Local Champions

Janet Fitzsimmons is a longtime Storefront Staff member, and currently is Manager of Community-based Learning at the Centre for Connected Communities, an initiative of East Scarborough Storefront.

Recently, Janet was featured on smallchangefund’s “Canada 150+: Changemakers of Canada,” where she was asked for her hopes for Canada 150 years from now:

“150 years from now, I hope there is no need for community workers and social agencies. I hope communities are celebrating diversity and inviting more people to the table to be part of the solution.”

In smallchangefund’s profile on Janet, she shares “The Local Champions Project is a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Centre for Connected Communities that includes 21 residents representing 14 neighbourhood improvement areas across Toronto. The goal is to take what has been learned over the past 17 years about supporting place-based neighbourhood development and share it with local residents who are eager to affect change….

Please read the full profile at smallchangefund

Hanging at the Hub at The Storefront – every Wednesday 2-4:30pm

Hanging at the Hub is a weekly café-style gathering at the East Scarborough Storefront Hub. We launched the weekly event on Wednesday July 5th with a “Celebrate Your Neighbour” Canada 150.
Click here to see the story in the Scarborough Mirror about the Celebrate your Neighbour event

Everyone is welcome to come join residents and friends as we enjoy refreshment and great activities and games in our amazing community space. Hanging at the Hub will run along with the Youth Zone from 2-4:30 p.m. every Wednesday

Who:  YOU!

When:  Wednesdays, 2 to 4:30pm until August 23rd

Where: 4040 Lawrence Ave. East (here’s a link to a Google map)

Hope to see you here!
If you click on the flyer below, you should be able to see a larger version of it.
Flyer - hanging at the hub

Webinar: Connected Community Approach – June 16, 10-11am

You’re (cyber)invited to learn more about our Connected Community Approach:
June 16, 10 – 11 a.m. EDT

Our very own Anne Gloger, Principal of East Scarborough Storefront and Centre for Connected Communities will be presenting our Connected Community Approach via webinar

In 2016, East Scarborough Storefront received funding from United Way’s Innovation Fund to develop the Connected Communities project, which has since evolved to become the “Centre for Connected Communities.”

On Friday, June 16th from 10 – 11 a.m. Anne will be presenting a webinar to walk through our human-centred, digitally accessible learning platform, designed to help grassroots groups, residents and organizations build connected communities from the ground up and inside out.

Please join Anne!  You can register here.

You can still support our work anytime you are inspired, even though The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is finished.

We’re so delighted you’re interested in making a gift to The Storefront*! When you choose to donate to us, you are saying:

“I choose to support people in East Scarborough to thrive – to get help if that’s what they need, and also to explore and share what they have to offer to build community together.”

Giving Challenge Logo

Though The Storefront didn’t win the $10,000 prize in The Giving Challenge (visit givingchallenge.ca to see who did!), we’re SO appreciative of everyone who supported the challenge to help us try to win.  Thank you!  If you didn’t have a chance to give in June, we could still use your support.  Please donate today!

Every day, we work together with our community, creating leadership and growth opportunities for residents of KGO. It’s what we do year-round!

Some projects we’re looking to fund in the short term that your donation could help make a reality:

  • Youth could attend a community-wide conference that will include several local youth-serving agencies. Why is this important? The needs and perspectives of our community’s young people will be expressed by youth directly to the agencies involved. This in turn will help ensure that programming is effective and engaging.
  • Local sports teams could have more opportunities to play together through the momentum of our already really successful Sport for Change program.
  • Local residents could explore new ideas and learn new things through field trips, speakers and workshops, satisfying people’s appetites to learn more about topics impacting well-being such as food security, civic engagement, community safety or accessing green spaces nearby.

Please give today at our secure donation website.

If you have questions, please contact Nadia, our Development and Stewardship Coordinator at nheyd@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 ext 27.

“Emergence is where momentum meets opportunity”

When we at The Storefront first coined this expression several years ago, I don’t think that I fully appreciated just how much we embraced emergence in our work.  Now, however, upon reflection, it is glaringly obvious to me that we owe much of our success uniting people, organizations and processes for community based change to our emphasis on emergence.

It was an emergent process that created The Storefront in the first place.  Nobody knew exactly what it would look like and each person involved influenced its development.  There was incredible momentum in the community and by service providers to create a “hub”.  When we seized the opportunity to take over the old library in Morningside Mall, we couldn’t have predicted that 15 years later, that hub would still be going strong and have spawned dozens of inclusive and collaborative initiatives that have changed the neighbourhood in profound ways.

We still pay attention to the momentum and unite that momentum with new opportunities: it’s how The Storefront evolves and grows.  What’s changed over the years is our methods for emergent learning and development have become more intentional.

It was therefore, incredibly meaningful to me, to receive an email last week, letting me know that we’re not the only ones to see the value of emergence in community work.

Jillaine Smith, a principal at Fourth Quadrant Parnters in the US, wrote to let me know that East Scarborough Storefront has been nominated for inclusion as a case study in an important new research project, “Exploring Emergence in Complex Social Change Initiatives.” A detailed description of the research project is available at 4qpartners.com/research.html.

What this means is that Fourth Quadrant Partners, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will studying The Storefront to help them to answer two critical questions:

  • If we more actively bring together the best thinking of everyone involved in an initiative, rather than depending on top-down strategy, can we discover solutions to complex problems that no one person could have thought of on their own?
  • Can we develop solutions to complex problems that are not just sustainable, but that grow and evolve to meet real needs over time?

Of course, my answer is a resounding yes!

I am so excited that The Storefront is to be included in this work!  There has been such great thinking in the field of emergence from people like Michael Quinn Patton, Henry Mintzer, John Kania and, of course the principals of Fourth Quadrant Parnters, I’m delighted to be part of the process to connect it with the very real and meaningful on the ground work in Kingston Galloway/Orton Park.