This summer has been an exciting one for us here at the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee. After yet another fruitful season of our weekly community bazaar, we hosted the grand opening of our brand new Park Café last Friday!
Thanks to our incredible supporting partners, including Ontario Trillium Foundation, Alexandra Park Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Scadding Court Community Centre, City of Toronto Parks Department, City of Toronto-Economic Development & Culture, the Metcalf Foundation, and Foodshare Toronto, we are so excited to introduce the newest innovation in our neighbourhood’s local economy.
Set in a fully equipped shipping container, our Park Café model utilizes a place-based model of local economic development by leveraging neighbourhood assets such as the park, existing bazaar, and local talent to improve livelihoods of our community members, with a focus on newcomer women and youth. Under the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee’s umbrella, this collective model will provide opportunities by reducing barriers for low-income entrepreneurs and making the entry to entrepreneurship more feasible.
This café will also serve as an extension of our summer market, and will act as a space for our catering enterprise, Flavours of Thorncliffe, sharing resources and strengthening the local economy by linking entrepreneurship with local community development.
Our inauguration was a smashing success, with dozens of local residents crowded around the container café, as well as our local government and city officials in attendance – including MP Rob Oliphant, Premier Kathleen Wynne, and head of Toronto Parks, Janie Romoff. After the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, community members and our government officials shared stories over some delicious samosas prepared by our café staff.
If you didn't get a chance to attend our grand opening last week, be sure to stop by the café this Friday for some tasty treats prepared by your neighbours!