Parkdale Community Wealth Building Report

Download the Parkdale Community Wealth Building Report.

The Community Wealth Building report is a year-long research study conducted by the Community Finance Working Group with support from the Metcalf Foundation that set out to explore how impact investing could be used at a community level to support local objectives for shared wealth and equitable development.

The report advances critical thinking on community financing models and mechanisms that can help increase community influence over the flow of financial resources into the neighbourhood. Through an analysis of four community enterprises in Parkdale, the report walks through the process for building shared language around community investing and community enterprises, how community financing is evaluated, and what role community wealth building plays in the broader Parkdale objectives for economic justice.

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Special thanks to the Metcalf Foundation for generous support for this project.

Parkdale Wellness Drop-In

The Parkdale Wellness Drop-In is a weekly community-led drop-in space for peer feminist counselling support and resources that will be hosted throughout September and October 2019. The space aims to fill the need for culturally relevant services that can overcome the stigma attached to mental health in diasporic and racialized communities to allow for community healing and learning. Each workshop will provide free food, tokens, and childminding support. Translation services can be provided upon request. Please note that the space aims to centre racialized women, trans, and nonbinary community members.

The Parkdale Wellness Drop-In will run from 1-4PM every Friday throughout September and October in PARC’s upstairs auditorium (1499 Queen St W).

Contact Mercedes Sharpe Zayas at mzayas@parc.on.ca or (416) 537-2262 x 269 to RSVP.

Special thanks to the Toronto Foundation for generous support for this project.

University Health Network: Community Benefits Campaign

Over the past two years, the Parkdale People’s Economy has been convening the local anchor institutions in Parkdale – University Health Network (UHN), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and St. Joseph’s Health Centre – to discuss opportunities for local inclusive hiring, purchasing, and investments in the neighbourhood with the aim of improving social determinants of health, such as decent work and affordable housing. There is now a tangible opportunity to move towards common goals of community wealth building and improving local wellbeing through a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with UHN.    

University Health Network has applied for an expansion of their Lakeside Long Term Care Centre to add a six-storey 192 bed long term care center with 235 new staff positions at 150 Dunn Ave. The Parkdale People’s Economy, with support from the Toronto Community Benefits Network, have been engaging senior representatives from University Health Network to sign a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) committing to local inclusive hiring targets, affordable housing commitments, and an equitable process.  Our recommendations are informed by the Parkdale Community Benefits Framework, a set of minimum standards for neighborhood wide equitable local development which was developed over 18-months with deep community consultations in partnership with labour rights organizers and housing activists.

For over 17 years, the people of Parkdale have watched as the Toronto Rehab Centre, and subsequently the University Health Network, have neglected to honour a 2002 Toronto City Council recommendation to maintain and rehabilitate the affordable housing stock it owns in South Parkdale. Two houses at 1 and 3 Close Ave have been left vacant for over twenty years and are likely past the point of rehabilitation. A third house at 17 Close Ave was demolished in 2015. As Toronto’s affordable housing crisis grows, it is imperative that public institutions do everything they can to protect and increase access to affordable housing, especially for vulnerable populations.

We believe that a strong partnership with local tenants, workers, unions, and community organizations is integral to a successful Community Benefits Agreement, and have been organizing alongside these key partners to narrow our recommendations and strategies, including but not limited to: 

Decent Work

  • 60% of new hires will be through local equitable hiring at living wages over the long-term, with 10% of the specialized workforce hired through local equitable hiring over the short-term. 
  • 50% of total employees will have full-time positions. 
  • 40% of entry-level apprenticeship positions for construction, renovation, and retrofit jobs to be allocated towards local residents from equity-seeking communities.
  • 10% of procurement below $25,000 to be purchased through local and/or diverse suppliers, social enterprises, and cooperatives. 

Affordable Housing

  • 1, 3, and 17 Close Ave to be rehabilitated for Social Housing. 
  • Affordable rental housing to be preserved as a community asset under nonprofit management and tenant rights to be protected within the existing housing stock in Parkdale.  
  • Responsive and effective relationships to be maintained with tenants and neighbours.

Equitable Process

  • Community Benefits Committee to be created in addition to two working groups: Workforce Development Advisory Group and Affordable Housing Advisory Group with an appointed Community Liaison. Committees and working groups to meet quarterly with equity-seeking resident representation. 
  • Public Reporting to be released on a quarterly basis.

Over the coming weeks, we will be engaging the wider community to support local tenants, workers, and community partners by ensuring that community has a seat at the table in the redevelopment of Lakeside Longterm Care Centre through a legally-binding CBA.  We strongly believe that the expansion presents an opportunity for UHN to help realize its commitment to creating a healthier world for all by providing real benefits for tenants and workers in a neighbourhood that experiences significant socioeconomic stress. We will keep community updated on next steps to show support for the campaign.

Job Posting: Community Research Coordinator.

The Parkdale People’s Economy is hiring for a new part-time position! The Community Research Coordinator will lead a new community-based research project focusing on the intersections of decent work and affordable housing.

