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December 10, 2009
Community revitalization is on the menu in Toronto: Recipe for Community in Alexandra Park
Residents of Alexandra Park joined Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina), Marion Kane, Food Sleuth, writer, broadcaster and cook, representatives of Toronto Community Foundation, City of Toronto, Toronto Community Housing and the Alexandra Park Green Space Collective to launch the newly published cookbook A Pinch of This: Recipes from Alexandra Park on December 9. The book features recipes collected from the Toronto neighbourhood that showcase the rich diversity of its residents, their stories and favourite dishes. The book launch was the culmination of the Alexandra Park - Recipe for Community project, to revitalize the neighbourhood by building a stronger, safer and healthier community.

“What the residents have accomplished - with the support of the project’s partners - is remarkable. They came together to capture the essence of this great neighbourhood within the cookbook A Pinch of This: Recipes from Alexandra Park,” said Councillor Adam Vaughan.

The book launch at Alexandra Park Community Centre featured local entertainment and an opportunity to savour the flavours from the cookbook. Recipes in the book include those from Trinidad, Jamaica, China, Italy, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Philippines and others. Guests got a sneak peek at the book, which is now available for purchase for just $5 by calling 416-678-3439 or emailing Money raised from sales of the book will go to the Alexandra Park Green Space Collective to fund a community cooking program and gardens. Visit for more information.

Recipe for Community is a resident-inspired partnership between the Toronto Community Foundation, the City of Toronto (through its Toronto Office of Partnerships) and Toronto Community Housing, which blends four key ingredients: food, convening, youth engagement and neighbourhood beautification. The ‘recipe’ was inspired by a Fundholder at the Toronto Community Foundation who was eager to help the community in the wake of findings in a Toronto’s Vital Signs® report, an annual snapshot on the quality of life in Toronto, which highlighted a low sense of belonging and safety as key issues. Other Fundholders at the Toronto Community Foundation jumped on board with their financial support as well.

“Recipe for Community shows the great results that arise from community partnerships,” said Rahul Bhardwaj, President & CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation. “The cooperation between the Community Foundation and our wonderful group of partners has resulted in an even better Alexandra Park. It's an example of a high-impact solution for Toronto's Vital Signs.”

Over the past year, improved public spaces were created; benches, picnic tables and seating around basketball courts were installed; an outdoor mosaic was created by a local youth-led social enterprise, Toronto Mosaic; and community planting events helped the community to think green.

“The strength of the Alexandra Park community is in its residents who bring strong values and vibrancy to the neighbourhood,” said David Mitchell, Chair of Toronto Community Housing’s Board of Directors. “Toronto Community Housing is committed to creating safe and healthy communities. The Recipe for Community project helps us deliver on that commitment by tapping into the pride and ownership tenants have in this community.”

About City of Toronto
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. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

About Toronto Community Foundation
With more than 375 funds, and assets of more than $210 million, the Toronto Community Foundation is one of Canada's largest charitable foundations. Community vitality has been their purpose, promise, and passion since 1981, when they started connecting donors to community needs and opportunities. The Foundation helps people invest in Toronto, making it the best place to live, work, learn and grow. It monitors the quality of life in our city through Toronto's Vital Signs® Report. It provides the leadership and guidance to bring people together from all parts of our community. The Foundation exists for Toronto - for now and for always.

About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing is Canada’s largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes - about six per cent of the City of Toronto’s population. Toronto Community Housing employs 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs who deliver Toronto Community Housing’s mandate to provide quality housing and build great neighbourhoods. Toronto Community Housing is one of Canada’s 2009 Top 100 Employers.

Media contacts:
Jason Wagar, Toronto Community Foundation, 416-921-2035, ext. 211
Kyle Rooks, Toronto Community Housing, 416-981-4347,
Manjit Jheeta, Toronto Office of Partnerships, City of Toronto, 416-392-8684



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