Join the MDCA in developing a Sustainable Community for Mount Dennis
The Mount Dennis Community Association started in the 1970’s with the goal of bringing people together to improve the community. Major urban planning and economic structural issues were in play that would drain investment away from a strong working class neighbourhood. The Richview Expressway had been cancelled in 1971, and no planning had taken place to reduce the impacts that decision would have on employment in Mount Dennis.
In addition to an unwanted expressway disappearing, the regional transportation system shifted away. Intermodal shipping (typically stacked containers) became the norm, using rail to move goods from ports on the coasts to newly built yards in Brampton and Mississauga, adjacent to new transfer facilities at Hwy 404 and 410. Transport trucks relayed the freight to the newly built warehouses and factories near the terminals. Mount Dennis watched as its thriving local employment base withered away.
The former Borough of York, fighting to gain City status, was promised a new town centre with an adjacent post-secondary campus to be built at Black Creek and Eglinton in the area where No Frills is now. This was to connect across Toronto by subway along Eglinton. And then a shift in government and Toronto’s municipal amalgamation resulted in these plans being cancelled in the 1990’s. That, combined with Dominion Bridge closing, and end of the Mount Dennis Kodak plant as digital photography destroyed the market for photographic film, led collapse of the local manufacturing sector. With Irving’s Royal Tissue factory the last remaining large employer, the area’s main street businesses along Weston Road came under major pressure to close or downsize as the new millennium approached.
Fast forward 25 years to today. The impacts of a changing regional economy are still evident, but the neighbourhood shows promising signs of life. A largely European/ Anglo population has transformed into one of Toronto’s most globally diverse communities with a rich mix of flavours, music and art emerging. First Nations peoples, historically displaced by settlers from traditional trading lands along the Humber and Black Creek, are moving into the area and engaging the wider community by sharing indigenous values, knowledge and culture.
Transportation has now become a driver for economic renewal. Mount Dennis is home to a TTC Bus depot that is now adding electric buses to its fleet of hybrid powered vehicles. The Postal Depot is adding more jobs and delivery connections. A utility scale battery and scatter of solar rooftops demonstrate possibilities for a greener energy future. And a multi-modal transit hub is being built with regional passenger trains, LRT trains, Union Pearson trains and TTC buses all intersecting as an access and transfer point for people. Metrolinx is investing in a state of the art technical facility to maintain the fleet of trains that will transport people Crosstown as of 2022.
There are serious challenges that come along with this economic transition, and others in social and environmental realms that need addressing as well. We see a glimmer of the future for Mount Dennis evident in the new transit facilities and recreation centre, and the ecoNeighbourhood initiative created a starting point to come together on climate action. Now planning for more investment in urban development is underway to intensify the number of people living in Mount Dennis. But will this growth be a good thing offering opportunities that are accessible to people from all walks of life?
The Mount Dennis Community Association will need to continue finding a way to share the benefits of urban growth equitably, to use its influence to moderate gentrification, and to build an inclusive community. We live work and play in a neighbourhood facing the stresses of major change, and we all are in the midst of a global awakening to existential threats on health and environment. We need you to get involved to ensure Mount Dennis becomes a sustainable community as our future develops.
Please join the Mount Dennis Community Association, and consider becoming a new Board Member at the upcoming Annual General Meeting.
The community association has been involved in protests against hundreds of dirty diesel trains, total loss of the Kodak lands, a surface LRT with expropriation of homes and widening of Eglinton Avenue and dealing with several other negative proposals. We have been supporting our young people with our Pearen Park skating project, with Party by the Pond which takes a couple of hundred kids fishing every year. Our newsletters, delivered to every home and business by Canada Post, keep all of us informed about our community, including advertising for local businesses and agencies, and articles about developments and events.
But now COVID19 has drastically affected MDCA’s ability to support these activities in the ways we have previously. It is in this context that we are inviting you to join us at our AGM, to be held virtually this year for the first time. We are planning a weeknight early in December, which will allow everyone to attend if they have internet service, and we will also try to make it available after the fact. Watch for announcements by the end of this month.
The MDCA Board has a long history of representation from all sectors of the community, and is a working partnership of representatives from faith communities, agencies and businesses, together with home owners and apartment residents. We do not keep statistics on people’s origins or living arrangements, but can truthfully say that we are welcoming to all.
So if you would like to get involved, to participate in making Mount Dennis a better place to work and live, please drop us a line, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement of Purpose
The Mount Dennis Community Association is non-partisan and will:
- Seek to strengthen and promote a sense of community spirit in Mount Dennis
- Seek to influence physical changes in our community, so that it will become an even better place to live
- Advocate at all levels on behalf of Mount Dennis and its residents
- Monitor what goes on in our community, and the trends that are affecting it
- Support those who are working to make life better for all or part of the Mount Dennis community
The MDCA Board
- Mike Mattos – President (email@example.com)
- Judith Hayes – Vice President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Simon Chamberlain – Recording Secretary (email@example.com)
- Don Thomson – Treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Rick Ciccarelli (representing Mount Dennis Eco-Neighbourhood)
If you have any questions or want to contact us, e-mail us at: email@example.com.