Sunday In The Park 2023

 Regent Park, a vibrant community in downtown Toronto, has a long-standing tradition of celebrating its cultural diversity and artistic talents through the annual "Sunday in the Park" festival. In 2023, this beloved event marked its 32nd year, bringing together residents and visitors to celebrate the neighbourhood's strengths and unity. Hosted by the Neighbourhood Information Post in collaboration with the Community Building Working Group of the Social Development Plan, Sunday in the Park marks its second in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic. Key partners include the City of Toronto, Toronto Community Housing, Tridel Builders, Focus Media Arts Centre, Regent Park Neighbourhood Association (RPNA), Daniels, Artscape, TNG Community Services, Fred Victor, Young Street Mission (YSM), Scotia Bank and others. The event's co-hosts, Samir Abdella and Walied Khogali, along with Master of Ceremonies(MC) Kishka, ensured the festival's energy and spirit remained high th

Interview with Councillor Chris Moise July 2023 on Toronto's Downtown East Issues

City Councillor Chris Moise is no stranger to being in the public view and is someone who has dedicated his life to public service. As councillor for Ward 13, which he has himself described as “complex” - it  encompasses the neighbourhoods of Church Wellesley, St Jamestown, Cabbagetown, Regent Park, Moss Park, and Cork Town. The ward has populations of both high income residents and low income residents, and a proportionately large number who are homeless and living in shelters, and of late, in encampments. Many also face complex health and mental issues, and may also be dealing with substance abuse issues. In an interview with RPTV reporter, they spoke about a wide range of issues in Toronto's East Side. First, they spoke of the next stages of the multi-year revitalization of Regent Park. Many of those in Regent Park are concerned that this next phase may cause displacement of residents, barriers to accessing new facilities, and loss of the many cultural communities that are part

What Social Inclusion Means to Me

I had moved into Regent Park only a few days before I saw the pink, fuchsia, strawberry, indigo, yellow, green, neck streamers and sparkling robes worn by children, parents, aunts, uncles, and elders as they marched passed my kitchen door. Soon, the nearby Athletic Grounds was blazing with colour. Although it was the first time I heard them, the intonations on the microphone were recognizable, even to me, as prayers. It was Eid, the concluding celebration after Ramadan. It was a beautiful sight. I am a White Jewish senior and I hunted for a stairless condo for years before I chose to live in Regent Park and then only because a relative did business with the new seniors’ building there. “Regent Park?” a friend exclaimed. “You are going to have ethnic problems.”  “Not I.  I come from a long line of fiery leftie activists.” I replied. Stage four and five of revitalizing this post-war subsidized development into a multi-income community was just beginning and I jumped in w

Meetings… More Meetings! - An inside look at the meetings of the SDP

On May 10, 2023, the Regent Park Social Development Plan network will be holding a community meeting reporting on the work and achievements over the past year. For those of you who are unaware, the Regent Park Social Development Plan (SDP) is a community wide initiative aimed at bringing all residents and groups together to stimulate positive social change around four priority areas, each represented by a working group (community safety, community building, employment and economic development and communication). These working groups meet monthly. In addition to the working groups, there are also four standing committees (Evaluation and Benchmark, the Funding Committee, the Community Benefits Oversight Working Group and the Planning Committee). Some of these committees meet monthly, some bi-weekly and some, like the Planning Committee, meet every single week! As if all these meetings were not enough, almost all the workgroups and committees have task groups or sub-committees that meet i

Police Quarterly Meeting At Regent Park 2023

Toronto Police officers from 51 Division held their quarterly community meeting with Regent Park residents on March 27th, 2023 at 150 River Street to discuss neighbourhood policing, youth engagement, crime statistics and trends, police- community projects, crime prevention, avoiding scams and fraudsters, and other community concerns. The community discussion was moderated by Sergeant Henry Dyck—the Neighbourhood Community officer supervisor. City Councillor for Toronto Centre Ward 13—Chris Moise— and TCHC Supervisor of Revitalization and Renewal Communities—Shane Bourne— were also present at the meeting.   Sergeant Henry Duck began the meeting with positive news to share. He reported that from January 1st to March 27th the six neighbourhoods within 51 Division have been doing well in all indicators the police track. This means statistics like assault, sexual assault, shootings, auto theft and homicides have all decreased. Similar Neighbourhood Community officers serving Regent Park rep

