- ACTIVITY + RECREATION
- JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
Member volunteers have developed North America’s first heat registry and heat response model. It shows ways to improve public health practitioner awareness of the heat risks experienced by vulnerable persons.
The 14 week Anti-oppression training was ranked as the #1 most requested learning opportunity in a city wide Toronto Drop-in Network training survey. Graduates have gone on to acquire peer outreach positions, PARC member employment and involvement in PARC project work.
The Caucus is “a group within a decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest” namely, the interest of the members of PARC. The Caucus receive governance training as well as other opportunities for self-improvement that will assist the caucus members ability to govern.
The Ambassadors Project developed from the need to inform and explain the concept of PARC’s building development, Edmond Place, to the community. The need arose after the city awarded PARC the building and many residents, property owners and business owners opposed the decision. Initial engagement with the neighbourhood indicated that some businesses and home owners felt that Edmond Place might be another boarding or rooming house. The Ambassadors were hired from PARCs members and trained to get information out to the community, explaining that this housing would have 24/7 supports, good maintenance, and security. With the PARC Ambassadors consulting the Parkdale Community, most of the community went from a state of extreme opposition to PARC’s building development, Edmond Place, from NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) to YIMBYism (Yes In My Back Yard).
With the advent of the PARC Ambassadors Program, many of our ambassadors, including a number of our members have gotten recognition in the community and in the City of Toronto at large. Last Spring the PARC Ambassadors presented at the Toronto Community Development Institute held at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)/University of Toronto, an all day event. Early last year, and again, in January of this year, a number of the PARC Ambassadors presented at the Alternative Housing Sub-Committee/ Shelter, Support & Housing Administration/City of Toronto, and were well received. Lately we have been attending the MHCC (Mental Health Commission Canada) to do with the MHCC Proposal/ Demonstration Project/Homelessness and Mental Illness.
The PARC Ambassadors will continue to keep a close relationship with the Parkdale Community, and maintain our connection with the neighborhood as a base to build on.
Daily Food Service = 89,000 meals and counting! Kitchen crew peer leaders undertake menu planning, meal service preparation, cooking responsibilities as well as support other member volunteer participation in a variety of food service related activities: inventory, meal preparation & service, maintenance, special events programming, small food group supports and external catering contracts. Program supervision through the Food Service Program Chef.
The West End Food Co-operative (WEFC) is a nonprofit multi-stakeholder co-operative – with consumer, employee, and producer/supplier members. WEFC is committed to the development of community food culture in Toronto’s West End, and acts as a catalyst for local food security.
What is the Parkdale Processing Project?
The project will have members of the Parkdale community gathering together to learn and share methods for preserving fruits and vegetables. This project will increase the amount of local and affordable, delicious and nutritious food in Parkdale!
Why a Processing Project in Parkdale?
Led by the West End Food Co-op with Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) this project will create new opportunities for PARC Peer Kitchen Crew Leaders, people who diligently work at addressing hunger in the Parkdale area. These leaders will learn advanced methods of conserving and then act as experts in the community, teaching others. The West End Food Co-op and PARC will offer community workshops in preserving with a focus on local and healthy food.
Throughout this project the West End Food Co-op, with the cooperation of its many farmers, producers and members, will be exploring their path towards community kitchen programming at the co-op while creating a how-to manual on food canning and processing within this community kitchen model.
In partnership these two groups hope to achieve a significant revival of our long standing canning and preserving traditions.
Where can I get more Information?
Info for Farmers and Producers:
Sally Miller, West End Food Co-op Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
For Drop-Ins, Kitchen Leaders and Program Staff:
Michelle Quintal, Community Mental Health Worker/Program Chef email@example.com
For Volunteer Opportunities and General Inquires: www.westendfood.coop or firstname.lastname@example.org
PARC welcomes the Sorauren Food Bank to their newly renovated space in PARCs wheel-chair accessible basement. There is no fee for this drop-in that serves the following area: Bloor St W (north) to north side of Queen St W (south), Humber River (west) to Brock Ave (east) — excluding 20 and 25 West Lodge Ave * also south side of Queen St W (north) to Lake Ontario (south), Humber River (west) to Dowling Ave (east).
Hours: Tue 10am-12 noon, 1:30pm-4pm
The Sorauren Food Bank is a member of the Daily Bread Food Bank.
This harm reduction group supports members struggling with chronic alcohol abuse. The group meets after the first drink but before the second drink. The Imperial Club have reduced their drinking by building positive mutual supports for each other.
Every year we take 50 members on a 4-day fall wilderness camp with canoeing, fishing, rock climbing, hiking and fresh air with a focus on community building, personal challenge and awareness activities.
