U of T students blitz Weston

Some University of Toronto students spent their reading weeks in Weston and Mount Dennis pitching in on various community projects.

The students went to the  LEF, the WKNC, The Jane Street Hub, and Laura Albanese’s office. They were busy, too—painting, helping out with clients, and work that isn’t particularly glamourous, like organizing the clothing room at the WKNC and cleaning up.

photo of Michelle Hayano and other students painting a mural
Photo from the U of T
Photo from the U of T.

New website on Kodak lands

InsideToronto and the Learning Enrichment Foundation are launching a new website to reimagine the Kodak lands. They are asking for your submissions. InsideToronto has an interesting article on the possibilities.

“The former Kodak lands are at one end of the project and we’re big believers the entire community has to be involved in their redevelopment,” he said. “We love to play a role of catalyst for community discussions.”

Some good news

UrbanArts, mural painters par excellence, were given a nice grant by the city to paint a mural in the Denison Road underpass. The mural will be done in partnership with Frontlines.

According to the city, “Acclaimed artist Jim Bravo will work with 10 youth artists to create the mural ‘Bridging the Changing Times,’ which will consist of a series of camera framed renderings of the Weston Rd and Mount Dennis communities in various stages of their industrial, economic and cultural evolution.”

The city gave $27,247 for the project.

Frances Nunziata’s office also reports that the Learning Enrichment Foundation is hiring interns for the summer. All the jobs are posted online.

Your lottery money, well spent

I’m still mad that I didn’t get win the $56 million 6/49 draw—I just knew that it was my time—but at least I know that my eight bits were well spent. The Ontario Trillium Foundation has given all of my money, and another $490,000 besides, to Weston community groups.

UrbanArts picked up $224,000, The WKNC $110,000, and the LEF $156,000.


Nice article on Weston Wheels

We’re not big National Post readers at the Norman household, so we nearly missed a really nice article on Weston Wheels, the local charity bike shop.

Cameron Richards is being modest. When, towards the end of summer, his fellow volunteers at Weston Wheels — a new youth-operated bike shop in the priority Mt. Dennis neighbourhood — absconded to get summer jobs (ones that paid), the Grade 12 student at York Memorial Collegiate Institute worked solo, dutifully coming in four or five days a week to help the modest flow of customers with warped wheels or busted gears.

“My mom wanted me out of the house for the summer; she told me to come here,” he says with a shrug….

To reinvigorate the project and attract both new youth volunteers and adult mentors, on Sept. 12, LEF and CCEDNet co-facilitated a strategic planning session cum six-month anniversary party. The roughly 35 attendees — staff from both organizations, past and would-be youth volunteers and curious community members — reviewed Weston Wheels’ initial goals and brainstormed ways to make the store sustainable. Ideas ranged from increased marketing to selling jewellery made from old bike parts.

Only one criticism. The headline writer says that Weston Wheels is in Etobicoke.


Learning Enrichment Foundation needs your help

The Learning Enrichment Foundation is in the running for a big grant from the Aviva Community Fund. If you vote for their project,they stand a chance of winning the money they need to start an indoor farmers’ market in Mount Dennis.

The primary campus of the LEF is off Black Creek Drive. They offer job training, language education, newcomers’ services, and other programs for adults and youth, in a big, attractive building in an odd, industrial part of town.

On Thursdays, LEF has a market that sells fresh local food to a small number of customers. They’d like to grow the market by providing a dedicated staff member, children’s activities, and support and education for the vendors.

You can vote for the market here.