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THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Events Calendar

RALLY FOR POOL Fate of community pool now in council’s hands

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Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017 |

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COMMUNITY

Fate of community pool in City Council’s hands JOANNA LAVOIE jlavoie@insidetoronto.com The community has spoken. Now the time has come for Toronto City Council to make its decision and either reinstate $85,000 or uphold the budget committee’s recommendation to cut annual funding for the operation of the public pool at the S.H. Armstrong Community Centre. In recent weeks, supporters have hosted a number of events and campaigns to save programming at the Leslieville facility. On Sunday, dozens of community members braved a snow storm to show some love for the local pool. Olympic gold medallist and Beach resident Penny Oleksiak even tweeted her support, which caught the eye of Mayor John Tory. He promised to ensure city budget cuts wouldn’t

compromise the future of the three TDSB pools facing cuts: Duke of Connaught/S.H. Armstrong Community Centre, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, and York Memorial Collegiate Institute/ Centennial Recreation Centre. These swimming pools, which may not have their leases renewed, require city funding as the provincial education funding formula doesn’t pay for them in schools. The Mayor changed his tune in a Feb. 8 letter to Oleksiak, who has benefited from city programming throughout her rise to an Olympic gold medallist. Citing "difficult decisions" and the need to ensure the city is "spending money wisely in the best interest of the people of Toronto", Tory said the budget committee believes relocating programming from these facilities to other nearby city-run pools

would still provide the recreational programming residents rely on, and would allow the city to better invest the funds it currently pays to the school board to rent their pools. He also indicated that this is a bill the province should be picking up. At last week’s executive committee meeting, Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon moved two motions to try and save city programming at the local pool. Her first motion called on the committee to increase the 2017 Parks budget by $85,000 and increase the staff complement by 0.35 for each year so that programming can be maintained at S.H. Armstrong. McMahon also proposed City Council direct the General Manager of the Parks Department to establish a working committee with TDSB representatives and city staff to review and

develop a plan that increases the utilization of the pool’s capacity and report to the Community Development and Recreation Committee on its performance by the end of fall of 2017. The executive committee only supported McMahon’s second motion. Toronto City Council is meeting this week to finalize its 2017 capital and operating budgets. McMahon, who urged residents to call or email Mayor John Tory and her fellow councillors to stress the value of the S.H. Armstrong pool to the neighbourhood, will attempt to persuade her council colleagues to reinstate the funding for programming at S.H. Armstrong pool. "It’s not about dollars and cents, it’s about common sense and supporting a community hub," she said Sunday. Visit www.insidetoronto.com for the latest.

Front and above photos: Metroland staff

Zoe Davidson, 6, joins the rally held at S.H. Armstrong Community Centre in support of the centre’s swimming pool.

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COMMUNITY

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New partnership will ’really improve patient care’ JOANNA LAVOIE jlavoie@insidetoronto.com

WoodGreen is my survival kit

Submitted photos

Top photo: Cynthia Persaud (right) is the primary caregiver for her sister Rayana, who has Down Syndrome, early stage dementia, and other health issues. Above, Jane Merkley, executive vice-president, patient care, quality and chief nurse executive at Sinai Health System, gives a tour of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. viders and health care organizations in Ontario. The goal is to develop stronger local supports, program and resources that help improve communication, assessment, recognition, and education, and in turn inspire changes to how health care organizations, providers and family caregivers work together in the province’s health system. Cathy Fooks, president and CEO of The Change Foundation, said it re-

ceived 73 applications under the Changing CARE program. A dozen were shortlisted, and four were selected to receive the funding. They include: Improving CARE Together at St. Joseph’s London Parkwood Institute; Connecting the Dots ... Smoothing Transitions for family caregivers at Stratford General Hospital; Embrace at Cornwall Community Hospital; and Cultivating Change: The Caregiver Friendly Hospital and

Community Hub. "This one rally struck our interest because of the combination of the acute setting at Mount Sinai, the rehab focus at Bridgepoint, then the community service aspect at WoodGreen," she said. Fooks said The Change Foundation strongly supports the concept of providing patients with continuum of care so they get and stay well, and that caregivers feels supported and empowered.

