Community News Update - January 15, 2024

Dear Community, 

On this day, we honour the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., whose enduring fight serves as a source of inspiration. Dr. King's belief that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” can only be made real by all of us.

Now more than ever, we must hone this desire for humanity to shine through. We must work together and advocate for one another. Let us recommit to ending racism & all systems of oppression in our lifetime.


I'd like to wish the Tamil community in St. Paul's and beyond a Happy Thai Pongal! Pongal is a time of family gathering, upholding values of gratitude and peace, and honouring Tamil traditions passed over generations. To everyone celebrating today, I hope you're able to enjoy time spent with friends and family. 


Today, we called on the federal government to extend the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan deadline until the end of 2024. CEBA was a financial lifeline for small businesses during the pandemic, allowing many to remain open and keep staff employed.

The reality is that many businesses are YEARS away from bouncing back to their pre-pandemic levels. For many, paying back these loans now will mean they have to close up shop. Livelihoods are on the line. 

The province should be stepping in. We're in the middle of an affordability crisis. It's high time Ford's conservatives work with small business owners to explore other ways the province can support them. Instead of propping up their billion-dollar corporate CEO friends (I'm looking at you Staples, Shoppers, Walmart... 👀), this government should be showing up for our local business owners. 

Click here to sign the petition calling on the feds to extend the CEBA deadline.

Read our full press release here. 


On Friday, I met with the team from Reset located in our Oakwood Vaughan neighbourhood! Reset recently launched their Community Living Room, a pay-what-you-can "Third Space" with the goal of combatting social isolation and loneliness within our community. 

Reset has played a CRUCIAL role in local community building. From Love Letters to Little Jamaica to their One Big Hug event back in 2022, witnessing their work has been one of the highlights of my MPP role. I am proud to amplify your work! Thank you, Reset, from the bottom of my heart, for your work! 

Click here to read more about the Community Living Room. 


Also on Friday, I met with Linda and Rose from Global Share Support Youth Association (GSSYA). They're a local organization based in our St. Paul's community that offer crucial support for ESL high school students across the GTA. Their programs include English-language tutoring, community-building events, and programs and resource offerings with a focus on skill development and lifestyle enhancement. 

Thank you GSSYA for your HEARTwork and the positive impact you've made for newcomer youth! 


I'd like to offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Peggy Este, who passed away on January 7th. You can leave memories memories or condolences here. 


Pride at Work is seeking nominations for its 2024 CHANGEMAKERS campaign. The campaign will recognize15 people championing 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion in the corporate, public service and non profit sectors across Canada as a part of their 15th anniversary.

The nomination process is open from January 15th to March 17th, 2024. Click here for more information. 


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 is 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.


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, Ph.D

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's


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