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December 10, 2011
St. James Town celebrates bike contest winners, mural unveiling and community book launch
St. James Town residents celebrated today with the donation of more than 40 new bicycles and helmets, the unveiling of a mural and book launch of “The World Within one Block - Recipes and Stories from St. James Town”. This represents the conclusion of an 18-month public and private sector investment partnership led by the Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto. The partnership, which includes Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) Team Up Foundation, ING DIRECT and Toronto Community Housing, has invested more than $500,000 in St. James Town through Recipe for Community.

Recipe for Community - St. James Town has worked with residents over the last 18 months to imagine and implement projects that build community pride and help residents develop new skills. As a result the neighbourhood has a newly refurbished basketball court, a community pergola with benches and tables; new green spaces; a mural, outdoor amphitheatre, and enhancements to the St. James Town entrance on Wellesley Street to create a formal gateway into the neighbourhood. Hundreds of residents have participated in training programs focused on first aid, cooking, nutrition and food handling, bicycle repair and safety, carpentry, small business development and mural design.

"The City of Toronto is delighted to be working with its partners the Toronto Community Foundation, MLSE Team Up Foundation, ING DIRECT, Toronto Community Housing and the residents of St. James Town on improvements to the area,” said Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). "Recipe for Community promotes stronger communities, increased social and cultural benefits, and enhanced local economic activity."

“Recipe for Community recognizes the strengths of community and builds on existing relationships among residents, and public and voluntary sector organizations to improve safety and the sense of belonging in their communities," said Toronto Community Foundation President & CEO Rahul K. Bhardwaj. "We are very pleased with the improvements made in St. James Town, both physical and social. We thank all our partners and donors, without whom this community building initiative would not have been a success.”

“Recipe for Community has made a significant contribution to St. James Town, offering new skills and gathering spaces where residents can get to know their neighbours. That’s the meat and potatoes, if you will, of a healthy community,” said Deborah Simon, Chief Operating Officer of Toronto Community Housing.

“We are proud to have been part of the Recipe for Community initiative and to have made a meaningful contribution to the St. James Town community," said Mike Bartlett of MLSE Team Up Foundation. "We hope that the basketball court will continue to be a place where physical activity can be celebrated and enjoyed by residents of all ages for years to come.”

"ING DIRECT is proud to reward 40 youth with new bikes that will increase their mobility within the city, improve their health, and naturally help them to save money," said Rob Landry, SVP, HR, Legal, Operations & Real Estate, ING DIRECT. "We are excited to watch these young community builders as they continue to build a vibrant St James Town by investing their time and talents and hope to see them enjoying their new bikes for years to come."

Recipe for Community was initiated following the release of the Toronto Community Foundation's 2008 Toronto's Vital Signs® Report, which identified a low sense of belonging and safety as key city issues. In 2009, the Recipe for Community Program made its successful debut in the Alexandra Park neighbourhood of Ward 20.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Manjit Jheeta
Office of Partnerships, City of Toronto

Simone Dalton
Media Relations & Communication Officer, Toronto Community Foundation
416-921-2035, ext. 218



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