About six months ago, Cynthia Persaud became the primary caregiver for her 51-year-old sister Rayana, who has Down syndrome, early stage dementia, and other health issues. Persaud said WoodGreen Community Services, which is set to benefit directly from the funding from The Change Foundation, is the reason why she’s been able to stay above water during this challenging time. "WoodGreen is my survival kit," she shared."I felt lost before they stepped in to offer supports. It changed both of our lives drastically." And while it may be an ongoing process, Persaud said she no longer feels alone and knows WoodGreen is there to help her every step of the way. "The service they provide is just amazing," she smiled. Carol Ann Alloway, co-founder of the organization Family Caregivers Voice, expressed her gratitude to The Change Foundation for recognizing the challenges and needs of caregivers, and the importance of giving caregivers a stronger voice in the care of their loved ones. For the last seven years, Alloway has cared for her husband Bill, who underwent an ankle replacement that was expected to have a recovery time of just three months. Nine surgeries later, Alloway’s husband is now doing much better.She said having more tools, knowledge, skills and support would have made this time much easier.

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Caregivers who visit their loved ones at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare in Riverdale are no longer being seen as visitors.As a result of a new partnership between Sinai Health System and WoodGreen Community Services, with the help of $2.3 million in funding from The Change Foundation, family caregivers are now viewed as key partners in a patient’s care team from the hospital to the community. This caregiver experience redesign is at the core of the new Cultivating Change: The Caregiver Friendly Hospital and Community Hub, which was launched Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Riverdale hospital for people with complex chronic disease and disability. Together with caregivers, Sinai Health and WoodGreen Community Services will be developing solutions that matter and work best for them. "Our goal is really to create a system of care that better responds to the changing needs of patients and families," Jane Merkley, executive vice-president of patient care, quality and chief nurse at Sinai Health System, said at the launch event. She said different models of care are being tested to come up with innovative health solutions. She said one way they feel patients are better served is by viewing their caregivers as partners, identifying their needs, and connecting them with resources. "Caregivers are vital health care team members. This (initiative) will change the caregiver experience and will really improve patient care," she said shortly before offering a short tour of Bridge-

point Active Healthcare. During the tour, Merkley pointed to a number of modifications already being considered at the Riverdale hospital, including the creation of a centre for caregiver support. Dr. Gary Newton, Sinai Health System’s president and CEO, said Cultivating Change: The Caregiver Friendly Hospital and Community Hub is part of a bigger effort to engage with patients through their illness and onto recovery. By partnering with complementary organizations and using existing resources available, he said everyone can benefit. "A rehabilitation hospital is the place to start," he said, adding the idea is to make good use of the time patients are in care to educate, train, prepare and empower their caregivers. Newton pointed to a similar, but even more handson initiative, at Sinai’s neonatal unit. "It’s all about making the overall system better," he said. WoodGreen Community Services offers a number of programs and services that help clients who rely on caregivers, and is excited about the possibilities for the future with this new partnership, said the organization’s president, Anne Babcock. "We’re working to build a community where caregivers can thrive," she said, noting this involves better communication, better understanding of needs and expectations, and education. Babcock said it is essential all partners work together in a co-ordinated effort to provide unified care for patients, and WoodGreen’s role is to help deliver that community support. Cultivating Change: The Caregiver Friendly Hospital and Community Hub is part of The Change Foundation’s $9-million Changing CARE initiative, which supports four health care partnerships between family caregivers, patients and clients, pro-

| Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017

New caregiver partnership comes to east Toronto


Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017 |

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EDITORIAL | OPINION

• OUR VIEW •

ABOUT US

Small, local efforts can make a big impact miles away Stories of crime, tragedy and hate often dominate the headlines and while it’s our job to accurately report on these events, the effect of its continual presence on readers is not lost on us. That’s why this week we’re sharing a story across all our newspapers. Inspired by the efforts of residents in Etobicoke, it serves as a shining example of the good that exists in this world - and how seemingly small, local initiatives can make the greatest difference in the lives of others living thousands of miles away. Those are the stories worth celebrating. Local hockey families donated gently used hockey gear to a collection by Rotary Clubs of Etobicoke and Palgrave, destined for First Nations youth in six northern Ontario reserves. Only in its second year, the drive netted 25 times more equipment than the first - a whopping 40,000 pounds of gear, thanks to the generosity of parents and kids here in Toronto. Our reporter Cynthia Reason covered those initial efforts and was extended a special invitation to see the story through to its conclusion. She traveled with Rotary representatives and Etobicoke-Lakeshore Councillor Mark Grimes to one of the reserves at Sandy Lake where 16 skids of hockey equipment was delivered to eagerly awaiting children. The detail that completed the experience? The Stanley Cup came too. Described as a ’historic first’ by Chief Bart Meekis, the Cup’s arrival in the remote community served as a reminder to local youth that opportunity exists for them, to "be all you can be." And certainly, receiving hockey pads, helmets, skates, sticks and jerseys helped fuel local hockey dreams. Something that may have seemed out of reach is now possible for these kids, thanks to the generosity of Toronto residents. It was also made possible by one Sandy Lake teacher who connected with Rotary to facilitate the donation. So we share this story to warm hearts. We share it to demonstrate how a small initiative can have a big, lasting impact in the lives of others. Those children will not forget the day the Stanley Cup arrived in their community, along with hockey equipment they couldn’t have afforded otherwise. These are the kinds of efforts we like to celebrate when they come across our news desks, because Toronto’s got more than its share of bad news. The good is also there, but sometimes it needs a little help getting up into the spotlight.

The Beach Mirror, published every Thursday, is a division of the Metroland Media Group Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation. The Metroland family of newspapers is comprised of more than 100 community publications across Ontario..

The Beach Mirror is a member of the National NewsMedia Council. Complainants are urged to bring their concerns to the attention of the newspaper and, if not satisfied, write The National NewsMedia Council, Suite 200, 890 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4W 2H2. Phone: 416-340-1981 Web: www.mediacouncil.ca

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Toronto’s immigrants learn their working rights When Pragosh Antonipillai was young, he and his cousins worked well over 40 hours a week at Tim Hortons.They didn’t get overtime, and didn’t ask. They worked 12 or 24 hours at a stretch when their downtown Toronto stores were short-handed. "We would sleep on sugar bags in the back because that’s what we thought it means to be a good worker," Antonipillai recalls. For a first-generation Tamil-Canadian, this was normal, even expected, he says. Antonipillai’s parents were proud; at 15 and 16 he was making more than his dad as a Canadian Tire cashier. But working 30 hours a week while in high school tired him out. "People would assume I’m just this terrible stu-

MIKE ADLER Edges of Toronto dent," says Antonipillai, who now volunteers with Tamil employees in Greater Toronto, including youth going through what he once did. His small group is a "diversity network" for the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, which also has volunteers from the Filipino, Chinese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean communities.

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The networks formed because unions weren’t getting into ethnic communities, and people from these ethnicities could sidestep communication barriers and suspicions, says Ram Selvarajah, a member of the Tamil network. Concerns about New Canadians working in Toronto are well-founded: in a 2013 survey 20 per cent of Mandarin-speaking recent immigrants here weren’t paid minimum wage, and only half received paid public holidays. "The myth immigrants are brought up to believe is you work 80 hours," says Selvarajah, adding young Tamils arriving here in the 1990s felt extra pressure to work. There were Tamil gangs in Toronto then, Selvarajah

says, so parents thought, "you were working or you were in trouble." Antonipillai and Selvarajah say Toronto employers still "pit" recent immigrants who won’t insist on their rights against other Canadians. They know immigrant women, in particular, "have less resources to fight back," adds Antonipillai, who argues 90 per cent Toronto’s kitchen staff are Tamil for the same reason. Selvarajah meets seniors working in Tamil stores for $5 an hour, under the table, looking on their employers as friends. He tells them standing up for yourself, "isn’t a betrayal, it’s actually the right thing to do." Reach Mike Adler at madler@insidetoronto.com

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Director Distribution Mike Banville Director Creative Services Katherine Porcheron Advertising Manager Anne Beswick


COMMUNITY

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JOANNA LAVOIE jlavoie@insidetoronto.com Three companies have now been invited to submit a proposal to design, build and finance a new patient care tower at East Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital. EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare, PCL Partnership, and Walsh Toronto East Health Partners were selected based on their design and construction capability, experience, and the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity. The teams will have about six months to prepare their submissions for this first phase. Once received, Infrastructure Ontario and MGH, which is a division of the Toronto East Health Network, will evaluate them and select the successful bidder. The company selected for the job will be announced in November 2017.

