Community News Update - March 15, 2024

Dear Community, 

Today, on International Day to Combat Islamophobia, let's recommit to building a province free of hatred. Muslim communities here in Ontario have experienced a frightening rise of Islamophobia in recent months. This is unacceptable. 

Throughout the month of Ramadan, we are reflecting on the ways we can support and empower communities. Let's continue to show up for one another and model community care. Hate has no place in our communities. A province, country, and world free of hatred in all its forms must be our collective goal. 


Everyone deserves a family doctor, but right now nearly 2.2 million Ontarians don't have access to one. I've heard from countless community who have lost access to family doctors and have been left to see care in crowded emergency rooms or simply go without. This not only puts our communities' health at risk, but it’s also putting tremendous strain on our already-overburdened emergency rooms. This is not okay. 

According to the Ontario Medical Association, doctors are stuck spending 40% of their time on administrative paperwork instead of seeing patients. This is work that could be done by administrative staff, and other interdisciplinary health staff. By reducing the amount of time doctors must spend on admin work, we could open up thousands of hours of direct patient care.

I, along with my Ontario NDP colleagues, am calling on this government to immediately hire more administrative and interdisciplinary health staff to take the burden of paperwork off doctors so they can spend more time providing care to patients. This would be the equivalent of adding 2,000 doctors to the health care system. 

Our plan to Put Patients Over Paperwork is going to a vote in the legislature on Monday. I will update you on the result in next week's newsletter.

Read more here


Ontarians are on the hook for Ford's $6 billion wage theft. Today, reports revealed that Ford's Conservatives will have to pay $6 billion to public sector workers because of its unconstitutional Bill 124. 

The wage-withholding Bill 124 has driven workers away from our hospitals and schools, which has only worsened the crises in these systems. We've felt the impact of understaffing and underfunding across Ontario. Now, instead of investing billions to fix the cost of living crisis, housing, and health care—the issues that matter to Ontarians—we're all on the hook for Ford's misguided attack on workers. 

Read more here.


This week, the Toronto Star published an article highlighting what we all already know: rent control works!

The article suggests that bringing back full rent control, not just on units occupied before 2018, would have an overall positive effect on the market and would prevent rent gouging. Doug Ford has the tools to end skyrocketing rent, so why isn't he doing it?

I, along with my ONDP colleagues, have been calling for the return of REAL rent control that would tie a unit to the annual guideline increase EVEN if a tenant moved out. Click here to add your name and support this call!



Last week, I attended Good To Be Good (GTBG) Foundation's annual International Women's Day community event and market showcase. It was incredible to share space with so many incredible community members committed to propelling gender equity forward for women and gender-diverse folks. Thank you Char and the entire GTBG team for organizing such an amazing event! It's been incredible to witness how much this event has grown in three years. 

It was wonderful to see local Toronto–St. Paul's community member and founder of Parting the Roots, Simone Wright! Check out Simone's 'Messages from Nana' Black Hair Affirmation Cards


Earlier this week I joined participants of OV Oasis for Healthy Aging program at Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub for a forum about how to resist increasing privatization and profitization in our long-term care and healthcare systems.

Thank you to the Healthy Aging program participants for the engaging conversation following the forum. Seniors deserve access to high-quality, accessible, PUBLIC care. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the only card you should ever need is an OHIP card, NEVER a credit card.


I was proud to stand in solidarity with OPSEU Local 535 workers from Art Gallery of Ontario on Wednesday to demand a fair contract. These folks sure know how to organize a picket! Trash Panda Brass Band did NOT disappoint! 

When we say art matters, we must also value the workers who make our visit to the AGO possible. Many of these workers are artists themselves! From welcoming visitors, setting up installations, fundraising, and cleaning the gallery, these workers are CENTRAL to this institution. It cannot function without them. And when you have CEOs making 400k, while the workers are making the same wages they did in the 90s, something's not right. 

AGO, step up to the table and negotiate. Put an end to the precarious work and contracting out, and pay the workers what they're worth. We both know how invaluable they are. The clock is ticking!



Want to enjoy vegetables you've grown yourself in your own backyard or on your balcony?

Saturday, March 16th from 11 am to 12 pm a Toronto Master Gardener will lead a demonstration and show how to get started to grow your own vegetables at Oakwood Village Library (341 Oakwood Avenue). Get some tips and learn techniques for successful growing. At the end of the demo, vegetable seeds and/or seedlings will be given out to attendees, while supplies last. This is a FREE workshop. Drop-ins welcome!

For more information, email Ashley at [email protected].


After four long years we are thrilled to be back!
Artists from Beth Sholom and Beth Tzedec Out of the Cold Program have reunited in the Art Circle. They are so excited to share their talents and exhibit their work. The artists proudly invite you to the 2024 Art Show and Sale.

Where: Beth Sholom Synagogue (1445 Eglinton Ave W)
When: Sunday, April 7th from 1 to 3 pm - Artists' speeches at 2 pm
The Art Circle is a safe space where everyone, from the novice to the experienced artist, can come together. Hardship, perseverance, kindness, and creativity are shared.