Please submit a cover letter and a resume by March 15th, 2019 at 6PM, with “Parkdale People’s Economy: Community Research Coordinator” in the subject line, to mzayas@parc.on.ca.

Parkdale People’s Economy: 2019 Working Groups

Throughout 2019, the Parkdale People’s Economy will be bringing together our working groups on a monthly basis for community visioning and collaboration! The gatherings will provide a space for community members to learn about the Parkdale Community Plan and move forward our priority actions for the year. At our formal work sessions, we will be providing free food, childcare, Tibetan translation services, and TTC tickets to working group participants. At our informal work sessions, we will provide accommodations based on request!

To help facilitate communications between our meetings, we are welcoming all working group members to join our new Slack: https://bit.ly/2SEjbTv. For those of you who are new to Slack, we will provide training at our monthly meetings.

Working Groups:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Participatory Local Democracy
  • Interfaith

Location: Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Drop-In (1499 Queen St W)

Time: 6-8PM

Dates:

  • Monday, February 11, 2019: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group
  • Monday, March 4, 2019: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, April 1, 2019: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, May 6, 2019: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, June 3, 2019: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, July 8, 2019: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, August 12, 2019: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, September 9, 2019: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, October 7, 2019: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, November 4, 2019: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, December 2, 2019: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting

Please RSVP to mzayas@parc.on.ca or (416) 537-2262 x 269 and specify if you require special accommodations.

Parkdale People’s Economy – Working Groups

On Monday, December 17th, 2018, the Parkdale People’s Economy will be bringing together eight of our working groups for an evening of community visioning and collaboration! The gathering will provide a space for community members to advance the Parkdale Community Plan and celebrate the year end. We will be providing free food, childcare, Tibetan translation services, and TTC tickets to working group participants. 

Date: Monday, December 17th, 2018

Location: Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Drop-In (1499 Queen St W)

Time: 6-8PM

Working Groups:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Participatory Local Democracy
  • Interfaith

Please share with your neighbours, co-workers, and loved ones!

Parkdale Community Benefits Framework

Download the Parkdale Community Benefits Framework.

Over the past 18 months, the Parkdale People’s Economy has been developing a Community Benefits Framework to build a proactive response to the rise of developments and investments in the Parkdale neighbourhood. The framework has been developed through a series of community workshops, public lectures, and grounded experience organizing for community benefits in new developments.

The framework was first proposed through a community planning process led by over 30 community-based organizations and hundreds of residents to build Decent Work, Shared Wealth, and Equitable Development in Parkdale. Through a series of community-based consultations, the Parkdale Community Planning Study identified the establishment of a Community Benefits Framework as a key direction for advancing unified community needs and demands from infrastructure investment and development.

We envision a future in Parkdale where equity-seeking community members can live with dignity and benefit from changes happening in their own backyard.  We call upon community members and workers to unite and ensure that new developments address local needs in the community. We call upon community organizations to pave the way for equitable development and participatory democracy. We call upon local planners and political representatives to champion our causes. We call upon developers and investors to work collaboratively with community to ensure that new developments equitably benefit all residents.

Special thanks to the Atkinson Foundation for generous support for this project.

Parkdale People’s Economy – Working Groups

On Monday, October 29th, 2018, the Parkdale People’s Economy will be bringing together eight of our working groups for an evening of community visioning and collaboration! The gathering will provide a space for community members to learn about the Parkdale Community Plan and move forward our priority actions for 2018. We will be providing free food, childcare, Tibetan translation services, and TTC tickets to working group participants. 

Date: Monday, October 29th, 2018

Location: Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Drop-In (1499 Queen St W)

Time: 6-8PM

Working Groups:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Participatory Local Democracy
  • Interfaith

Please share with your neighbours, co-workers, and loved ones!

Parkdale People’s Economy – Working Groups

On Monday, August 20th, 2018, the Parkdale People’s Economy will be bringing together our eight working groups for an evening of community visioning and collaboration! The gathering will provide a space for community members to learn about the Parkdale Community Plan, move forward our priority actions for 2018, and engage in participatory budgeting. We will be providing food, childcare, Tibetan translation services, and TTC tickets to working group participants. 

Date: Monday, August 20th, 2018

Location: Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Drop-In (1499 Queen St W)

Time: 6-8PM

Working Groups:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Participatory Local Democracy
  • Interfaith

Please share with your neighbours, co-workers, and loved ones!

Parkdale People’s Economy – Working Groups

On Monday, April 30th, 2018, the Parkdale People’s Economy will be bringing together our seven working groups for an evening of community visioning and collaboration! The gathering will provide a space for community members to learn about the Parkdale Community Plan, move forward our priority actions for 2018, and engage in participatory budgeting. We will be providing food, childcare, Tibetan translation services, and TTC tickets to working group participants. 

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018

Location: Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Drop-In (1499 Queen St W)

Time: 6-8PM

Working Groups:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Participatory Local Democracy

Please share with your neighbours, co-workers, and loved ones!