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About Community Matters Toronto
We are a group of St. James Town neighbours, seeking to contribute to a strong neighbourhood culture by helping to build networks of relationships, to link people to others with common interest and foster exchanges of knowledge and skill. We assist a steady stream of families dealing with challenges of housing, finances, social issues, employment, citizenship, language, and parenting.
20 Years in 15 pictures
We are proud of what we’ve done. To celebrate 20 years of CMT, we invite you all our major accomplishments by clicking on the desired year
Celebrating the Family
We partnered with the Literacy Secretariat and Toronto East General Hospital to create a program for in community screening of pre school children for speech, hearing, vision and developmental issues. In three years we screened over 100 children helping early identification and support providing a base for children’s development
First CMT Program
In 2004 Community Matters gained status as a registered charity. The first program we offered was a series of employment preparedness workshops for women wishing to enter or return to the work force. The program explored the many elements of what it meant to return to work, skills, child care, personal ambitions. It became the template for an employment program which continues to the present assisting newcomers in gaining the employment and careers that they deserve.
Aging at Home
Aging at home encouraged the community to help seniors so that they could continue to live in their homes in their community as they aged. Today neighbours visit, accompany prepare meals, shop and support those who are vulnerable and isolated.
New Music Room
We set up a music room on the first floor of 240 Wellesley with 3 electric pianos where anyone could drop in to practice and play providing entertainment while residents waited for the elevators.
We began our after school rogram operating out of our office with 6 children. The program has grown to the largest in St James Town serving over 100 children each school day from Rose Avenue Junior Public School with activities focused on physical and mental health, socialization and giving back to the community.
Child Minding Training
As many moms were looking after their friends children so parents could work we created a Child Minding Course. In partnership with teachers from Rose Avenue Junior Public School we held workshops on learning strategies, behaviour, safety in the home, nutrition and exercise. As part of the course participants were able to take a First Aid course focused on first aid for children. The course has been provided every year since.
New School Playfield
We joined with Rose Avenue Junior Public School in a year long campaign to raise funds for a state of the art play filed including special playground equipment designed for kids living in dense neighbourhoods to improve physically.
Canadian Citizenship Ceremony
We partnered with The Institute for Canadian Citizenship to deliver the Institutes first Citizenship Ceremony held at the Wellesley Community centre.
Jarvis Pool Project
We were named the Pool Captains and partnered with the Toronto Lands Commission in a successful effort to keep Toronto District School Board swimming pools open for public use. We have offered swimming lessons for kids and adults every year since.
Public Health Award
We received recognition for our work in promoting public health in the community of St. James Town.
Our advocacy work and traffic surveys resulted in improved traffic safety in St. James town with the installation of Stop Signs outside Rose Avenue School.
When developers published plans to increase the density of St. James Town by a third we organized a St. James Town Public Space Charette inviting neighbours, planners and city staff to contribute their ideas to what the St. James Town neighbourhood could like meeting accomodation, recreation and commercial needs
Colour It Up
Responding to a need for improved nutritional habits in the community we partnered with Toronto Public Health to offer our first nutrition program combining cultural practices from back home with Canadian nutritional practices. A nutrition program is now held every year. From this program we also provide training for neighbours to obtain their Food Handling certificate which has assisted many residents on their way to employment in the food industry.
Healthy Living in St. James Town
Healthy Living in St Janes Town was a six-year program supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada to mitigate the high risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease in the South Asian and African populations through the implementation of community-based methods of engagement and prevention. The project succeeded in reaching vulnerable and isolated residents, screening them for potential health problems, providing recreational, educational and social activities to help address the health challenges of the community.
Internationally Educated Health Professionals
We held a symposium to discuss the challenges Internationally Educated Health Professionals were facing in Canada in attempting to gain Canadian accreditation or find alternative employment in their field. From that meeting we set up a program to assist in those seeking alternative employment, A series of workshops are held each year which has led to meaningful employment for almost 100 IEHPs.
Community Matters has sponsored 3 refugee families presently living in St. James Town. In addition we have acted in the role of Community Sponsor for over 125 refugee families from Syriia and other Middle Eastern and African countries.
we celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday with a variety of activities including a banner contest. The banners celebrate St. James Town and our variety of cultures. Our first Banner Contest was held in 2012 and was created to add life and colour throughout the neighbourhood. Members of the community of all ages are invited to enter and a group of established artists make the selections
Living in Canada
Developing a voice
St. James Town Arts
CMT Supported Programs help over 30,000 residents in St. James Town.