The Dorset Park Network
The Dorset Park Network is a coalition of local residents, social service organizations, business representatives, institutions and levels of government providing supports, programs or services to the Dorset Park neighbourhood. The network also has work groups that collaborate to address the neighbourhood’s prioirity areas. For the purposes of neighbourhood action, the Dorset Park Network focuses its efforts on the area bounded by Birchmount Road to the west, Midland Avenue to the east, Flora Drive to the south and Highway 401 to the north.
The Dorset Park Network started in 2005 as a group called the Dorset Park Neighbourhood Action Partnership (NAP). It was formed after Dorset Park was identified as a ‘priority neighbourhood’ by the City of Toronto under its original Strong Neighbourhood Strategy, and as such required investment and support. In 2014, the City re-classified Dorset Park as an ‘emerging neighbourhood’. Afterwards the network became community-led and re-named itself the Dorset Park Network to continue strengthening the neighbourhood.
What does the Dorset Park Network Do?
- Leverages resources for the community
- Connects residents and community partners to address local priorities
- Ensures residents’ voices are at the table when taking neighbourhood action
The Dorset Park Network meets on the last Tuesday of every month from 1-3pm. For more information or to become a partner, contact Hub Coordinator, at 416-292-6912 x 303.
Action for Neighbourhood Change Dorset Park (ANC)
ANC works with residents to promote positive changes in their community through the development of a community vision and supporting residents in the implementation of an annual action plan to reach that vision. This has resulted in a variety of resident led projects that are working on programming, safety, education, food security and much more. ANC’s have also implemented Resident Action Grants where money is made available to resident led projects. In this past year RAGS continued to support projects such as a Sewing group, a knowledge sharing trip to Niagara Falls and a sports club. Hundreds of Residents have also been actively involved in the Poverty Reduction Talks happening across the City.
For more information, contact Malsan Gananendran at 416-292-6912, ext 316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s English Circle
In 2014, the Women’s English Circle program expanded to 5 days a week which allowed it to reach over 60 women and 40 children in the Dorset Park Community This program works to teach women new skills and also works to increase social networks and get women involved in the broader community.
For more information contact Suganthine Sivakumar at 416-292-6912, ext 315
Tenants, Involved, Educated and Ready to Respond (TIERR)
TIERR continued its second year of working with residents to address safety issues in the community. In Dorset Park, there was the implementation of the safety ambassador program. This dedicated group of residents met weekly and was successful at advocating for changes in their local park, as well as delivered a petition to their local city councilor advocating for a speed hump that would increase pedestrian safety.
A big thanks to Prema Kandiah, Sabiha Ahamd, Raja Chamma, Rikaza Fazly, Jospin Jeyarajah, Subramaniam Pushpamala, Ghada Al Kalaa, Lamyaa Hassan, Hazel Richards and Baldwin Richards for all of their hard work. TIERR has also started to work with residents in Glendower and Chester Le to determine what they want to do to address safety in their community.
Reach Out Project Engagement (ROPE)
Reach Out for Project Engagement (ROPE) is led by the Dorset Park Neighbourhood Association and trustee’d by ACSA. Its main goals surround increasing capacity of the local association, increasing resident engagement and working with community on its five priority areas: safety, food security, programming, employment and communication. ROPE had a very busy 2014, hosting multiple events that engaged over 2000 people, running a variety of workshops in partnership with local service providers and working with residents to start up community projects of their own.
SUCCESS STORIES & QUOTES
Ghada Al Kalaa: Resident of Dorset Park
My name is Ghada Al Kalaa, and I have been a resident in Dorset Park for over 11 years. I joined the English Circle for Women when it started in 2007. I am a very caring and social person and volunteering in the food bank gave me the opportunity to develop my English skills while helping the members in my community. Also, having no other family in this country other than my children, the community hub became my second home. I have had really great memories here and have made wonderful friends. I am now the assistant coordinator in the English Circle for Women. I’m so proud of this program and its success! I have encouraged a lot of women in this area to join because I truly believe that this program has a lot to offer women. In 2014, we were approved for a resident action grant. That summer, we took over 200 community members and their families to Niagara Falls. It was a great success! I strongly encourage everyone who is able to volunteer during their spare time to do so, because it not only builds a stronger community, but also provides you with self-satisfaction.
Lamyaa Hassan: Resident of Dorset Park
In 2013, I joined the Safety group. We call ourselves the Safety Ambassadors. We are a group of residents who care about our neighbourhood. We work together to make our community a better and safer neighbourhood. What I really like about this group is the respect to each other and that everyone is a leader. In this program, we learned how to identify a problem and how to find the best solution. Calling 311 was a big step because it was something new to us. We’ve been meeting with the police every month and have been working to make small changes to Glamorgan Park. We’ve also been collecting signatures in hopes of being able to get a speed hump. The best experience of hall was handing in that petition to our city councilor Norm Kelly and best of all meeting Mayor John Tory at City Hall and telling him about our group and what we do. These were all great experiences and we are very proud of ourselves.