East Scarborough Storefront
Our Impact Why We Exist
As a result of The Storefront's work:
- residents and organizations gain and share knowledge so that they can make choices and provide leadership that will improve their own and thecommunity's wellbeing;
- there is increased overall enthusisiam in the neighbourhood and resident leadership, collective organizing and volunteerism in recreation and sports actvities in KGO;
- there is increased opportunities for residents to find meaningful work and thrive both socially and economically;
- there is increased capacity among local business and organizations to become or remain viable contributors to their own community and wellbeing;
- there is increased resident access to green spaces;
- there is increased knowledge of and capacity to lead green initiatives in KGO;
- there is increased increased opportunity for resident voice on civic issues;
- there is increased collaboration and knowledge sharing between residents;
- there is increased capacity for residents to partcipate and volunteer; and
- there is increased opportunity for community celebration.
The Storefront's community impact strategies levaerage the power of collboration to increase the capacity of local residents to help one another in both large and small ways.
The East Scarborough Storefront is a project of Tides Canada's shared platform.
Our Story What We Do
History of Organization
1999: Need for services reaches a crisis point as more than 800 people are housed in local motels
2000: Agencies and residents meet regularly to find an innovative solution the service crisis in East Scarborough
2001: The East Scarborough Storefront opens its doors with nothing but one large space and an enormous amount of goodwill
2003: The Storefront volunteer project is born
2004: The Storefront model is established and receives Vital Ideas Award
2005: Announcements are made that The Storefront would lose most of its funding and its home at Morningside Mall
2006: Residents and agencies rally - the famous SOS (Save Our Storefront) March and letter-writing campaign brought five funders to the table to fund the Storefront collaboratively
2007: The City of Toronto houses The Storefront in old Police Station at 4040 Lawrence Avenue East
2008: Residents, agencies, funders and supporters rally again to create The Storefront’s bold new vision
2009: The Storefront takes on broader community development work in a big way by supporting the garden, the market, resident engagement and community capacity building
2010: The Storefront takes on economic development with an innovative approach to employment and business supports. The community urges The Storefront to expand its space; youth and architects begin planning
2011: The Storefront launches a reciprocal learning partnership with University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)
2012: The Storefront publishes the book "The Little Community That Could" which tells how we do what we do
2013: Local entrepreneurs begin working in The Storefront's Eco-food hub
2014: The Storefront receives Bhayana award for ground breaking approach to Tower Neighbourhood Renewal; Storefront sports court and Sky-O-Swale (designed by local youth) opens
2015: The Storefront provides leadership to a cross community youth access and influence strategy (KGO Act)
2016: The Storefront provides leadership and cross community engagement for East Scarborough Works, a community benefits place-based workforce development strategy.
Accolades and Accomplishments
-East Scarborough is designated by PlayWorks as a Youth Friendly Community after fours years of cross community organizing and community engagement by The Storefront, UTSC, and the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough.
-Calvin Kangara receives Vital People Award
-Tower Neighbourhood Renewal partnership receives a Bhayana collaboration award
-The Storefront receives a Vital Ideas award from Toronto Community Foundation
-The Storefront's Director, Anne Gloger, receives a Vital People award from Toronto Community Foundation
-The Storefront recieves a Vital Ideas award from Toronto Community Foundation.
-The Storefront's Director, Anne Gloger was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by The Chancellery of Honours, Office of the Secretary to the Govenor General.
-The Storefront was nominated for a Canadian Urban Leadership award. The award recognizes groups and organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions.
-The KGO (Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park) Youth Safety Audit team, supported by The Storefront’s Coordinator of Special Projects, was one of five winners for the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards. They also won an INI (Identify ‘N’ Impact) Award for their work on the walking safety audits in their community.
-The Storefront was a semi-finalist in the Scarborough Mirror/PCPI Urban Hero awards under the “Community” category.
-Dip Habib, The Storefront’s Coordinator of Volunteers and Events, was awarded the Atkinson Foundation Leadership grant for his community organizing work. The grant allowed him to explore effective environmental social justice organizing in other communities.
-Anne Gloger won the City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations. She was nominated by a seniors’ group who felt that Anne’s work over the past two decades could be summed up with the words “partnerships” and “champion.”
-Toronto's Inner Suburbs Investing in Social Infrastructure in Scarborough (June 2011)Deborah Cowen & Vanessa Parlette, University of Toronto
-Social Infrastructure in the Inner Suburbs Poverty and the Priority Neighbourhoods Strategy in East Scarborough Deborah Cowen & Vanessa Parlette Department of Geography and Programme in Planning University of Toronto "This pilot study explores the impact of Priority Neighbourhood designation on the development of social infrastructure in one community in Southeast Scarborough: Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park. This research uncovers a range of creative approaches to targeted investment, local capacity building, and community governance that have a positive impact in cultivating social infrastructure that should be celebrated, supported, and shared."
-The East Scarborough Storefront Project: A successful inter-organizational service collaboration (September, 2007) Brenda Roche and Joan Roberts, Wellesley Institute "The East Scarborough Storefront (The Storefront) was chosen to explore and determine the critical factors and dynamics of partnership and collaboration that lead to a successful, formalized, inter-organizational service collaboration. The Storefront stands out as a unique example of non-profit work, emerging out of a coalition of community members, local faith-based organizations, and community-based service providers who identified an area marked by an increasingly vulnerable population of newcomers with high needs who were under-served by agencies."
