The new 240 Wellesley Hub is a share and reuse space that will promote a culture of reusing, sharing, repairing and re-purposing items to prolong their life. It will encourage residents to share items with others in their community and choose activities and products that support reuse, and result in less waste. In the long-term, the space will also offer skills trainings, fix-it sessions, and other events that support residents to build skills. 

The space will help residents build connections, create opportunities for income generation and will provide you with a platform to give back to your community. The partners for this project are The City of Toronto, The St. James Town Community Corner, and Toronto Tool Library. We have created a survey for need and resource assessment. The survey will help us better understand how you would like to use the space and what are the items you would like to borrow.  Please let us know your thoughts by filling out this short (4 minute) survey. Please click here to start the survey.
Spring Gathering Preparations in Full Swing

The planning for the annual St. James Town Spring Gathering is under way. The Spring Gathering is a unique event where residents get together over a meal, to discuss ideas and hopes for the well-being of the St. James Town community . It is hosted by Health Access St. James Town and the St. James Town Service Providers' Network jointly. This will be our 6th annual spring gathering in St. James Town. From safety to mental health and harm reduction to civic engagement to outreach and community building strategies, residents have through out the years provided their valuable inputs to address these issues.

The theme for this year's gathering is 'Resident leadership and Collaboration'. This year, residents and stakeholders will work together to discuss issues around resident leadership and collaboration, such as income generation activities, developing a neighbourhood association, harm reduction strategies, and inter-generational programming ideas. 

This year's event is scheduled on March 22nd, 2019 from 5:30PM- 8:30PM at Rose Avenue Public School. The event preparations are overlooked by a residents committee. We are looking for volunteers to get involved so if you or your friends are interested please email Constance Osemobor at cosemobor@stjamestown.org or just drop by The Corner. To register for the event you may call us or email us at register@stjamestown.org or just drop by The Corner. Fore more details please click here.
Black History Month Celebrations at The Corner

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.

The Corner celebrates and commemorates black history month every year. The theme for this year’s black history month was ‘Black Migrations’. The Corner staff along with volunteers and placement students were involved in the planning and execution of the month-long celebrations. Biographies of black Canadians were posted regularly at The Corner, with the aim to promote awareness of Canada’s rich black heritage. Additionally, an inspirational quote by people of African descent was shared through The Corner’s social media handles every day. Students from the University of Toronto were also involved in a three-day outreach, promoting the celebrations at The Corner.

On the 27th of February, The Corner concluded the celebrations with a community event. Due to the inclement weather on the day, several residents couldn’t turn up for the event, but 25 eager and brave souls did. Residents watched a beautiful presentation and video explaining the history and origin of black migration. Participants also participated in a tour of the history of black migration, told through pictures, quotes and biographies. Apart from this, there were also games for kids, and residents tracked their own migration stories through a collaborative art project where they traced their routes to Canada on a world map. The event concluded with a delicious dinner consisting of rice, seasoned vegetables, and jerk chicken.
Service Provider's Network Develops Strategic Plan
The St. James Town Service Providers’ Network (SPN) is a collection of agencies formed to bring collaborative partnerships, community engagement and integrated service coordination. The Network collaborates and coordinates stakeholders inside and outside the network to address the needs of residents and promote an inclusive and vibrant community. The SPN undertook a collaborative planning session, key informant interviews, and a review of community engagement feedback to develop its Strategic Plan, which will guide SPN activities over the next few years.

The key pillars of the Strategic plan include:
1) Strengthening Communications, Resources & Leadership: supporting existing and new subcommittees, developing and strengthening communications platforms (like this newsletter!), and identify resources to help further the work of the network and the community, etc.
2) Focus on Neighbourhood Level work through the engagement of diverse partners (e.g. non-profit, business, landlord, City, educational institutions, etc)
3) Population based activities: such as programming and supports for youth, seniors
4) Community Engagement and Advocacy: Strive for innovative and creative way to engage residents, support the development of a resident committee

The SPN will now work along with residents and other stake holders to develop plans and work towards these goals.
For the Love of Seniors
The Bleecker - Wellesley Activity Network had it's Annual "For the Love of Seniors" on Valentine's Day 2019. Here are a few snapshots from the event. Click Here 
UofT Students at The Corner
Six university of Toronto students were at The Corner for three days from Feb 19-21, 2019 as part of Alternative Reading Week (ARW). After three days at The Corner, interacting with the community, getting involved in different programs and activities, the students shared their observations, ideas and recommendations with the Corner staff.

The students were involved in extensive outreach activity for two days. The group split into two teams for outreach at 200 Wellesley Street and 275 Bleecker Street. This interaction with residents helped them understand the programs at The Corner and its benefits. The teams were well prepared and made use of several resources including beverages, presto boards, flyers, posters etc. for the outreach activity. The outreach also focused on promoting the black history month celebrations at The Corner and spring gathering.The team also inspired five residents to join as volunteers for the upcoming spring gathering. Special focus was given on the upcoming 240 space during the outreach. Students promoted the two job openings and also carried out the need and resource assessment survey for the 240 hub. 

Some of the recommendations put forward by the students are a program for imparting computer skills to residents and robotics and software coding programs from youth. Increased  engagement of seniors was a key point put forward by the students. The students were of the view that though residents are aware of The Corner and its existence, they are not very well informed about all programs and activities. The students have expressed their desire to collaborate with The Corner in upcoming events and activities and to make themselves part of the Volunteer Lead Program of The Corner
Community Meeting for St. James Town Residents
Following the recent hydro, and water shutdowns in several high rises in St. James Town and the fire at 650 Parliament in August last year, The City of Toronto in partnership with Toronto Fire, City Councillor Kristyn Wong Tam and The Corner organised public resident's meeting to discuss tenant rights and updates on building inspections. The program also organised a tenant survey to understand the residents' needs and problems. There was also an orientation on how to use the City's RentOSafe Program. A presentation was made with this regard. Please click here to view the presentation and learn about the program.
The Month In Numbers
In The News
 Inspection to be conducted at St. James Town apartment buildings
Mayor John Tory is making a move to change how apartment buildings are inspected after hundreds of families were displaced by electrical failures at two St James Town highrises. The back-to-back issues put a financial strain not only on the residents but on the city, and caused Tory to begin to take measures to ensure this wouldn’t happen again. Read More...
St. James Town tenants stuck in insurance limbo
Some tenants of several St. James Town highrises say insurance companies are denying them coverage. Hundreds of tenants have been impacted, and even displaced, by several issues in recent months.  Read More...
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