Construction is set to begin in early 2018. The request for the qualifications process for this project, which will involve the construction of a new eight-storey patient care tower and a three-story podium, started in June of 2016. It will also include demolishing some existing wings and renovating the existing hospital at the connecting points. In total, approximately 50,000 square feet of the hospital will be redeveloped. The work will also involve replacing the oldest beds in the medical/surgical and rehabilitation units, replacing the mental health in-patient units for adult and child/youth care, consolidating ambulatory care and ambulatory procedures, creating two levels of underground parking and a new main entrance, and accommodating other administrative and support services needed to support the clinical

Sarah Downey services. Further, the job will also include renovating approximately 100,000 square feet of select areas within the existing hospital. In the end, the redevelopment project aims to improve the delivery of efficient, accessible, and highquality patient care, while replacing some of the hospital’s oldest spaces. Expected to achieve a LEED Silver certification for design excellence and sustainability, the project is being delivered using

IO’s Alternative Financing and Procurement model. "This is the next step in our transformation of community care for east Toronto residents and beyond," said Sarah Downey, MGH’s president and CEO, in a Feb. 3 release. "We at Michael Garron Hospital are inspired by the passionate belief that a healthy community is a strong community. Michael Garron Hospital’s redeveloped campus will be designed as a welcoming and supportive space that promotes health and wellness." Downey also said the redevelopment would help support the hospital’s mission of delivering exemplary care, develop innovative partnerships and mentor the next generation of health care providers. "Together we are building for a healthier community, helping people to live to their full potential - mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially," she said.

Submitted photo

Toronto roots group HOTCHA! (Howard Druckman and Beverly Kreller) will perform in a fundraiser

| Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hospital expansion down to three companies

Winterfolk is back The 2017 edition of the Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival is coming to The Danforth. The 15th annual event, which features some of the best Canadian blues and roots artists, will run from Friday to Sunday. Organizers describe Winterfolk as an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event that features the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music. More than 150 artists are set to perform on six stages at five venues dur-

ing the three-day festival, which will also include special tribute events, an awards ceremony, community stages, and various themed workshops with something for everyone to enjoy. Winterfolk is a division of The Association of Artists for a Better World, a registered nonprofit organization in Ontario. Volunteers are always needed. Visit www.winterfolk.com for more information, to purchase tickets, or to get involved.

Toronto Airspace Noise Review Notice of Public Meetings As part of the ongoing independent airspace noise review, you are invited by the review team to discuss and express your views on the current options for mitigating aircraft noise through changes to the airspace

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EVENTS l Friday, February 17 P.A. Day Movie WHEN: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. WHERE: Riverdale Branch, 370 Broadview Ave., Toronto CONTACT: Riverdale Branch P.A. Day Movie: The Secret Life of Pets l Saturday, February 18 Evergreen’s Winter Village WHEN: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. WHERE: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., Toronto CONTACT: 416-596-1495, info@evergreen.ca, https://www.evergreen.ca/ wintervillage This year spend winter playing outdoors, skating, and tasting the new Street Food Market. Admission is free!

A.M. in the P.M. WHEN: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. WHERE: Arts Market, 790 Queen Street east, Toronto CONTACT: David, david@artsmarket.ca The Riverside Arts Market has partnered with the Rivertowne Breakfast Program and the Riverside BIA to bring you ’A.M. in the P.M.,’ a morning themed fundraiser in the evening. l Monday, February 20 Baby Time WHEN: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. WHERE:

l GET

CONNECTED

Visit insidetoronto.com/events to submit your own community events for online publishing. Jones Branch Public Library, 118 Jones Ave., Toronto CONTACT: Liza, 416-393-7715 Rhymes, songs and stories for babies from birth to 18 months with parents, caregivers. Drop in but daycares must register. Winter Stations open for the season WHEN: 12 p.m. - 11 p.m. WHERE: The Beaches - From Woodbine to Victoria Park along the Water, East-end, Toronto CONTACT: http://winterstations.com The launch event for the third annual Winter Stations Design Competition is set for noon on Monday, Feb. 20 at the Kew Pavilion, which is at the foot of Lee Avenue. All are welcome. l Tuesday, February 21 Breast Cancer: Detection And Prevention WHEN: 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. WHERE: Beaches Library, 2161 Queen Street E, Toronto CONTACT: Beaches Branch, Toronto Public Library, 416-393-7703, beaches-