-Trends in performance management: In 2010 the HR Council of Canada cited the East Scarborough Storefront as an innovative approach to best practices in human resources management. A webinar was developed around The Storefront's compensation strategy and an article written focusing on The Storefront's approach to performance management.
Our Programs How We Do It
The East Scarborough Storefront (The Storefront) uses the power of collaboration to support people and build community in the inner suburban neighbourhood of Kingston Galloway/ Orton Park (KGO).
The Storefront's approach focuses on helping networks of residents, social service organizations, academic institutions, businesses, planners and architects engage in meaningful discussions, run programs, organize events, share learning and participate in a wide range of activities effectively and collectively.
What this means is that because of Storefront's model and approach:
- residents can find the services they need because 35 organizations bring social services like legal advice, youth groups and settlement services to the neighbourhood through our service delivery hub;
- residents are connected with local employment and economic opportunities;
- residents are supported to run their own events, volunteer throughout the community and engage in civic action;
- businesses are supported work together to tackle issues of economic viability both for individual enterprises and for the community as a whole; and
- innovative initiatives are nurtured throughout the neighbourhood bringing the best of institutions like University of Toronto Scarborough and professions like architecture and integrating them in the myriad activities designed to increase resident voice, knowledge and opportunity in KGO.
Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park-University of Toronto Scarborough Partnership (The Partnership)
The United Way Toronto and the Galin Foundation have generously supported the inception of the KGO-UTSC Partnership since 2011. All programs are developed in partnership with the University of Toronto Scarborough. In 2012 The City of Toronto supported the development of the sports component of The Partnership, and in 2013, the Blue Jays Care Foundation provided support to continue the development and delivery of sports programming for youth.
Funding and Program Partners
• United Way Toronto• Galin Foundation• Blue Jays Care Foundation (Sports Initiatives)
Community Programming Partners include:
- East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club
- Mornelle Court All Stars Homework Club
- KGO Kicks – resident-led soccer program (supported by Neighbourhood Trust)
- Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
- Morningside Library
- Residents Rising
- St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church
- Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
- Local Immigration Partnership
- Councillor Ainslie's office
- East Scarborough Festival Market
- Cedar Ridge Creative Arts Centre
UTSC Departments involved:
- Department of Management
- Department of Physical and Environmental Science
- Department of Geography
- Department of Student Life
- Department of English
- Department of Arts, Culture and Media
- Department of Athletics and Recreation
- Department of Historical and Cultural Studies
- Office of the Dean & Vice-Principal (Academic)
The impacts for the residents, students, organizations, faculty and staff involved in the initiative include, but are not limited to:
- 36 youth from Native Child and Family Services increased their basketball skills and had mentoring opportunities
- 43 community members increased their knowledge in the areas of environmental science, story and poetry writing, history and culture by participating in free university style courses offered by faculty in the neighbourhood.
- 180 local youth gained new skills and increased their knowledge of healthy living by participating in the Learn to Play Tennis program.
- 200 residents increasing their knowledge of local water issues by participating in events
Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program
“While community based programs are critical in the short term, long term solutions will be found in thinking and acting like a network.”
(Toronto’s Vital Signs®)
Local KGO residents were concerned that lighting, traffic signals (or lack thereof), poorly maintained sidewalks, etc. were negatively impacting safety in their community. They wanted to raise awareness and advocate for upgrades and improvements to their physical environment. UTSC faculty member Professor Ahmed Allahwala and his students, were able to bring in the appropriate partners to make it a reality. Local youth and UTSC students were trained in anti-oppression and on how to conduct safety audits by the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children. The safety audits took youth on guided walks around the KGO community to assess the safety of the spaces they use.
This project empowered youth by providing the skill set needed to voice their safety concerns about the spaces they use. Youth participated in project development sessions, received training from METRAC, and conducted safety audits over the course of 8 sessions, for a total of 366 volunteer hours. UTSC Students compiled the feedback into a visual report of the project, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbEqxchovCc. Students and residents joined forces to use the video to raise awareness about safety issues across KGO.
What You Can Do
Activities a donation will support
The evaluation of the KGO-UTSC partnership showed that we have created a unique model of partnership between a community and a large institution. This model of partnership can strengthen existing community-university partnerships, support the creation of new community-university partnerships and support the creation of meaningful partnership between communities and other large institutions, not limited to universities. The Storefront is currently exploring how the learnings from the KGO-UTSC Partnership can support institutions such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Rouge National Urban Park and the Toronto Zoo to create mutually beneficial partnerships with communities in East Scarborough.
The Storefront is requesting funds to undertake the development and testing of tools and modules that will to help large institutions that want to work with marginalized populations develop partnerships based on community identifies needs.
With financial support, The Storefront will be able to create learning opportunities that will allow others to develop values-based, community focused relationships between communities and institutions. When communities and institutions work together in meaningful ways the best of both can be brought to bear on affecting meaningful change.