… complacency, misperception and benign neglect has led to virtually continuous under investment in Scarborough …
“The Rotary Clubs have given us a gift and that’s to make Scarborough a better place to work, play and live,”
“Residents are frustrated because change has been slow but the new community organization could do good things for Scarborough”
“We need to focus on the great things we have here, not just diversity of people but diversity of places.”
“While we were amalgamated, we were never assimilated. And we are really tired of the condescending remarks we are receiving.”
FEBRUARY 2016, SCRO LAUNCHES.
On Tuesday, February 23rd, Scarborough Community Renewal Organization was launched. There were over 150 people in attendance at the inaugural meeting, each with curiosity, excitement, appreciation, and interest in renewing Scarborough. Councillor Chin Lee (Ward 41 and also Chair of Scarborough Community Council) delivered remarks including greetings from Mayor John Tory. Councillors Paul Ainslie (Ward 43) and Gary Crawford (Ward 36) and Honourable Mitzie Hunter (MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood) were also in attendance to show their support. The Honourable John McKay (MP for Scarborough-Guildwood) sent us a letter of greetings on behalf of all Scarborough MPs to show their support. Here is the presentation made by Dave Hardy (Rotary Clubs in Scarborough) and Jennifer McKelvie (Interim Chair of SCRO) at the meeting. SCRO became an incorporated non-profit organization on October 2016.
- Scarborough Community Renewal Organization hosts inaugural meeting, Input of residents sought at meeting aiming to make community better. Scarborough Mirror, February 18, 2016.
- ‘Champions’ sought as Scarborough Community Renewal Organization hosts inaugural meeting. Scarborough Mirror, February 24, 2016.
- ‘Scarborough deserves better,’ says chair of new community renewal group, Five Rotary Clubs of Scarborough launched organization after campaign to identify problems, priorities. CBC News, February 24, 2016.
OCTOBER 2016, SCRO ADVOCATES FOR THE CITY OF TORONTO TO MOVE 3000 MUNICIPAL JOBS TO SCARBOROUGH.
In April 2015, Mayor John Tory pledged to “show leadership in moving some city jobs to Scarborough” (Scarborough Mirror, April 22, 2015). In follow-up to that promise, SCRO sent an open letter to Mayor John Tory requesting that 3,000 well-paying, professional City staff positions be transferred to the Scarborough Civic Centre and nearby offices. Beyond this initial flux of employment, SCRO is hopeful that future steps will include a new City of Toronto office building to house workers at Scarborough Centre and other locations. We look forward to response from the Mayor, and to developing a collaborative relationship with Mayor Tory and his office to Renew Scarborough.
- Group lobbies Mayor John Tory to transfer 3,000 municipal jobs to Scarborough, Scarborough Community Renewal Organization wants entire departments moved. Scarborough Mirror, October 24, 2016.
- Scarborough group calls on Toronto to transfer 3,000 public sector jobs to former borough, Getting more professional and technical jobs would help suburban residents to cut down on commute, among other benefits, the group says. Toronto Metro, October 31, 2016.
OCTOBER 2016, SCRO GIVES A DEPUTATION ABOUT EXPO 2020
SCRO submitted a deputation to City hall in support of EXPO 2025. We were specifically requesting that any bid for EXPO generates benefits and legacies for all Torontonians, including Scarborough residents. While Toronto Council decided not to submit a bid in 2025, SCRO will continue to watch for future event bids to ensure that Scarborough is included in the conversation.
DECEMBER 2016, SCRO HOSTS BUILDING THE WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW.
Building the Workforce of Tomorrow in Scarborough was a well-organized and well-attended, lively panel discussion hosted by the SCRO and Centennial College. It explored strategies for tapping into the skilled Scarborough workforce with a panel of guest experts who know the area’s needs. They were Dave Hardy from Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, Deepak Gupta from Centennial College, Wendy Cukier from Ryerson University, and Mike Yorke from Carpenters Local 27
The Keynote Speaker was Sean Conway, Chair of The Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel. The Panel was appointed to develop a strategy to help the province’s current and future workforce adapt to the demands or a technology-driven knowledge economy. Click here for the full report with the Panel’s recommendations.
- Residents believe ‘Scarborough deserves better,’ call for Toronto to invest, ‘A strong suburb makes for a better city,’ one community leader says. CBC News, December 1, 2016
- John Tory picks Michelle Holland to prep Toronto for hi-tech future, Scarborough councillor given new role on Toronto Council. Scarborough Mirror, December 6, 2016.
JANUARY 2017, SCRO PROVIDES A VOICE FOR SCARBOROUGH AND DEPUTATIONS TO TORONTO COUNCIL ABOUT THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET.
Carol Baker and Jennifer McKelvie gave deputations to the City of Toronto, advocating for four priorities to Renew Scarborough. These are public transit, a Living Arts facility, planning studies and a Scarborough-specific economic development plan. Interim Social Development Committee Chair of SCRO, John Stapleton, also shared highlights from his report, “The Cost of Poverty in Toronto” and was featured in the Scarborough Mirror.
- Residents speak out on 2017 city budget at Scarborough Civic Centre, Scarborough Mirror, January 6, 2017.
MARCH 2017, SCRO ADVOCATES FOR INVESTMENT IN SCARBOROUGH TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE.
SCRO affirmed its commitment to a fully-integrated public transit network for Scarborough. In March, SCRO members gave deputations to Toronto Council advocating that adequate funding for both the Scarborough Subway and the Scarborough Crosstown LRT are included in the budget. SCRO also hosted a Town Hall with Mayor John Tory about “Better Transit in Scarborough” in partnership with UTSC, Centennial and ConnectScarborough, which was attended by over 200 residents, as well as local representatives from all levels of government. As a follow-up to concerns raised at the Town Hall, SCRO submitted a letter to the Honorable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, advocating for funding for the extension of Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit to the University of Scarborough Campus.
- Renew Scarborough ‘partners’ with group lobbying for subway extension, Scarborough Mirror, February 22, 2017.
- EDGES OF TORONTO: Scarborough’s subway, still so insecure, Scarborough Mirror, February 24, 2017.
- Community group wants a voice in Scarborough Subway debate, Toronto Sun, March 4, 2017.
- Toronto Mayor John Tory prepares for “war” over the Scarborough Subway, Scarborough Mirror, March 14, 2017.