Today, Ontario reported an additional 598 cases of COVID-19, bringing the seven-day average of cases to 537 - this is the 12th straight day that we’ve seen the seven-day average increase. These continued increases are concerning, and we must all remain vigilant in our fight against the spread of COVID-19. The most important step you can take right now is to get vaccinated, and if you haven’t yet – I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
Yesterday was Remembrance Day, a day when we should all pause and reflect on the horrors of war, and the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served Canada in peacetime and wartime. Every Remembrance Day is important, but after so many ceremonies being held online last year, it was particularly meaningful to once again see the gatherings in person in our community, where we could come together to reflect and remember.
I started my day at a morning ceremony at Prospect Cemetery, and then attended the memorial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Both events were sincerely moving, and featured important stories, and memories which must never be forgotten.
It was an honour to attend both.
After the official ceremonies, I dropped by Senso Bar and Restaurant, where they were hosting musicians throughout the day to raise funds for Guitars for Vets Canada, as well as collecting art from young people. At the restaurant, I met a number of incredible students from Humewood Community School who put up some great art at Senso – and I want to thank them for taking the time to contribute their art.
Earlier this week, in the rush of getting kids home from school, a 3 year-old student was struck by a car at the intersection of Benson and Hendrick Avenues, next to McMurrich Junior Public School. Thankfully, he was uninjured. He was energetic and excited when I visited the school this morning to see the intersection myself. The parents, however, were understandably rattled. Discussions are ongoing now with the parents and the school community to develop a plan to make the intersection safer. As I hear more, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. And please remember to drive safe!
There are so many great ways to get involved in our community, and one of the best is with the Wychwood Open Door program that’s now run by The Stop at St. Matthew’s United Church. This week, I was thankful for the opportunity to volunteer there.
I got to help out with the heartwork (not a spelling error!) of organizing lunch for community members experiencing housing and food precarity. I had an amazing direct supervisor Maria and it also happened to be the last day at work for Eveen so we also got to celebrate and acknowledge her tireless dedication to our community.
Thanks again new and old friends and I'll see you soon again!
I want to send a couple big shout outs today to some great people who are getting well-deserved recognition.
First up, Skills for Change – with its main office right here in Toronto-St. Paul’s has been awarded Best Non-profit Employer – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (over 20 employees) at CharityVillage's 2021 Conference and Awards Ceremony!
I want to congratulate the entire team at Skills for Change on this honour, and for their dedication to creating a safe and inclusive workspace for all their employees, while providing incredible programming to our community.
Speaking of well deserved, my second shout out today goes to my Ontario NDP colleagues MPP Bhutila Karpoche, and MPP Marit Stiles for winning Best MPP and Runner-Up Best MPP in the NOW Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards! As a two-time runner-up myself, I know what an honour this is, and I want to congratulate them both on their hard work!
Calls for Support
Today, I’ve got two calls for support that I’m happy to share with our community.
The Turtle Project, was founded by Rocco D’Amico after he suffered the worst loss a parent can suffer when his daughter Anne Marie D’Amico was killed in the Toronto Van Attack in the spring of 2018. It was an act of hate that took his daughter’s life, and now he’s working to end violence against women and children through the D’Amico Foundation, who will be hosting their pinnacle event, the Turtle Project on December 3, 2021.
I encourage everyone to check out the Turtle Project, and see how you can get involved.
Next, I want to share a callout from the For Youth Initiative, who are looking for three mural artists to work on a mural in the Dufferin and Eglinton Ave West area. They will be choosing artists based on both their portfolio and their connection to the community. They will be prioritizing youth (between 12 and 29) who live or attend school in the Oakwood Vaughan area – but all are welcome to apply!
The deadline for applications is Friday, November 19, 2021, and chosen artists will receive a $150.00 honorarium and will be provided with their materials.
To apply – you can email [email protected].
Coming up this Weekend
Happening tomorrow, I will be holding a volunteer appreciation gathering at Wells Hill Park for everyone who was involved with our Community Food Table program this year, whether as a volunteer, donor, or patron of the program. Everyone’s welcome to attend, and I’ll be presenting scrolls of recognition to the volunteers who come out!
It will be happening at Wells Hill Park (located near Bathurst and St. Clair) from 1 to 2:30PM!