All posts by lizakim

Gar Alperovitz – Public Banking 2013: Funding the New Economy

Here’s some more information on why the community bank idea makes sense.

Gar Alperovitz – Public Banking 2013: Funding the New Economy


Free Store?????

The idea of having a free store came up quite a few times during the JCP public consultation. It’s an idea that is close to  my heart having grown up in the bohemian margins where there was a free store in the ‘hippy house’ at the end of our block (in 60’s-70’s era Vancouver). I still remember the long, navy blue, tailored wool coat I got there – it was a score. Yesterday I just happened to pop into the Art Gallery of York U where they are having a show called incidental activism. The exhibit is a workspace, with artists working on social projects. There were some documents posted around from the Anarchist University (now in archive form) that looked amazing so I asked one of the women who was in the exhibit. Turns out she is in this new project: The Really Really Free Market (brilliant name).

Check out them out by the link below – it happens the first Saturday of every month in Campell Park – one hood over: Campbell Park is on Campbell Avenue, North of Wallace and South of Antler Street..

Really Really Free Market Toronto.


(Image from RRFM website)


La Ruche Art Hives – Montreal

CULTURE | SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2011      McGill Daily
Making art and community
St. Henri art space brings neighbors together with canvas and conversation
Written by Andrea Zhu | Visual by Afra Tucker

When it comes to art here in Montreal, we are undeniably spoiled. In any other city, just being artistic stands out on its own, but here, there’s usually something more. Handwritten signs, eclectic colors, and nifty décor are breathed into just about every corner of this vibrant city. The arts in Montreal have become the means rather than the end, usually paired with another grassroots movement or cause.

A more recent initiative – started April of this year – is a free community art space located in the revitalized borough of St. Henri, called La Ruche D’Art. It is open to anyone interested, at no cost, and provides a big studio space as well as a wide variety of materials to use for creative, therapeutic, or social purposes. The idea behind the La Ruche D’Art is to have an alternative space that is inclusive and accessible not only to artists, but to the general population.

When you first walk in the sunny entrance of the space, welcoming posters encourage you to “make good art” and to be part of the St. Henri Community. The studio itself is one large, open room with a spacious cluster of tables in the middle. A friendly mix of Francophones, Anglophones, and people of all ages gather around and chat while sewing, painting, doodling, and generally having fun. Along the walls surrounding the table, tall shelves are available to anyone looking for wool, tree bark, buttons, jars, pencil crayons, fabric, and almost anything else you could use to make art, all donated to the studio by community members. The other side of the studio is set up like a gallery, with a few installation pieces as well as paintings and photographs by La Ruche participants. In the back, the studio has a beautiful outdoor space called “the collective garden,” also free to use for art projects, gardening, installations, and general enjoyment.

For many art studios, the participants walk in with the intent of making art, and walk out with a much broader experience. What is unique about La Ruche is that most people that walk though its doors are not coming just for the art, but for the sense of community, whether it be in a listening ear, friendly faces, encouragement, support, or acceptance. Community members come in to talk about various current events or personal stories, as well as to teach and learn about arts and crafts in a nonjudgmental, informal setting, often walking out with a tangible piece of art.

Through this initiative, founder Janis Timm-Bottos and their business partner Rachel Chainey hope to overcome the social stratification present in Montreal. In a space free of differentiated social classes, participants can bond over shared food, collaborative pieces, and music. Bringing together experienced artists and amateurs alike, La Ruche provides the residents of St Henri and its neighbours with a space outside of work or school in which to express themselves.

For those interested in stopping by, there’s no need to bring anything but an open mind!

JCP does press conference and officially receives Trillium grant

The press was invited to report on the JCP as it receives it’s Trillium grant with political representatives in attendance:

November 11, 2013


Community centre study moves ahead in the Junction neighbourhood!

A collaborative grant for a feasibility study on 209 Mavety St. was officially launched on November 8th in front of 209 Mavety St.   The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) provided the funding through a joint application from the Junctions Commons Project (JCP) and Silver Circle – West Toronto Services for Seniors (SC-WTSS)

In 2011, the Toronto Police Service Division 11 moved from its former location at 209 Mavety Street to a new facility.  This unoccupied two-story building is approximately 60 years old and 25, 000 square feet.   In the latter part of 2012, a group of residents grabbed the opportunity to talk to the community about the future of the former Division 11 building.  They formed the JCP to help focus their efforts with the intent of converting the building into a community space that provides area residents a place to meet, work, play and participate in various community activities.

The Photo-Op  marked the official launch of the OTF funded feasibility study and to bring all levels of government together in their support of this project

“I would like to recognize the province for keeping the money flowing into our communities and West Toronto Services for Seniors for supporting this local initiative.”

Cheri DiNovo MPP Parkdale – High Park

From Left to Right:  Lynn Bishop – JCP taskforce, Brent Potts – Board member SC-WTSS, Thom Burger – Executive Director SC-WTSS, Jonah Schein – MPP Davenport, Peggy Nash – MP Parkdale High Park, Cheri DiNovo – MPP Parkdale High Park, Graeme Stewart – ERA Architects, Sarah Doucette – City Councillor Ward 13, Peter Thoma – Partner in Urbanmetrics Inc.

