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To: Toronto Community Housing, City of Toronto

Grow Our Grassways

Grow Our Grassways

Grow Our Grassways is a resident advisory board established by community members in response to the relocation of residents of the Grassway complexes in Jane and Finch by their landlord Toronto Community Housing Corporation and the City of Toronto. As residents or community members, we are concerned because our community is being displaced with no promise of return. There has been a lack of compassion for our community during this whole process and the schedule for the relocation leaves us with no time or option to be involved in any of the changes that will be happening when we leave. Many other TCHC communities have been given this opportunity and we believe we deserve the same.
So many people in our neighbourhood have called these buildings home for many years. We have seen the lack of investment in our houses by our landlords and are now being told that we must move by September 2017 as a result of their failure to take proper care in maintaining our housing. We must call it what it is: a failure. However, we are a strong people and have come together for many reasons to help one another. Youth in our community have been supported by the scholarship, we have enjoyed the Unity BBQ for the past few years in response to community violence and have the support of the Jane-Finch community Ministry and Firgrove Learning and Innovation Community Centre. We deserve for those community networks to be preserved. We deserve to enjoy the new features that will be developed in this community when we leave. We want to have the option to return. We deserve that much.

Why is this important?

This petition is designed to bring awareness to housing constraints within the Jane and Finch area, specifically The Grassways. We are not disputing the upsetting occurrences of relocation brought upon other communities who are facing - or have already been through - this experience; rather, we are trying to bring awareness to the situation on a micro level with hopes of later expanding into a larger platform. Most Ontarian's are aware of the rapid increase in the housing market however very little attention is brought to the areas that are being forced give up their homes to pave the way for new development. The new developments are problematic because they generally are very expensive and drive up the cost of living, making affordable housing accommodations inaccessible to residents.

With this petition, we invite community members that are affected by the relocation to join our newly established "Grow Our Grassways" tenant board. Currently, there are no promises of return being established with residents of the Grassways because there is no development opportunity. However, we realize that once the units are emptied, that will change. Therefore, we demand that the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing consult our board and include us in consultations regarding the new development. We need to guarantee that the Grassways are memorialized by the city by honoring the long and rich history of the community. For example: the ‘Towards a Higher Journey Mural’ needs to be preserved, community arts (e.g. photograph series, youths arts and crafts, farewell BBQ) must be held to assist members in saying good-bye to their community, their family, and their friends.

We have questions for the city that must be answered such as; what will happen to the recreational center and it’s after school programs? How will the new developments help the youth and families in the Jane and Finch area? Will we be displaced and disposed? A similar situation happened to the Regent Park community and we want to prevent it from happening to ours.

Please sign our petition to help bring awareness to our crisis in order to prevent our families from losing their homes and hopefully to prevent other communities from being forced out of their neighborhoods as well. We want our government to live up to their promise of helping low-income families and neighborhoods. We want the government to keep their initial promise of reviving our neighborhood and not demolishing it. We need to GROW our Grassways not diminish it.

Demands:

-Establishment of a Grow Our Grassways tenant board to be consulted for the new development
-Despite there being no current development opportunity, a Promise of Return must be established for current residents
Community arts (ex. Photograph series, arts and crafts, farewell BBQ) must be held to give space for community members to say goodbye to their neighborhood, the Grassways
-Towards A Higher Journey Mural (currently located on 7 Blue Grassway) must be preserved and have a space in any new development plan
-The Grassways needs to be memorialized by the City, there is a long and rich history of community mobilization that must be archived and made accessible to the public


Reasons for signing

  • Demand for social justice, and equity.
  • It takes years for friendships and a sense of community to grow, especially if this is the only source of support that one has. All of a sudden (without any consultations), this community is dispersed, without any guarantee of bringing it together again once the renovations are done!!!
  • Residents voices must be heard! They have invested a great deal of their lives in building community and now they want to tear it down??? Not without sincere consultation!!

Updates

2017-06-09 09:39:38 -0400

100 signatures reached

2017-05-17 21:52:09 -0400

50 signatures reached

2017-05-11 10:11:42 -0400

25 signatures reached

2017-05-07 21:01:33 -0400

10 signatures reached