Justice for Queen’s Hotel: Community Coalition Meeting

Parkdale People's EconomyCommunity Benefits Campaign, General

Justice for Queen’s Hotel is a coalition of community members and former tenants who are saying NO to the proposed development at the former Queen’s Hotel, 1521 Queen Street West, where 27 tenants were unlawfully and violently evicted in 2015. Six years later, the developer (BSäR) has yet to replace the 27 affordable dwelling rooms to make amends for the cruel displacement of community members in Parkdale. To learn more about the history, read a former tenant’s story of eviction from Queen’s Hotel.

The developer has now applied to the Local Planning Approval Tribunal (LPAT) which will make the development process much more complex for community members to navigate.

Justice for Queen’s Hotel invites you to a Community Coalition Meeting on Thursday, February 11 from 6PM to 8PM to discuss BSäR’s recent appeal. This will be an opportunity to coordinate a community based strategy to respond and engage in the appeal process. Registration will give you access to the Zoom meeting details. Any questions please email justice4queenshotel@gmail.com.

Parkdale Community Safety Workshops

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The Parkdale Women’s Leadership Group and the Community Safety Committee for Mutual Aid Parkdale are collaborating to provide a series of workshops on Community Safety and Wellness every Monday from 6-8PM throughout February and March 2021. 

With the second wave of COVID-19 underway and sustained movements for racial justice and defunding the police, we have been hearing growing calls from community members to skill up and offer new forms of care and support in moments of crisis that do not rely on the police. We offered the following trainings with local facilitators to build community solidarity and learning:

  • Navigating Crisis
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Harm Reduction
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence 
  • Self Defense
  • Transformative Justice 
  • Community Healing

MONDAY EVENINGS FROM 6-8PM | FEB 1, 2021 – MAR 29, 2021

Please see below for the recordings and resources from our workshops:

For more information, contact Beryl-Ann Mark at bmark@parc.on.ca or (416) 803-9594.

Special thanks to Recipe for Community – a funding partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Foundation – for generous support for this project.

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Job Posting: Parkdale Black Caucus Coordinator

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The newly formed Parkdale Black Caucus is looking for a motivated community builder for a short-term independent contract. The position description is attached below. The Caucus is also looking for more members to join the Steering Committee. If interested in either the position or joining the Parkdale Black Caucus, please contact Claire-Helene Heese-Boutin at parkdaleblackcaucus@gmail.com.

The Parkdale Black Caucus (PBC) is a grassroots initiative to build community among Black, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Caribbean members of the Parkdale neighbourhood and to strengthen the voice of Black community members in the larger planning and visioning for the neighbourhood. The Black Caucus is currently guided by a Steering Committee of community members who live, work or spend significant time in Parkdale, and is supported in partnership with the Parkdale People’s Economy.

PBC Coordinator will work with the Steering Committee to conduct outreach with Black members of the Parkdale community and coordinate the activities of the Caucus, such as facilitating monthly meetings and supporting resource development. The Coordinator will also work with the Steering Committee to design and implement an initiative for the first phase of the Caucus that will seek to  build and strengthen relationships and identify priorities of Black Community Members in Parkdale.

The Parkdale Black Caucus is looking for someone who is passionate about Blackness, community coordination and the empowerment of Black Parkdalians.

Consultations on Recovery, Rebuild, and Transformation

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From July 13-17, 2020, the City of Toronto partnered with Social Planning Toronto and the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC) to conduct community consultations. This initiative is part of the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR)’s effort to rebuild and reimagine the way the City delivers its programs and services. Parkdale People’s Economy took this opportunity to begin our participatory planning process, and created a Parkdale-specific survey in addition to the TORR’s survey to better capture the desires of the community.

Consultation Results

The consultation process recently finished, and we want to thank the many individuals who helped make it happen, from those gathering input online, in person, and leading group consultations in Tamil and Tagalog.

We will formally present and discuss the results of the Parkdale consultation with the community Monday, September 14 (Zoom details to follow), however the Summary Report is published for immediate viewing and can be downloaded below. Challenges, creative solutions, and calls for resilience were expressed within three key themes: (1) housing justice, (2) income and employment supports; and (3) mental health and harm reduction.

Image of report document.

Job Posting: Research Assistant

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The Parkdale People’s Economy is hiring for a summer contract! The Research Assistant position will support the staff team at Parkdale People’s Economy with ongoing projects and programs of the network. This will include research and data collection related to building just local economies in Parkdale, as well as administrative support for the broader project. This position is for youth under 30 years of age and is funded by a contribution from the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to jobs@parc.on.ca by July 24, 2020 with the subject line: Canada Summer Jobs Student (PCED).

Parkdale Pods: Mutual Aid Network

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The Parkdale People’s Economy has been supporting Mutual Aid Parkdale (M.A.P.) with self-organizing mutual aid networks in Parkdale to build strong connections with neighbours during the outbreak of COVID-19. We know that many of our neighbours are disproportionately impacted by social distancing due to housing insecurity, mental health, poverty, precarious work, and lack of access to affordable food and resources. We want to ensure that isolated and vulnerable community members have support networks and solidarity during these difficult times. 

Neighbourhood Pods are hyperlocal text message groups or phone trees of you and your neighbours. Since not everyone has access to online communication or will ever see these google docs, neighbourhood pods are how we reach more people through calling and texting our neighbours. We are asking for community members to sign up as Pod Leaders, where you would take on the responsibility of:

  • Reaching out to your neighbours over the phone or online.
  • Checking in on what needs are arising on your block, building, or community.
  • Coordinating and moderating a neighbourhood group chat or phone tree.
  • Staying in touch with other pod leaders for resource pooling and sharing.

If you have the capacity to take on this role, or are already fulfilling this role through a pre-existing network, please fill out the Pod Leader survey. We encourage groups to self-organize and pool resources, and will be providing back-end resource support to neighbourhood pods, such as coordination support, food delivery, and financial supports. This is an emergent process, and we will continue to provide updates!

To learn more, please review the following documents:

Please note that we adapted the resources for creating ‘Neighbourhood Pods’ from Mutual Aid Medford and Summerville and encourage other neighbourhoods to do the same! 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact mutualaidparkdale@gmail.com for more information.

བོད་སྐད་ཐོག་ནས་རོགས་རམ་དགོས་ཚེ་༼647-771-8702 ༽ ལ་འབྲེལ་བ་གནང་རོགས། 

Kung Kailangan mo ng tulong sa salitang Tagalog, tumawag sa 416-633-5056

यदि तपाईंलाई नेपाली भाषामा सहयोग चाहिन्छ भने 647-836-9578 मा कृपया सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस।

Join a Parkdale Pod! Mutual Aid Parkdale has over 20 active pods. Visit our map to find the Pod closest to you and reach out to connect with your neighbours! If your block does not have a Pod, please sign up to become a Pod Leader!

Parkdale People’s Economy: 2020 Working Groups

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Throughout 2020, 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 and encourage working groups to collaborate!

Working Groups:

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

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

Time: 6-8PM


  • Monday, February 3, 2020: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group
  • Monday, March 2, 2020: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, April 6, 2020: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, May 4, 2020: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, June 1, 2020: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, July 6, 2020: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, August 10, 2020: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, September 14, 2020: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, October 5, 2020: 6-8PM (1st Floor) – Formal Working Group Meeting
  • Monday, November 2, 2020: 6-8PM (2nd Floor) – Informal Working Session
  • Monday, December 7, 2020: 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 Community Wealth Building Report

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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.

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

Parkdale Wellness Drop-In

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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

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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.