Parkdale Leadership Training Series

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Are you committed to social justice in Parkdale? Do you want to gain knowledge and experience in community organizing? Do you want to see people like you reflected in local leadership? If you answered yes to these questions, please apply to the Parkdale Leadership Training Series!

The Parkdale People’s Economy and The Public Studio are partnering to provide a training series for women of colour who want to foster skills for organizing at the grassroots, non-profit, and government level. The training will be a paid opportunity to learn from local activists in Parkdale, build leadership skills through hands-on activities, and collectively develop a community initiative to address the issues you care most about in the neighbourhood. We encourage Black, Indigenous, racialized, and newcomer women, trans, and non-binary community members to apply!

Participants will receive honorariums equivalent to $15/hr for their participation in three 3-hour sessions ($135 total). We will also provide free childcare, translation services, dinner and refreshments, and TTC tokens.

Please access the application form here.

Parkdale Leadership Training Series

The series will include the following three 3-hour training sessions:

• Grassroots Organizing – Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 from 6-9PM
• Community Sector Organizing – Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 from 6-9PM
• Government Organizing – Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 from 6-9PM

Each session will be hosted at The Public Studio, which is located at 58 Lansdowne Ave (Seaforth and Lansdowne). The space is accessible by public transit, wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral washroom located on the main floor.

Application Support
Do you have questions about the program? Do you require support with filling out the application form? If so, we will be hosting the following Drop-In Dates with hard copies of the application form to support applicants with the process of applying:
• Thursday, March 15th, 2018 from 3-7PM at the Parkdale Library (1303 Queen St W)

• Friday, March 16th, 2018 from 2-5PM at The Public Studio (58 Lansdowne Ave)
• Monday, March 19th, 2018 from 10AM-5PM at PARC (Office 204, 1499 Queen St W)
• Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 from 4-5:30PM at the Parkdale Library (1303 Queen St W)

Alternatively, you can call or email Mercedes from the Parkdale People’s Economy at (416) 537-2262 x 269 /, or Sheila from The Public Studio at (647) 477-7474 /

Applications are due on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 by 6PM!


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Parkdale People’s Economy – Working Groups

On February 26, 2018, the Parkdale People’s Economy will be bringing together our seven working groups for an evening of community visioning and collaboration! The gathering will provide a space for community members to learn about the Parkdale Community Plan, review the directions, and set out priority actions for 2018. We will be providing food, childcare, translation services, and TTC tickets to working group participants. 

Date: Monday, February 26, 2018

Location: Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Drop-In (1499 Queen St W)

Time: 6-8PM

Working Groups:

  • Affordable Housing and Land Use
  • Community Health
  • Community Finance
  • Cultural Development
  • Decent Work and Inclusive Local Economies
  • Food Security
  • Participatory Local Democracy

Please share with your neighbours, co-workers, and loved ones!Working Groups - Outreach

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Not in our Lifetime: Neighbourhood Assembly to oppose the King Street Luxury Condo Proposal

Not in our Lifetime

Not in our Lifetime: Neighbourhood Assembly to oppose the King Street Luxury Condo Proposal

Date: Thursday November 9th, 2017
Time: 7-9PM
Location: 201 Cowan Ave (Basement)

Lifetime Developments has proposed a 14-storey and 17-storey luxury condo development at the intersection of King and Dufferin. The developer is proposing to build 703 luxury residential units and 10 retail units, yet not one unit will be affordable. Councillor Gord Perks has negotiated $1.9 million in Section 37 to be allocated towards a neighbourhood rental housing fund, yet this is not enough to address our current housing crisis. In Parkdale, tenants and local businesses are being priced out. Neighbourhood inequality is growing. We as a community are outraged by this proposal, and are organizing to say NO to this development.

Join us for a neighbourhood assembly this Thursday, November 9th from 7-9PM to prepare a platform, sign up for public deputations, and start a letter-writing campaign for the upcoming Toronto East York Community Council (TEYCC) on November 14th, 2017, where City Planning is recommending to approve the rezoning application for 1182-1221 King St W. This is our chance to fight back as a community.

This is not Liberty Village. This is Parkdale. Let’s unite to say “Not in our Lifetime.”

Background Information:

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Parkdale Community Benefits Workshops

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PCED is hosting a series of Community Benefits Workshops for Parkdale on Wednesday August 30th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and Thursday September 7th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm*.

Come learn about new developments arriving in Parkdale, discuss how they will impact the neighbourhood, and collectively develop ideas for how these developments can be best leveraged to benefit our community.

Building on workshops held earlier this summer with ESL students and the PARC Ambassador and Co-op Cred program, these workshops will provide a platform for community members to express their thoughts and suggestions on how to ensure that new developments in Parkdale benefit the local community and strengthen its four overarching values: Inclusiveness, Affordability, Diversity and Equity. The workshops will help to establish a set of community demands that developers must adhere to when building in Parkdale.

Spaces are limited. RSVP encouraged but not required:

*Please note that these workshops are identical and participants need only sign up for one workshop.