branch@gmail.com Join a nurse from Toronto Public Health to learn about how you can detect and prevent breast cancer. l Friday, February 24 Carnival of Spice Presents A Journey Through Dance WHEN: 10 a.m. - 10 a.m. WHERE: Riverdale Branch, 370 Broadview Ave., Toronto CONTACT: Riverdale Branch An energetic performance that will highlight African, Caribbean and Hip Hop culture through dance, signature costume pieces and props. l Sunday, February 26 Tom Allen and Co. WHEN: 1 p.m. - 11 p.m. WHERE: Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd., Toronto CONTACT: 416-699-6091, www.kruc.ca COST: $30 Tom Allen & Company concert explores the period of the 20s and 30s with stories, wit, and music by gifted local performing artists!

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Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017 |

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February 17

38th Rhubarb Festival WHEN: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. WHERE: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., Toronto CONTACT: (416) 975-8555, http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/rhubarb COST: Various prices Canada’s longest-running new works festival is a hotbed of experimentation. Feb. 15-26. Canadian International AutoShow WHEN: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. WHERE: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd, Toronto CONTACT: kjohnny@enterprisecanada.com, https:// www.autoshow.ca/ COST: Tickets The Canadian International AutoShow is the country’s largest consumer show - a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive. Feb. 17-26. Motorcycle Show Toronto WHEN: 12 p.m. - 11 p.m. WHERE: Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto CONTACT: neil@powersportservices.ca, http://www.torontomotorcycleshow.ca/ COST: Various

Submitted image

Aurora by Humber College.

Featuring new models for 2107, stunt show, trials show, YRA Kids learn to ride, OPP Golden Helmets, how-to Seminars, vintage. Feb. 17 to 19. l Saturday, February 18 Family Fun Fest WHEN: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. WHERE: Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Road, Toronto CONTACT: info@familydayfest.ca, http:// www.familydayfest.ca/ COST: $8 child, youth; $25 adult Eighth annual indoor event with

rides, entertainment, food, games, inflatables, Feb. 18 to 20. l Monday, February 20 Winter Stations 2017 WHEN: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. WHERE: The Beaches - From Woodbine to Victoria Park along the Water, East-end, Toronto CONTACT: info@winterstations.com, http:// winterstations.com/ The winners of the annual international design competition in will have their designs displayed for all to enjoy this winter.

Join us for our

Annual Skating Party Sunday, February 19, 2017 11:30am to 1:30pm East York Memorial Arena 888 Cosburn Ave.

Arthur Potts MPP Beaches-East York Constituency Office 1821 Danforth Avenue Toronto M4C 1J2 416.690.1032 arthurpotts.onmpp.ca @apottsmpp

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FAMILY

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Eight unique installations coming to lifeguard stations at Balmy, Kew, and Scarboro beaches JOANNA LAVOIE jlavoie@insidetoronto.com The third annual edition of the Winter Stations Design Competition opens for the season on Family Day. The launch event is set for noon Monday, Feb. 20 at the Kew Pavilion, which is at the foot of Lee Avenue. All are welcome. This year, eight unique concepts will be set up at lifeguard stations at Balmy, Kew, and Scarboro beaches. The temporary art installations, which were selected by a design jury from hundreds of submissions, will be on display

until Monday, March 27. They are being constructed on the Beach from Feb. 13 to 19. The stations, three of which are from students groups at the University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and Humber College, are from international and local artists, designers, architects and landscape architects. They all aim to celebrate Toronto’s winter waterfront landscape and aim to draw people outside to interact with the cold, icy environment. The winning entries, revealed last month, include: . See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela (Toronto, Canada)

. North by studio PERCH (Montreal, Canada) . Collective Memory by Mario Garcia (Barcelona, Spain) and Andrea Govi (Milan, Italy) . BuoyBuoyBuoy by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota WaresTani and Julie Forand (Toronto, Canada) . The Beacon by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva (Porto, Portugal) . Flotsam and Jetsam by University of Waterloo (Ontario) . Aurora by Humber College School of Media Studies and IT, School of Applied Technology (To-

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A dog walks past one of the design exhibits called "North" during the 3rd annual Winter

| Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017

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Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017 |

10

MISSION TO SANDY LAKE 2017

Cynthia Reason/Metroland

Two busloads of children from Thomas Fiddler Memorial Elementary School braved the -34C weather to greet the arrival of the Stanley Cup at Sandy Lake First Nation air field. The banner they’re holding, written in Oji-Cree, reads ‘Welcome to Sandy Lake. Thank you for bringing the Stanley Cup’.

