Greetings from The Corner,

We take this opportunity to wish all our readers and community members a fantastic and dazzling year ahead. We would like to take to this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all our volunteers and placement students, who have worked tirelessly  towards making St. James Town a neighborhood of choice to call home.

We would also like to call upon individuals who would like to volunteer with us or learn more about The Corner, and our programs in 2019.  Please contact us or just drop by at The Corner at 200 Wellesley Street East. 
Residents Celebrate Holidays Together
The community holiday celebration was a great way to kick off the Holiday season for the residents of St. James Town. In partnership with community organizations, Bell Canada and community members, The Corner held a festive community event on December 19th, 2018 with lots of food, fun, games and distributed gifts for children and youth. 250 community residents came together to dine, celebrate and build a sense of community and belonging. There was a feeling of   connectedness in the St. James Town community over the holidays.

Staff, volunteers, agency partners, ambassadors, and residents all came together in the spirit of volunteering to work together to give back to the community. From decorating The Corner to providing a festive touch, cooking the meal, to setting up the room, gift wrapping toys, everyone worked hard together to make this event the joy of the season for many families in our community. Bell was our major sponsor for the gifted Toys. Bell along with Trinity Church, Progress Place and The Corner contributed to the meals. There were several other sponsors as well. 125 kids received gifts  and left The Corner with a smile on their face. The children were also busy with face painting, playing games, and making arts and crafts that were organised for them. They really enjoyed themselves! 
"Thanks to The Corner, it brought my kids so much happiness. I love this community. This is our first holiday season in Canada”. - Resident, St. James Town
Over 150 delicious meals were served along with deserts and juice. The holiday celebration committee worked tirelessly to make sure everything went well as planned, worked in perfect sync like a well-oiled machine.
Introducing Tomas Tafey
We are pleased to introduce to you all Tomas Tesfay, a new staff member to The Corner team. Tomas is a community outreach support worker promoting the programs as well as the services provided to the community from The Corner and other Service Providers. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Developmental Studies. 
Prior to joining The Corner team, he has been working as a community facilitator for more than three years in Ethiopia. As a community worker he has been involved in providing training and workshops to youth, children and their caregivers.

He has been previously involved in facilitating life skills, computer and business skills training and counselling services. In 2015 he joined a local non-governmental organization in Ethiopia called Relief Society of Tigray. With the Relief Society, he got the opportunity to work with vulnerable children and their caregivers and facilitated the support provided to the children and their families in collaboration with different stakeholders. He was also involved in several income generation programs for youth and their families. We welcome Tomas to St. James Town and wish him the best while here with us.
 You can connect with Tomas at
Supporting Newcomers through the Settlement and Health Integration Project
Sherbourne Health, an anchor organisation at The Corner is bringing in additional settlement and mental health support for newcomers to Canada through a new project.  This project will provide services for newcomers both at Sherbourne Health and in the St. James Town neighbourhood.  

The goal for the project is to create a positive and supportive environment for newcomers, recognizing their strengths, resolve, and resiliency. The Newcomer Connector will provide settlement and other supports to newcomers and their families. The connector will be the point of contact to make and receive referrals to partnering agencies and connect newcomers to primary care and mental health services.  The Mental Health Counsellor will provide support to newcomer youth and families through group workshops, and one-on-one sessions.  Residents from the community will work alongside the Newcomer connector and Mental Health counselor in the role of settlement and health educators, and will deliver information workshops to newcomers in the community. 

As part of the project, we will be conducting focus groups with newcomers to find out more about specific needs. If you are interested in taking part in the Focus Group Discussions or the project in general, please do contact us, we’d love to hear from you at
Creating Opportunities for Our Youth

The St. James Town Youth Network (SJTYN) is an effort by the Service Provider's Network (SPN) of St. James Town to provide and create opportunities for St. James Town youth. The youth network functions as a sub-committee under the SPN operating independently while relating their efforts back to the objectives of the SPN. The SJTY Network has approximately 20 youth focused service providers; who take a concentrated approach towards various initiatives therefore bringing out maximum productivity and engagement of youth within St James Town. 

