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December 3, 2010
Toronto celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities 2010
The City of Toronto, together with community, business and private sector partners celebrated International Day of People with Disabilities today at Variety Village. Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday (Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre) and Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest) attended the event.

This is the sixth year that the City has marked the day designated worldwide by the United Nations. The United Nations’ 2010 theme is "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming Disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond".

A focal point of the event is to celebrate achievements by Unsung Heroes. Deputy Mayor Holyday presented awards to the Unsung Heroes who were recognized for their achievements. The recipients were Nicole Flynn, Marjorie Francoz, Lisa Jai, Sandor Kezes, Peter Owusu-Ansah and Lynda Spinney.

The program also included An Invitation to Poetry in which selected poems about various aspects of living with a disability were read by the poets. The Invitation to Art gave artists with disabilities an opportunity to showcase their work during the event. There were displays providing information on community and City services and programs that support accessibility.

The Master of Ceremonies was Jeff Tiesson, a three-time Paralympian, world record holder and a recent inductee into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame. Mr. Tiesson is the founder and president of Disability Today Publishing Group.

The City of Toronto thanks its sponsors, BMO Financial Group, The Accessible Channel (TACtv), Variety Village, Starbucks Coffee and Party Packagers for their generous support. Organizational supporters of this year’s event include: Anne Johnston Health Station, Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre, CNIB, the Centre for Independent Living Toronto (CILT), Epilepsy Toronto and Anti-Ableism Committee (Toronto Community Housing Corporation).

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact: Paulos Ioannou, Employment and Social Services, City of Toronto, 416-392-2433,



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