“This is the best kind of community project, where the community is on board from the beginning.   We need more public spaces for people to come together that are accessible and affordable and open to the community.”

Jonah Schein MPP Davenport

UrbanMetrics Inc, lead by area resident Peter Thoma, have been retained to lead the feasibility study and are already beginning to consult with the Junction community to assess the various services and activity needs and gaps in the area.

Work is already under way to consult with the Junction community to assess the various services and activity needs and gaps in the area.   Individuals can participate in an online survey through

” I’ve been very impressed with the outreach to the community and the dedication of the Junctions Commons Project group.”

Sarah Doucette, City Councillor Ward 13

“The Ontario Trillium Foundation funding is so significant. We needed someone with quite a breadth of experience to lead the study, and getting the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation allows us to hire this expertise which in turn means we can leverage the incredible volunteer energy in this neighbourhood for good purpose.”

Lynn Bishop, JCP Taskforce

“Kudos to the Junction Commons Project a group of engaged community members who care about their neighbourhood… and then using the levels of government- municipal, provincial and federal, to make the vision happen.”

Peggy Nash, MP Parkdale – High Park






First Community Charrette done!


About 15 people gathered at the Annette Library last night for the first of a series of public ‘charrettes’ – brainstorming sessions on what a community hub might be. We started out with the question: What would you like to find at a Community Hub? What would bring you there,   what would you like to have access to that you do not have in this community?

A lot of ideas got written down on sticky notes and posted on a sheet of paper and then we went around with markers and put dots  on the 5 ideas we liked the most. The top three  were:

Community Garden
Food and Kitchen
Community Arts

When asked to elaborate on each of these ideas a vision emerged that included a roof garden and a hydroponic set up in the basement where food was grown. A seed bank  where seeds could be traded. Also, a map of yards in and around the Junction where there was urban farming space available.  The food that was harvested could go to the community kitchen where people could come and make collective meals, eat together and maybe watch tv or a movie. Classes in nutrition, how to cook healthy on a budget and for a single person, or cooking classes for kids. Also, storytelling about food histories, and educational events on where food comes from. As for the arts, ideas ranged from renting affordable studio space, opening a gallery, having art drop in space accessible to all age groups… the art that was discussed ranged from visual arts to dance, music and the art of yoga!

The second question that was asked was: What ideas do you have for generating income to support the community hub?

The ideas touched on the three areas: community gardens, kitchen and the arts. Ideas for special events such as bringing in celebrity chefs to do cooking classes as a fundraiser, organizing Junction cook-offs where people pay to participate, or finding sponsors for the community garden. On the art side ideas ranged from renting live/work space to artists to developing a residency program that was funded by an arts council. Facilities such as a gallery or music studio could be rented out… these are just a few of the ideas that came up.



There will be a series of community meetings in public locations around the Junction (see below). There will also be an online survey through the website. The survey is still in development so stay tuned for an invite to do the survey when it is ready, which should be in the next few days. If you have signed up to the mailing list you will automatically get a notification (see subscribe tab above).

Please come out to the Charette’s and fill in the survey, make your ideas known, add your voice to the project. The JCP needs to hear from as many people as possible.

JCP Poster

JCP is hosting a series of Charettes to gather ideas for the community hub. The dates are as follows:

 •           Tuesday: November 5th from 6:15-8:15pm  Annette Street Library – 145 Annette St

•           Thursday: November 7th from 6:30-8:00pm   Perth/Dupont Library – 1589 Dupont St

•           Saturday November 9th from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Farmers Market

•           Sun: November 10th from 2pm-4pm  Jane/Dundas St. Library – 620 Jane Street

•           Wed: November 13th from 6:30-8:00pm Galaxy Donuts – 369 Keele St

We will also be hosting a Townhall meeting

  • Monday: November 25th 7:00pm -9:00pm at The 3030– 3030 Dundas St.

community consultation events coming soon!

As many of you know, the good news is that the JCP has received the Trillium Foundation grant to go forward with the feasibility study. This study will provide us with the knowledge we need to go forward to the city with a proposal for Mavety street. This will include an assessment of the building and what it needs, the study of possible financial models, an architectural proposal for what the building could become and most important a needs assessment based in a series of community consultations.

The community assessment comes first and informs the other areas of the feasibility study, thus November will be community consultation month!

On Thursday the community consultation committee of the JCP met to further develop the charrette method, a creative brainstorming session, which we will be doing in various locations around the Junction. The purpose of the charrette is not just to find out what needs and desires might exist in the Junction area, but also to get inspired about the fantastic possibilities of community mobilization and engagement. Look out for posters for times and locations and come out and participate, lend your voice and creative thinking to developing a vision of what a community hub in the Junction could be!

All Junction neighbourhood members are invited to JCP General Meetings – stay connected for meeting announcements through signing up to the blog or through social media (see below).