The artists receive 90% of the sale of their artwork. The remainder goes towards framing and art supplies.
Admission: Pay what you can (suggested $5.00).

Music by Juno Award Winner Richard Underhill, Harley Card, and Ethan Tepper.
Refreshments will be served.
The Beth Sholom and Beth Tzedec Out of the Cold Program provides hot dinners, bagged lunches and clothing to those in need.


Community One Foundation is now accepting applications for their 2024 Rainbow Grants. 

Rainbow Grants provide funding to foster new and innovative services and programs that have a positive impact on the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the Greater Toronto Area (including Toronto, Durham, Peel, Hamilton, York, and Halton Regions, and Indigenous Communities across Ontario) under the following streams:

  • Indigenous Communities
  • Refugees
  • Trans Communities
  • Spiritual/Social Groups
  • Arts & Culture

Click here for more information and to download the application guide. 

The deadline is Friday, May 3rd, 2024 at 11:59 pm. 


Are you looking for a family doctor or nurse practitioner?

The Toronto Western Family Health Team is accepting new patients living in the neighbourhood. 

They have a team of health care professionals working together with you for your health care needs. Their team includes:

  • Doctors/Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Chiropodist
  • Dietitian
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Worker

They offer a broad range of programs and services, interpretation, and offer extended hours and urgent same day appointments. 

Click here for more information


Galleria on the Park is introducing 150 below-market rental homes (starting at $1,589) that will be available starting Summer 2024 at 1283 Dupont St. Those eligible can apply now to be entered in the random draw for 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.

Deadline: April 30th, 8PM
Click here to learn more!


This Trans Day of Visibility, March 31, LGBTQ+ at the J and the Ontario Jewish Archives present The First Jew in Canada: A Trans Tale, written and performed by S. Bear Bergman

In 1738, a young transgender man named Jacques LaFargue set off from France to what is now Quebec City, determined to make for himself a new life. The First Jew In Canada: A Trans Tale is his largely untold story, embroidered onto the bones of nine verifiable facts about his life and existence, and interwoven with the modern experience of a trans and Jewish immigrant to Canada three hundred years later. A thrilling and illuminating tale, The First Jew In Canada takes its audience on a stubbornly Jewish journey of optimism, faith, and joy - including the joy and affirmation of finding an ancestor you never knew you had.

More information about Bear, the play, and accessibility can be found at


Check out Homework Hub at the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub in Vaughan Road Academy (529 Vaughan Rd). 

The program is offered Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM and is open to students in grades 4-8. Sign up for support with:

  • Homework
  • Reading, writing, math
  • Test prep
  • Organization

Register at [email protected].


Also from the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub!

There is an 800-900 sq. ft. classroom space available for community programming on weekdays at the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub in the former Vaughan Rd. Academy.

Contact Peter Clutterbuck, OVCO Board member and Community Hub Chair by email ([email protected]) or by phone (416-738-3228) for more information. 


Check out this 3 part webinar series from the Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice (YAIJ)!

This is an opportunity for neurodiverse high school students to learn more about college, university, or trade schools, from neurodiverse students currently in those school environments.

Students and their families can ask anything they want and get coaching from their peers, students with lived experiences, and accessibility advisors.
ALL students are welcome, especially students who are non-speaking, have multiple disabilities, and students who aren't in school anymore. Interpreter services will be available.

This 3-part webinar series will cover everything from getting through the application process, to making friends at school.

Part 1 is on March 27th at 730p  (EST) on Zoom. Registration is free. Email Jantz at [email protected].


Applications are now open for My Main Street's Business and Community Activator Streams.

My Main Street is a $15-million investment to foster the stabilization and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario. The program will offer streamlined direct-to-business supports and complementary programming for community projects that will encourage growth and economic prosperity.

Application deadline is March 31, 2024.

Click here for more information.


The Hillcrest Community Food Bank (2 Vaughan Road) needs URGENT help filling their shelves!

The need for food in our community is increasing and they're in urgent need of MORE food (and household items) to meet this higher demand. Please contact them via Instagram if there is anything you can do to help or if you are a local business that would be interested in becoming a community partner. Food donations in kind or monetary donations to their Canada Helps website would be greatly appreciated.


On April 4th from 5-7 pm, join the Hillcrest Village BIA for a Meet & Greet at Bloom Bar Studio.

This is an opportunity to meet the BIA Board of Management, learn about BIA neighbourhood initiatives, and share your thoughts for the future. Join the BIA team for a casual evening with food, drinks and friendly conversations. Don't miss this chance to connect with fellow residents and business owners! 


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. 


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


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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Community News Update - June 21, 2024

Dear Community,

Join me and Save Ontario's Science Centre on Sunday in Wells Hill Park to speak out against Doug Ford's scheme to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place, which has now led to the surprise closure of the Science Centre.

This benefits no one. Not the people of Toronto who are losing a beloved insitution or the 400+ employees of the OSC, many of whom will lose their jobs.

Meet us in Wells Hill Park at St Clair and Bathurst to tell Doug Ford NO.

RSVP here

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