Bathurst-Finch Hub offers home to community organizations serving Willowdale

A community centre in the west end of Willowdale has become a destination for residents, providing a wide-range of needed programming.

Bathurst-Finch Hub spokesperson Julie Callaghan points out that even the landscaping has a purpose

“There’s a lovely community garden … they actually harvest produce that they contribute to the food bank, so that people are accessing the food bank can get the fresh veggies,” said Callaghan.

“We really put a lot of effort into making this beautiful space that people would want to come to in the neighborhood.”

There’s a wide range of groups providing health care, immigration and settlement services, job counselling and more.

“This has become one of the heartbeats of the community over the past 10 years, and if it wasn’t here, it’s just so much more difficult for people to access services,” shared Callaghan.

At lunch time, it’s a gathering spot for students at the nearby school and tenants from surrounding apartments. A library sits close by as well.

One of the organizations based in the Hub that’s helping neighbours is the North York Community House. It was started 30 years ago to teach English.

“We’re seeing new cultures coming in all the time when we moved there in 2012 … And now we’ve been servicing folks from the Caribbean, from different parts of Africa, from South America,” said Maxine McKoy, the program manager at the North York Community House.

They’ve expanded to run tax clinics, teach financial literacy, run entrepreneurship initiatives and help immigrants settle into Toronto.

“Our workers do speak the language of the communities that they serve, and they’re able to refer them to specific culturally specific resources for those who are new to Canada and maybe are for a while and they want to reconnect with your community,” explained McKoy.

Callaghan said they want to make everyone in the community feel like they have a place here.

“This is a little cluster of services here at Bathurst and Finch, even though, it’s really at the outer tip of Toronto … we’re really striving to be as welcoming to diverse people as we can and looking at all the different kinds of ways that we can do that.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today