Residents and community organizations in St.James Town have never been consulted about resource allocation in our own neighborhood because we have never been organized as a community to be able to have a ‘voice’ or say in the decision making. In July 2009 community residents and organizations decided to make a call for collaborative social action and decision making, to keep the Jarvis Collegiate Institute swimming pool open for use by students, residents in the neighborhood, and community organizations.This project is a step towards building a coalition between organizations, social institutions and residents of St. James Town for the purpose of putting processes and structures in place for collaborative social action and decision making.
This initiative is one of four projects that community residents will be taking ownership of with financial assistance from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Financial assistance is for training and resources to develop advocacy skills.Future projects involve ensuring equity of access to the Wellesley Community center facilities and programs and space at Rose Avenue public school: The two other projects involve making the crosswalk between the apartments and the school safer for children, and addressing population density issues in the neighborhood. The projects aim to change the way that decisions are made with regards to accessing resources and community space through Toronto Parks and Recreation and with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).
Financial assistance for advocacy training from the Heart and Stroke Foundation was granted to Community Matters Toronto, an agency based in the St. James Town neighborhood, which is made up of residents who are committed to helping each other with matters related to immigrant settlement, children’s education, and health and social issues.
This report documents learning from the first advocacy project of keeping the Jarvis Collegiate Institute pool open. The report has been submitted to Community Matters Toronto (CMT) and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in partial fulfillment of the CIE 1002 practicum requirements. Practicum mentors were Ali Moallim and Margaret Coshan from Community Matters Toronto, and Dr. Stephen Anderson, professor at OISE, University of Toronto.
CMT Supported Programs help over 30,000 residents in St. James Town.