Community News Update - October 23, 2023

Dear Community, 

The recent hate levelled at Jewish and Palestinian communities is DISGUSTING and has NO place in Toronto, Ontario, and beyond. Everyone DESERVES to feel safe in their place of worship and in community. 

With this in mind, the deadline for the Ontario Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant is tomorrow, Tuesday, October 24th. The grant helps ensure security and safety for faith-based and cultural organization facilities. 

I strongly encourage you to explore this opportunity and consider how it may benefit your organization in these difficult times. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, please click HERE.

Over the weekend, I was thrilled to join the Afroglobal Television Awards to recognize the outstanding achievements of Ontario and Canada’s African, Afrocaribbean, and Black community. The awards are part of their overall programming to build mentorship, community leaders, and a thriving diaspora all across our country at a time when youth need to see & feel this most. 

It was a deep honour to be a part of this year’s celebration, introducing this year’s MCs who made sure the crowd enjoyed an evening full of laughter, reflection, and above all, JOY. THANK YOU!

To learn more about Afroglobal Television’s year round work and the award recipients, click HERE. 

Earlier today, your Ontario NDP put forth our Opposition Day motion demanding that Premier Ford and the Conservative government immediately HALT their appeal to the province's Information and Privacy Commissioner and disclose the Premier's phone and email records. 

As I've shared previously, Doug Ford did not make a SINGLE call through his government-issued device, all while the Bill at the centre of his Greenbelt Grab was being debated in the Legislature, the public land of Ontario Place was in the works of being privatized, and public agencies and boards were stacked with government donors and insiders. This undoubtedly raised questions for us in Opposition, as it did for those all across Ontario. 

Today, we had the chance to direct our questions straight to the government, at last. Of course, the government attempted to quash the debate from the start, before voting the Motion down completely. This is a CLEAR sign that their ask of you, Ontario, to trust them, is an ask based only in words. Absolutely ZERO action. 

Read more HERE.

Holy Blossom Temple's Out of the Cold community dinner is set to return Thursday, November 2nd. Doors will open at 5pm at 1950 Bathurst St. (the entrance is off Dewborne Rd) and activities will continue until 7:30pm. 

The dinner will repeat EVERY THURSDAY until April 18th, 2024. PLEASE spread the word to folks in need! And as always, a BIG thank you to ALL the wonderful volunteers who make this possible. Your HEARTwork is noticed & appreciated! 💙

As we approach the colder months, this is a good reminder to get up-to-date on your COVID-19 boosters. The XBB 1.5 updated boosters are NOW available. I got mine last week and encourage you to join me! 

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

The AMAZING folks at Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard are running a VERY exciting virtual apple-tasting session. See below for event details from their team:

Mark your calendars! Our highly anticipated *4th Annual Virtual Apple Tasting Fundraiser* is just around the corner and this year, we're taking it to a whole new level!
🌟 This year we've curated a selection of apples, each with a distinct flavor profile, to help you hone your ability to taste and identify unique apple flavors.

📅 Event Date & Details:

  • Apple Collection: Saturday, November 4, 2023, between 9am and 11am at Wychwood Barns Market.
  • Live Zoom Apple Tasting: Wednesday, November 8, 2023, from 7pm to 8.30pm.

🌟 If you want to participate you'll need to book your ticket now as we have a limited number of tickets available and this event sells out every year. 
For just $20 (plus a small Eventbrite fee), you'll experience:

  1. A unique chance to taste yet-to-be-released apple selections, courtesy of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. These apples are not available anywhere else!
  2. Learn from Dr. Amy Bowen, the director of the Consumer, Sensory & Market Insights group at Vineland, as she guides us on how to expertly evaluate apples.
  3. Gain insights from Rachael LeBlanc, apple breeder and research scientist at Vineland, on the intriguing process of developing new apple varieties.
  4. The discussion will be moderated by Susan Poizner of, and the coordinator of The Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard.

🍏 Get Your Apples & Access:
With your ticket, you'll receive:

  • A bag with six exclusive apples. Remember to pick them up at the specified date and time!
  • An invitation to our live Zoom apple tasting session.

Reserve your spot today and dive into a world of apple flavors like never before:

Calling all talented musicians of Toronto-St. Paul’s! Hillcrest Village Players are now seeking virtual band auditions for their upcoming production of Footloose. 

Click here for more information about Hillcrest Community Players! 

Click here to submit your audition!

James Rottman Fine Arts invites you to check out their upcoming exhibition, “They Were Never Robots”. The lines between human and robot are blurred in this latest exhibition from artist James Kirkpatrick.

The exhibition will run from October 28 to December 23 at the James Rottman Fine Art Gallery.

Click here for more information! 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Drag Queen Gila Munster is hosting her 5th annual fundraiser and variety show: The 8 Gays of Channukah.

The event is raising funds for Machane Lev, a 2SLGBTQ+ Jewish summer camp and is an opportunity to showcase queer Jewish JOY at a time when both are challenged. 

The event is taking place Sunday, December 17 from 7-9 PM. 

Click here for tickets!

Over a span of four days in our city, there were seven preventable overdose deaths. Please let this be the sign you need to carry a Naloxone kit.

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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