In addition, PCED is holding a youth workshop (13-24 years old) on Thursday August 31st from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the Healing Centre on the second floor of PARC (1499 Queen St W). If you would like to sign up and participate in this workshop, contact Mercedes at

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Community Benefits 101

On June 29th Parkdale Community Economic Development held their second panel discussion entitled On Community Benefits: Community Benefits 101. This discussion was moderated by Jenn Miller (Aktinson Foundation) and featured Rosemarie Powell (Toronto Community Benefit Network), Mariam Paul (East Scarborough Storefront) and Alejandra Bravo (Broadbent Institute). Drawing from their own perspectives and experiences, the panelists offered in-depth analyses of how Community Benefits Agreements are an effective collective tool that leverages equitable development without displacement.

Community Benefits Agreements are legally binding contracts that are negotiated between a grassroots coalition and a developer to ensure that new developments benefit the local community. These community benefits include, but are not limited to: local jobs, living wage requirements, affordable housing, and neighbourhood improvements. Community Benefits Agreements are being welcomed by local governments because they encourage social returns on investment from infrastructure growth. The passing of Bill 6 is evidence that the Ontario government recognizes the value of community benefits. More importantly for local communities, growth that occurs from intensification and redevelopment can be leveraged in a way that provides a myriad of social and economic opportunities the community.

The panelists highlighted the importance of building relationships within the neighborhood that develop a community coalition; building an optimistic, celebratory culture; and the risks of institutionalized, power imposed, top-down governance. It was argued the political nature of community benefits agreements should be a “bottom-up” process with a focus on everyday struggles, access to resources and “who get’s what.”

A campaign rather than an institution, community benefits should set clear demands for developers so that their project can generate shared wealth in the local economy. In addition, Community Benefits Agreements are key to communicating and sparking dialogue with communities who are traditionally excluded from community consultation processes. These conversations are in itself is a “win”, allowing institutions and powerful actors in urban politics to empathize with community anxieties and listen to their struggles. Community Benefits Agreements are not the “end-all-be-all” for a community mobilization but rather establish a “floor” of expectations for new development and create space for grassroots conversations to emerge.

Filmed by Philip Lortie.

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On Community Benefits: Development 101

On June 20th, 2017, the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) held a panel discussion entitled On Community Benefits: Development 101. Moderated by Emily Paradis (University of Toronto), panelists Benjamin Hoff (Urban Strategies), Clara Stewart-Robertson (Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre) and Claire-Helen Heese-Boutin (Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust) provided an overview of development and planning processes in Parkdale, with an emphasis on when, where and how community members can claim ownership over neighbourhood change.

Three broad areas of development were discussed: Private Development, Public Infrastructure, and the Commons. Private Development is characterized by developers who are driven by maximizing profit margins and carry financial risk. Public infrastructure, by contrast, focuses on improving public assets and directing urban development. However, it should not be assumed the public sector necessarily responds to the needs of “the public.” Local government, in particular, tends to privilege the concerns of business and real estate industry over the concerns of community. Community-initiated development is an alternative approach to development that focuses on collective assets and protecting “the commons.” This approach considers human necessities, such as housing, to be shared, universal human rights. Moreover, “the commons” are beyond state ownership and private property, representing places of engagement and shared wealth, communal care, and community. The Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust is a prime example of treating housing as a human right, seeking to secure affordable housing and community space in perpetuity for the people of Parkdale.

With development pressures and gentrification arriving in Parkdale, the panelists discussed the need for community members to unite and assert their voice in the urban development process. PCED is facilitating the creation of a Community Benefits Framework to support the people of Parkdale in having a say over the way that the neighbourhood changes. A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is one tool that can help move the framework forward. CBAs are contractual agreements that are negotiated with a developer and a community coalition to ensure that the needs of local residents are addressed through publicly funded development in the neighbourhood. The Community Benefits Framework will not only help the community understand the complex language developers use in the development process, but it will also place the onus on developers to understand a community’s demands and priorities, and ensure that those needs are acknowledged and fulfilled.

Filmed by Philip Lortie.

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PCED Learning Series – On Community Benefits

Come learn about how to gain greater community control over development in Parkdale!

On Community Benefits is a two-part learning series organized by the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning Project. The neighbourhoodwide planning initiative has been led by over 30 community-based organizations to build Decent Work, Shared Wealth, and Equitable Development in Parkdale. Through a series of community-based consultations, the Parkdale Community Planning Study identified the establishment of a Community Benefits Framework as a key direction for advancing equitable development in the neighbourhood.

Our first panel, Development 101, will provide an introductory overview of the existing development and planning processes in the neighbourhood. Our second panel, Community Benefits 101, will provide an in-depth look into Community Benefits Agreements as a tool for advancing equitable neighbourhood change.

On Community Benefits: Development 101
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Anglican Church of the Epiphany St Mark – 201 Cowan Avenue

The Panel:

  • Benjamin Hoff, Urban Strategies
  • Clara Stewart-Robertson, Jane-Finch Community Centre
  • Claire-Helen Heese-Boutin, Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

Moderated by Emily Paradis, University of Toronto

Please RSVP:

On Community Benefits: Community Benefits 101
Thursday, June 29th, 2017 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Parkdale Library – 1303 Queen Street West

The Panel:

  • Rosemarie Powell, Toronto Community Benefit Network
  • Mariam Paul, East Scarborough Storefront
  • Michelle Francis, Community Action Planning Group – York West

Moderated by Jenn Miller, Atkinson Foundation

Please RSVP:

The learning series will lead into action-oriented community-based workshops throughout the summer to collectively develop demands for community benefits in Parkdale.



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