Bringing the hockey dream to Sandy Lake Stanley Cup, mountains of hockey equipment delivered to remote First Nations reserve

‡ SANDY

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LAKE

CYNTHIA REASON creason@insidetoronto.com There was a buzz in the arctic air at Sandy Lake First Nation last Tuesday that not even the -34C polar chill could numb – word had it that Lord Stanley was about to land in town. On the local radio station, Chief Bart Meekis issued an urgent plea for all 3,500 residents of the remote northern Ontario reserve to “Let’s all get to the airport now and show our hapToronto piness!” At Thomas Fiddler Memorial Elementary School, students put the last-minute

‡

touches on a colourful banner written in their native Oji-Cree, welcoming the Stanley Cup and its contingent of carriers from Etobicoke. And at the landing site itself, dozens of pick-up trucks and school buses packed with excited hockey fans of all ages ringed the airstrip in anxious anticipation of the Holy Grail of hockey’s arrival. “The gravity of it all didn’t really hit me until we were landing in Sandy Lake and I looked out the window and saw the whole community out there in the cold waiting for us,” said Etobicoke-Lakeshore Councillor Mark Grimes, who used his connections at the Hockey Hall of Fame to arrange the

Cup’s visit to coincide with the delivery of 5,500 pounds of Rotary-donated hockey equipment to Sandy Lake – even successfully outbidding Justin Trudeau for the honour. As the charter flight carrying Grimes, Rotary representatives, a documentary film crew from Etobicoke-based Fifth Ground Entertainment, and the official “Keeper of the Cup” Howie Borrow touched down, the subzero temperatures seemingly melted away on a wave of enthusiasm that drove a flood of excited bodies from the warmth of their vehicles and onto the airfield – Chief Meekis one of the first among them. OContinued on page 11


Rotary-led equipment drive prompted visit OContinued from page 10 “To actually see it here in Sandy Lake, it brings so much hope and so much joy to my community. That the Stanley Cup would come to a remote place like this, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it,” Meekis said shortly after parading the Cup around Sandy Lake on the back of his pick-up truck, trailed by an escort of 16 flag-waving, skidoo-driving members of the Sandy Lake Canadian Rangers. While Lord Stanley’s 22-hour stay in Sandy Lake was widely celebrated as a “historic first”, Meekis pledged it most certainly won’t mark the Cup’s last long voyage to the remote fly-in community nearly 1,500 kms northwest of Toronto. “It will be back up here again in 2020, but next time it will be one of our young hockey players bringing it north as a Stanley Cup champion – hopefully with the Canadiens,” the Montreal fan said with a determined grin. “To us, the Stanley Cup promotes education, it promotes discipline, and it also promotes that you can be all you can be – and that’s something our kids need to see.” While the Cup’s arrival provided plenty of incentive to young hockey players in Sandy Lake to strive for NHL greatness, the accompanying delivery of 16 skids of gently used hockey gear collected by the Rotary Clubs of Etobicoke and Palgrave – and

shipped free-of-charge courtesy Wasaya Airways and the Grimes’ brothers Etobicoke-based logistics company, MGA International – brought with it the means with which to fulfill a hockey dream that, for many, would’ve otherwise been out of reach. Freight costs to communities like Sandy Lake, which are only accessible by land via ice roads for a few short weeks in the winter, drive the price of even the most basic of goods up at least threefold. In a community where even a 24-case of no-name bottled water sells for $27.79, that means the price of already-costly hockey equipment becomes prohibitively expensive for most families. “A lot of our youth want to get on the ice, but can’t afford the skates, which is sad because people here go hard for hockey – they absolutely love it,” said Jenn Elwell, the now “super famous” teacher who arranged the hockey donation with Rotary Etobicoke’s Laura Latham after stumbling upon a story about the club’s hockey drive on Facebook. “So for me, seeing my kids walk out of the gym today with skates in their hands and big smiles on their faces just melted my heart. It was so beautiful, because I know how much it

means to them.” Pittsburgh Penguins superfan Derek Monias, 13, not only walked away from the distribution event at Thomas Fiddler Memorial Elementary School last week with a hockey bag stuffed with new gear, he was also able to cross a key item off his bucket list. “I’ve always wanted to see the Stanley Cup in person and now I have. It’s every hockey player’s dream to one day achieve winning it,” he said with a shy smile. “This day, we all feel happy. The people that brought the Cup here have put a smile on everybody’s faces here in Sandy Lake and made them feel good inside.”

