Transmission from the JCP General Meeting – March 6, 2013

The Junction Commons Project is still a new group and as such we are working to accomplish our goal of creating a community hub at the same time as we figure out the working structure of the group. To this end, for some weeks now we have been working on a constitution that gives clarity and transparency to the JCP structure and outlines how decisions are made. We have been grappling with some interesting questions: should we become an Association with a clear authority structure and a membership or are we a project that tries to maximize community participation on every level? So far we have identified a core group who have defined themselves as a “task force” aimed at securing 209 Mavety for a hub. Hopefully this week or next we will be able to finalize our constitution and elect a “steering committee” or “board”.

After we achieve the goal set out by the task force, we will have to revisit organizational structure to reflect the new work to be done in building and running a community hub.

An important aspect of the work is ongoing community outreach. There are many organizations in and around the Junction whose work makes an impact on how we see the neighbourhood. This week some members will be giving a presentation at the Junction Residents Association on the Junction Commons Project, and we hope that this is just one of many such opportunities we have to connect with other groups.

As we see the JCP as in line with other initiatives around Toronto, such as the East Scarborough Storefront, and Wychwood Barns, we are hoping to have people from such projects also come and speak to the JCP about their experiences.

Connecting with the flow of ideas in the city is exciting. Ryerson instructor in Interior design  and JCP member, Taymoore Balbaa, has given his students a major assignment based on the conversion of 209 Mavety into a community hub. His students presented the first phase of their research and design work on Wednesday and JCP members Kim and Karin were on hand to give his students feedback. We saw some amazing ideas, some of which will probably be beyond our eventual budget, but nevertheless have sparked the imagination and interesting discussions on how to recreate the space for a new purpose. 209 Mavety has so much potential, it’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities. We are looking to have Taymoore’s students exhibit their final projects in the Junction when they are done this Spring.

On the more pragmatic and immediate side of our work, the JCP is working with the West Toronto Seniors Services and Four Villages Community Health Centre to put in an application for Trillium Foundation funding towards getting a feasibility study done for the Junction Commons Project. We probably wont find out for a while if we get this funding so we need to continue to do as much work on a business plan as possible leading up to our new date in mid June, when we will have to present our project to city council Government Management Committee. This week we sent a big THANK-YOU to Sarah Doucette who intervened on the JCP’s behalf to have the process of recommending 209 Mavety for sale postponed for five months. We can breath now for a bit while we focus on the work ahead.

The Junction Common’s Project is open to everyone in the neighborhood, don’t be shy about stopping by a meeting to say hello and check out the project!

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