyan Maasaï songs, his ancestral memories, and his community’s vocal rhythmic power for his vocabulary. He is driven by a will to take tradition into the future, and continuously researches ways for Maasaï dance to live fully in this era. While tourists have exploited the image of the Maasaï jump tradition, Fernando’s practice instead infuses this cultural vertical energy with evolving Maasaï undulation gestures. For his third solo, TRADITIONAL FUTURE, he stays loyal to the Moran (Maasaï warrior) tradition as a symbolic root, while finding a deeper energy and more liberating form of self-expression to bring the tradition into the future.
This work is presented as part of dance Immersion’s 30th Anniversary Season! The performance will be accompanied by an opening night pre-show reception, and artist talks following both performances.


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, P.h.D

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's


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