February 16th Report of the SDP Funding Task Group critical of the City’s Community Funding Unit

The Regent Park Social Development Plan, also known as the SDP, is a community wide initiative aimed at fostering unity and togetherness among all the different residents and stakeholder groups in the community. The Social Development Plan is built around 4 areas of priorities of the SDP. Each priority area is represented by a different working group. The SDP Working Groups are Safety,  Communications, Employment and Economic Development and Community Building. In addition to the four committees, there is a SDP Planning Committee that meets weekly to help guide the activities of the SDP. The February 16, 2023, SDP Planning Committee took place over Zoom from 5 pm to 7 pm. The meeting was chaired by Marlene DeGenova, the market resident chair of the SDP.  The first item on the agenda was a report back from the Funding Task Group which was formed by the SDP Planning Group on January 17, 2023, initially in response to the City Community Funding Units failure to inform the SDP about their

Face off! “Should John Tory have resigned?”

 NO!!! HE SHOULD HAVE STAYED I feel that Mayor John Tory’s extramarital affair and issues of consent are a private matter and should not affect his position and profession. Yes, it is true that he engaged sexually with a fellow staffer. This staffer, with whom he engaged, is rightfully shrouded in mystery. I understand and respect that the media did not "out" this woman and reveal her identity. Such an action could be unsafe and have long-term consequences against her, as culture tends to demonize women in such situations. Nevertheless these are personal matters for both parties. People speak of an abuse of power, but the woman he engaged with was a willing participant. She knowingly engaged with Mr. Tory, and we do not have all the details and may never have them. There is a possibility that the young woman used her own power to her advantage.   If ex-mayor Tory, in some way, coerced the fellow worker into having sex to gain money, power, or position, then that is another ma

Regent Park United Soccer Club Struggling to Continue Free Children’s Soccer Program

The Regent Park soccer house league for kids that has been a free Saturday program at Nelson Mandela soccer field for the past 10 years, announced their disappointment with the City Community Funding Unit for turning down their 2022 Regent Park Social Development Plan Grant Application funding.   T’ai James Simm-Smith, Director of Operations of Regent Park United soccer club, released the following statement on Facebook.  “It’s sad, but the Regent Park United Soccer Club did not get funding needed to sustain our growing program. Some of our coaches feel that the community let them down and will be moving on to helping other communities who also need a soccer program like the one we ran for ten years. It’s a sad day when bureaucrats cannot provide organizations who actually do great work with the proper funding. We will be lucky if we have our U16 rep team and another younger rep team playing, as we want to continue our Friday night practises at Regent Park Athletic Grounds. Very sad st

A Conversation with Kristyn Wong Tam - MPP Toronto Centre

MPP for Toronto Centre discusses a broad range of urgent issues facing area residents. In a wide-ranging interview Kristyn Wong Tam, Member of Provincial Parliament of Ontario (MPP) for Toronto Centre representing the New Democratic Party, sat down with Focus reporter, Allanis Inguillo, to discuss some of the key concerns that residents in the Downtown East neighbourhoods are facing. Allanis: As the new MPP Toronto Centre we would like to speak with you about some of the key issues that people in this neighbourhood are facing in the early part of 2023, and we were hoping to get your thoughts on some the most pressing issues currently grabbing the spotlight. For example, the long-proposed Moss Park Revitalization was planned to begin, however with Metrolinks moving in with their own plans to develop the new subway station, what is the status of the revitalization? Kristyn: That’s a great question and it’s one that I’m also very curious about and I present a member of the Provincial Parl

CSI Announces the End of the CSI Community Living Room Project at Daniels Spectrum

On February 2nd 2023, Denise Soueidan-O’Leary, the Director of Projects and Partnerships with the Centre for Social Innovations (CSI) announced the end of the year-long CSI Community Living Room project located on the first floor of the Daniels Spectrum Arts Centre. This represents the end of CSI’s long-time presence in the Daniels Spectrum Arts Centre as previously they managed the third floor, CSI coworking space. The first floor Community Living Room, initiated by CSI with the support of Artscape, was a barrier-free lounge area that was comfortably furnished and allowed community members free access to relax, read, work and play. For example, residents could use the Community Living Room to hang out, to eat, to use the free internet to do homework, to read any of the books provided, to chat with friends, hold birthday parties and meetings, organize events, or for childcare. Just like your living room at home - the space was a community living room for residents and groups to use how