PARCs Hockey program provides physical, emotional, and mental well-being benefits. We have an inherent need to learn, forge friendships and rejuvenate and open up spaces in over-packed minds.
PARCs Soccer program provides physical, emotional, and mental well-being benefits. We have an inherent need to learn, forge friendships and rejuvenate and open up spaces in over-packed minds.
The Yoga group has started again. Every Sunday at 2.00 pm.
A yoga group provides members with a stress reduction practice suited to their needs and abilities in a peaceful setting. Breathing and meditation have a profound effect on stress management by changing brain and body chemistry.
Practicing yoga leads to reduced stress and anxiety, helping to balance the mind and body. Learning to remain calm and relaxed in awkward and sometimes unbalanced postures is a great analogy for the awkward and sometimes uncomfortable situations we find ourselves in our everyday lives.
Please join us as we practice stretching and stretch postures combined with breathing and relaxation techniques.
Even if you’ve never tried yoga before, we’re sure you’ll find something to gain. You’ll leave the class refreshed and reenergized!
If you like to join please contact Tracy (Drop-In team coordinator) at 416-537-2262
The PARC Drummers established themselves as a group in 2003 and have since acquired a long CV of performance highlights. The PARC Drummers are currently working to facilitate weekly workshops that teach other community groups how to build a drumming program.
Members develop, rehearse and record original work with a community of musicians supported by equipment and space they wouldn’t normally have access to. One member who developed their recording skills was offered an internship at a recording studio: “this is so important to me – this is my therapy, my wellness”.
The Wednesday Music Jam provides an opportunity for members to play music, improve their skills, have fun, learn from other members and build a sense of confidence and personal accomplishment. Learning to listen as well as raise one’s voice is a healing rhythm.
‘One guy isn’t sure if he’s going to perform. He says the voices won’t let him rest. Then he’s at the microphone and his words are fearless… A woman says she has just one thing to say. We don’t believe her. She leans into the microphone and whispers “courage”… making believers of us all’.
Following up the publication, Kiss Me You Mad Fool, is the next collection, “Let’s Face It” a work about street life, loneliness, god, truth and shared support. To find copies see here.
Project Read Workshops Monday
The PARC drop-in provides friendship, social opportunities, group and individual creative expression opportunities.
Members can have a shower, receive clothing from our clothing bank, emergency food support, a daily meal, a warm place to sit, people to talk to, internet access, computer assistance and training from other members, volunteer support, transportation assistance, art and music groups, emergency housing/shelter referral and assistance, emergency warming supplies, outings to local cinema, and many other activities.
We are always grateful for adult clothing for men and women especially: coats, shoes and boots, socks and underwear. We also need towels, non-perishable food and sleeping bags.
PARC does not currently have a Volunteer Co-ordinator; nonetheless we could not survive without the generous giving of time and donations – Thank-you to all who have supported PARC over the years
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Friday: 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm and 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
(Hours subject to change please call 416-537-2262 to confirm)
Four outreach mental health support workers provide intense community support focused on living safely in the community. This program engages a variety of outreach activities including: collaborative work with the drop-in team to prevent or resolve crisis and maintain support continuity, supporting the Imperial Club, coordinating with the Money Matters income support program and improving safety related work practices in the community.
The PARC employment program provides employment opportunities to members – many who have not worked in years. This program is supported by a partnership with the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses.
First Opportunity: Our coffee bar service provides a gentle introduction to daily work and other opportunities.
Maintenance & Reception: Members seeking employment experience, opportunities and training keep the building in shape, staff busy reception desks, and numerous other tasks that need to be done from one day to the next. All PARC employees receive Workplace Hazardous Materials Training from PARC’s in-house peer trainer.
PARC & Houselink Community Homes have launched a Social Purpose Enterprise, The Silver Brush Painting Company! This is the result of a successful feasibility study with members and staff and a first place finish in the 2008 Toronto Enterprise Funds business plan competition. Ontario Trillium Foundation start up funding came next to assist with Silver Brush goals of providing long term full and part-time employment that builds trade skills and provides on the job training for PARC and Houselink members.
There are ten residential units on the third floor of our building, which provide permanent, supportive and affordable housing for twelve PARC members who have suffered with mental health barriers, struggled with addiction, and survived long periods of homelessness. Support is provided by a housing worker who assists tenants to develop a strong sense of place and home.
PARC has partnered with Habitat Services to develop Edmond Place. This project will transform a derelict building into a renewed heritage property with 29 units of permanent, affordable, self-contained apartments through the Affordable Housing Program.