11 | Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017

MISSION TO SANDY LAKE 2017

Above right; Hundreds of Sandy Lake First Nations residents braved the -34C weather to greet Howie Borrow, Keeper of the Stanley Cup, and of course Lord Stanley himself at the Sandy Lake air field. Right; a young hockey player gets fitted for new blades while, below, members of the Sandy Lake First Nations hockey team tried out of some their near gear donated by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke during a pick-up hockey game at the local arena. Cynthia Reason photos

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Black History Month walk Sunday

Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017 |

12

.COM

The public is invited to attend a Black History Celebration Walk in Toronto’s east end on Sunday, Feb. 19. The Lost River Walk, which starts at 2 p.m. at Hubbard Park, near Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue, is hosted by the Ontario Black History Society, the West Don Lands Committee, and Toronto Field Naturalists. It aims to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Canadian community builders like the Blackburn and Hubbard families. The walk, which will fol-

Dan Pearce/Metroland

At the grand opening of Hubbard Park are Mayor John Tory (right), great great granddaughter Barbara de Leeuw and Rosemary Sadlier. low a linear route, will proceed along city streets to the Lucie and Thornton Blackburn Conference Centre at Cherry Street and Eastern

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ket, 790 Queen St. E., just east of Broadview Avenue. Proceeds from the fundraiser, which will include a live auction, a 50/50 draw, prizes for the best morning accessory or outfit, and games including morningthemed trivia, will be used to ensure youth and others in need have access to a healthy breakfast before they start the day.

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DOMINIK KUREK dkurek@insidetoronto.com Registration season for spring/summer recreation programming is coming up in Toronto, and parents and recreation program users will be happy to know the city has made improvements to its customer experience. Registration for spring/ summer programming starts at 7 a.m. on the following days: • Saturday, March 4 Etobicoke York district • Sunday, March 5 Scarborough district • Tuesday, March 7 North York district • Wednesday, March 8 Toronto and East York district The most popular programs will fill up within minutes. The city has improved its

online system by increasing server capacity, which allows more people to use the system simultaneously. This will reduce the wait times people have experienced in the past. Plus, officials have improved the user interface to make searching for programs and registering easier. "We’ve been working over the last year to improve the overall experience that customers have," said Howie Dayton, director of community recreation at the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department. The city will also have more staff at its call centres with longer call centre hours for customers to register by phone on registration days. But, it’s still important that anyone planning to register for programming plans

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Participants take part in a parent toddler drop in swim at Agincourt Recreation Centre Friday. The City of Toronto is expecting a busy spring/summer recreation season. ahead of registration day. Dayton recommends people use the Get Ready to Register planning tools at www.toronto.ca/funguide. This Family Day Monday, the city will host Get Read to Register information centres in each district. Visit the website for locations and times. Additional-

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across the city. The city of Toronto prides itself on its quality programming that is affordable and inclusive. There are a number of community centres across the city where all programming is free. For families who can’t afford paid programming, the city’s Welcome Policy can provide financial assistance. For details, visit www.toronto.ca/wp. Toronto has an 81 per cent usage rate for instructional programs, which Dayton suggests people try. "The City of Toronto invests in quality of life. Recreation is essential to healthy and active living, social development for persons of all ages, whether its children, youth, adults and older adults," he said. For more information, visit www.toronto.ca/torontofun.

and mark favourites for programs they will try to register for on registration day. People should have their family and personal accounts ready before registration day. People should also have backup options as well in case their preferred programs fill up. Typically, people registering for programs start right at 7 a.m. Summer camps and children’s learn-to-swim programs are most sought after and fill up quickly. This summer, the city plans to offer 84,500 summer camp spaces, 66,000 learn-to-swim spaces and 30,000 general program spaces in arts, sports and fitness for all ages. This doesn’t include things such as summer leisure drop-in programs happening at pools, community centres or gymnasiums

| Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017

Get the skinny on spring/summer registration


Beach Mirror | Thursday, February 16, 2017 |

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