The SJTYN reformed itself in late 2018 and it is still at the earliest stage of defining guidelines as well as a work plan. Currently, the network is fostering a better collaboration among members of the SPN and other resources within the community. Although there are a number of areas that need to be taken into consideration, the SJTYN chose Health, Employment and Safety of youth as their priority in 2019. The goal is to create mediums within St. James Town to hear from, share and promote their voice by maintaining momentum, remaining current and relevant as a network through an action based platform. The desire is that as a united front the SJTY Network will provide St James town Youth accurately informed opportunities through resources, events and initiatives over the time.

The network is currently planning a user friendly technological platform that would effectively link agencies and their initiatives with the resident youth.  There is also need for measuring the success of these initiatives from the perspective of the SJTYN, youth themselves and determining whether there is a need for additional initiatives specifically hosted through the SJTY Network.

Fun and Learning at The Corner
The Corner offers several educational and fun programs on a regular basis aimed at the physical and mental wellbeing of the residents of St. James Town. A good number of these activities are organised and conducted by volunteers who have taken up the responsibility and initiative to impart skills and knowledge to fellow residents. Our volunteers are engaged in these activities purely driven by their own desire to share and teach. Two such activities that are focused exclusively on kids and youth are  “Bharathanatyam dance classes” by Lucksijah Selva (Lucky) and  “Fun with Numbers” by Maheswari, Joe and Naga.

Bharatnatyam is classical dance form originating in South India and is over 2 millennia old. Over the past two years, Lucky has been conducting Bharathanatyam dance classes for youth in the St. James Town Community. The program is delivered in two levels, one for beginners and an advanced level. Usually students start with learning the basics and making their way to the advanced level. The classes are held every Friday 5pm to 7:30 pm at The Corner. About 10 - 15 girls from different cultural backgrounds participate in this program on a weekly basis. Lucky says, “I love dance and teaching this wonderful art form to young children and youth. It has really been an incredible experience for me”.

Fun with Numbers is an after school program. The main objective of this program is to help the children to understand numbers, patterns of numbers, to perform the basic mathematical operations and use of numbers in daily routines. The goal of the program is to make math fun for kids. The program mainly focuses on the children from Kindergarten to Grade 4, every Monday and Wednesday from 5 PM to 6 PM at The Corner. This program has been active since April 2018. Initially the program was led by the volunteers Lopa, Swetha and Joe.  There are approximately 20 children from 4 years to 10 years participate in this program. The volunteers of this program are working together and planning on the activities for each session well in advance in an adaptive manner based on the progress of the children. The volunteers are also constantly striving to make the sessions more and more interactive. Creating work sheets for different activities and making sure the children have a good grasp on what is taught in each session. The program has an evolving curriculum and the volunteers plan to include many more advanced and complex sessions in the future. 

Stay tuned with The Corner on the different programs and activities. There is a lot happening and you don’t want to miss out on all the fun and learning. If you or your dear ones are interested to join the program please contact us or just drop by The Corner when you can.
The Month In Numbers

New Clients Registered        Clients Served            Total Units of Service
              52                           608                            2567

               Newcomer Clients Registered            Seniors Served
                                25                                       14
In The News
City launching programs reduce waste through bike repair hubs
The city wants you to repurpose abandoned bicycles, repair your ripped clothing and share that extra food that grows in your garden. On Thursday, city officials launched five new Community Reduce and Reuse Programs in priority neighbourhoods across Toronto. Read More...
Proposed 51-storey condo worries Town residents
When asked about a proposed new condo development in her St. James Town neighbourhood, long-time area resident Vickie Rennie has a simple message. “Enough, enough, enough,” she exclaimed. “The majority of people that live here feel the same way,” she said.  Read More...
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Community Corner · St James Town Community Corner · 200 Wellesley Street East, · Toronto, On M4X 1G3 · Canada

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