50 ways to make Scarborough better in 2013
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Dec 26, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

50 ways to make Scarborough better in 2013

Scarborough Mirror

1. Start a Neighbourhood Watch in your community: contact the Crime Prevention Association of Toronto (CPAT) at www.cpatoronto.org or (416) 225-1102.

2. Lead a Jane’s Walk on May 4 or 5 and teach others about your neighbourhood. Learn how at www.janeswalk.net

3. Propose the first Scarborough Scotiabank Nuit Blanche event ever! Artists and whole neighbourhoods can submit “independent projects” outside Toronto’s downtown (a 6:30 p.m. session at city hall on Jan. 31 explains this) until Feb. 15 for the next Nuit Blanche, the night of Oct. 5, 2013.

4. Buy from local merchants. Learn about business improvement areas at Crossroads of the Danforth (www.codbia.ca), Kennedy Road (www.kennedybia.com), Wexford Heights (www.wexfordbia.com), and Sheppard East Village (www.sevbia.com).

5. Start a walking/running club.

6. Join the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup - in its 20th year - at the Scarborough Bluffs or Rouge Park. You can volunteer to lead your own cleanup next fall from Sept. 21 to 29 by calling 1-877-427-2422.

7. Check out The Fourth Wall (thefourthwall.ca) for proposals on how we can make Toronto more democratic and get more people involved in city politics. Site creator Dave Meslin’s a downtown urban activist - but you may find yourself agreeing with him.

8. Grocery shop or shovel the driveway or cook a meal for a sick or elderly neighbour.

9. Contribute to a local food bank such as the ones run by Agincourt Community Services at the Dorset Park Hub on Kennedy Road or Churches By The Bluffs at Birchcliff Bluffs United Church on East Road.

10. Find out who your political representatives are, and ask each of them a question. If you live at Markham and Ellesmere roads, for instance, Glenn De Baeremaeker is your city councillor, Brad Duguid your MPP and Roxanne James your MP.

11. Learn, if you’re a youth who can’t vote yet, who your City of Toronto youth councillor is, so you can reach them too. Hint: if you live in Agincourt, it’s either Edwin Zhao (Ward 40, edwin.zhao@cycto.ca) or Nirupan Sivakumaran (Ward 39, nirupan.sivakumaran@cycto.ca).

12. Join a political party. Ontario’s probably headed for an election slugfest in 2013, so why not be part of the fun?

13. Create a community garden. The East Scarborough Storefront has done so.

14. Volunteer at an Out of the Cold program. Visit www.ootc.ca for more information.

15. Attend Scarborough Community Council meeting at the Scarborough Civic Centre on Borough Drive, and see Scarborough councillors decide where to put new buildings, traffic lights and other local stuff. The next meeting’s Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m.

16. Dig into a city-wide issue and tell politicians what you think. Should Toronto should have a casino? The city’s holding a public meeting on that subject at the Scarborough Civic Centre on Jan. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m.

17. Volunteer at The Robbie International Soccer Tournament which raises funds for cystic fybrosis research. Do it for the kids, or to feel part of something referenced in a Barenaked Ladies song. Visit robbiesoccertournament.com

18. Volunteer at the Toronto Zoo. Hurry up, and you’ll be there to see the elephants leave and giant pandas arrive. Call 416-392-5942 or visit www.torontozoo.com

19. Organize a neighbourhood email network.

20. Honour Canada’s veterans at a Remembrance Day service in November such as the one at the Scarborough Cenotaph. Visit www.toronto.ca/lestweforget/remembrance-city.htm for a service near you.

21. Stitch costumes or glue sequins at a mas camp, because there would be no “jumping up” at Toronto Caribbean Carnival if most of its costumes weren’t being made in Scarborough.

22. Be a Big Brother or Big Sister. The groups say Scarborough is “underserved” by people willing to be volunteers. Visit www.bbbst.com or call 416-925-8981.

23. Spare a moment for women on March 8, International Women’s Day. A place to look for activities is the Malvern Family Resource Centre on Neilson Road. Call them at 416-293-4664.

24. Support seasonal farmers markets Tuesday in Albert Campbell Square or Wednesdays at University of Toronto Scarborough.

25. Donate blood. Visit www.blood.ca to find a clinic near you.

26. Contact your local school to become a volunteer mentor.

27. Car pool. Smart Commute (www.smartcommute.ca) registers car-pooling buddies and says it will be working with Scarborough employers in 2013. Employers who want to offer employees discount TTC passes can call the Toronto Environment Office at 416-392-9714.

28. Know your local police: Call 41 Division (416-808-4100), 42 Division (416-808-4200), or 43 Division (416-808-4300) and ask about community police liaison committee meetings which welcome residents and business owners.

29. Fill out an online form at www.salvationarmy.ca/volunteer to connect with the Salvation Army volunteer coordinator in your area.

31. Lend a hand with Habitat for Humanity at a build site or at a ReStore location. Visit www.torontohabitat.ca/volunteer.html

32. Attend the annual Bridging Festival at the East Scarborough Storefront on Lawrence Avenue to help Kingston-Galloway and Orton Park bridge the gap between them. Watch for the schedule at www.scarborougharts.com

33. Help students with their homework at a library After School Newcomer Hub. Email afterschool@torontopubliclibrary.ca

34. Hold the door open for people behind you.

35. Propose a new dog park (Scarborough has only three). You’ll have to set up a group to take care of it, but won’t Rex appreciate the effort?

36. Improve a local watershed by joining the Highland Creek Neighbourhood Green Team. Write highlandcreek@trca.on.ca or greentoronto@toronto.ca to find out how.

37. Plant a tree in the Rouge Park with 10,000 Trees For The Rouge Valley (www.10000trees.com). Plant a tree in your back yard by calling LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) at 416-413-9244 or a tree out by the curb by calling the city at 311.

38. Support neighbourhood theatre groups like the Scarborough Village Players at Theatre Scarborough on Kingston Road. Call 416-267-9292.

39. Adopt a pet. Visit www.toronto.ca/animal_services to find out how or visit the Scarborough shelter on Progress Avenue.

40. Give up your seat on the bus for someone who needs it.

41. Exchange heirloom or organic seeds with other gardeners at Scarborough Seedy Saturday in March. The annual event last took place at the Heron Park Community Centre on Manse Road.

42. Buy a 2013 calendar featuring modern batik paintings by young Scarborough artists at www.mbgallery.ca

43. Donate to local charities. Visit www.221Toronto.ca to find organizations to support.

44. Participate in a Terry Fox walk/run in September. Visit http://www.terryfox.org/Run/Ontario.html for more information.

45. Explore Scarborough’s past with a visit to Scarborough Museum (416-338-8807) or the historic Guild Park.

46. Start your own Christmas Bird Count - in Morningside Park, say, or by the Scarborough Bluffs - by calling Dick Cannings (long-distance, alas) at 250-493-3393 or writing him at dcannings@birdscanada.org

47. Build an outdoor rink for the neighbourhood kids this winter. When the ice melts, try again.

48. Properly dispose of cigarette butts.

49. Keep your recycling bins tidy and off the sidewalk.

50. Interject by saying, “Just a minute buddy, Scarborough’s actually real safe,” whenever anybody asks about “all the crime” here.

Read The Scarborough Mirror or follow our Twitter feed @SCMirror to know what’s going on in your community. Write to us about something we haven’t heard.

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