Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Community Recognition Awards 2024

Published on March 1, 2024

This past weekend, we held our annual Community Recognition Awards and I am once again elated to celebrate all the wonderful contributions made by each of the recipients. It is their work that makes University - Rosedale a great place to live, work and grow.

Below are the 2024 winners:

Siu Mee Cheng - Street Haven - Community Leadership Award

Siu Mee Cheng is at the helm of Street Haven, Toronto's oldest women's shelter, housing people who have very serious mental health and addictions challenges. Siu Mee has been a leader in convincing all levels of government to invest more in emergency housing and supportive housing. Thank you, Siu Mee!  

Annex Cat Rescue - Animal Advocacy Award

Founded in 1997 when several residents in the Annex joined together to care for a local feral colony, the Rescue provides new homes for the most vulnerable kittens and cats in Toronto. They are a 100% volunteer-run, not-for-profit registered charity that does not operate an office or a shelter, nor do they receive any government funding. Congratulations for creating a self-sustained rescue for vulnerable felines!

Erin Leslie - Seniors Advocate Award

Erin is a postal worker in our riding who reached out to our office to let us know about Isidoro, a 90-year-old renter who was struggling with a bed bug infestation. When Isadoro complained to his landlord, he got served with an eviction notice. Because Erin sees what happens daily in our residents' lives, she got in touch with us and we were able to connect Isadoro with a local legal clinic. Erin continues to work alongside our office providing ongoing support for this eviction case. Thank you, Erin!

Anne Keary - Environmental Leadership Award

Anne Keary is a local environmental champion. She is the co-chair of the Toronto Climate Action Network, she’s working to make our TDSB schools more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, and she sits on the board of Environmental Education Ontario. It’s very clear that Anne thinks carefully about what she can do to significantly change our city with the power that she has, and then acts on it. It’s a rare quality!

Amy Tang - Leadership in our Schools Award 

Amy Tang has worked at Kensington Community School for over 10 years as a lunchroom supervisor, nutrition coordinator and educational assistant and puts care into everything she does. Amy's care looks like getting to school before everyone so she can make little grilled cheese sandwiches, or prepare special cut fruit, and being an instant translator for families who need it. Amy has done so much for the school, and the community wants to recognize her for that.

Gerstein Crisis Centre  - Front Line Workers Leadership Award

The Gerstein Crisis Centre runs the 911 Crisis Call Diversion Pilot Project which aims to divert mental health calls away from having the police respond and toward having a crisis worker come instead. Since October 4, 2021, GCC crisis workers have been embedded in the 911 call centre 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, responding to non-emergency mental health-related calls from Divisions 14, 51 and 52. Thank you for being a leader in demonstrating how our city can ensure safety and provide compassionate service.

Planned Parenthood Toronto – Health Care Leadership Award

Planned Parenthood Toronto is a community health clinic that provides primary care, family planning, mental health services, and more to young people. Some people will not go to a medical clinic unless they know they are going to be treated with care and respect and without judgement. Planned Parenthood has been providing that service for over six decades. They are youth-driven, anti-racist, and culturally responsive. We’re very lucky to have PPT in the riding!

Avenue Road Safety Coalition – Safe Streets Award

Avenue Road has seen far too many deaths and injuries due to unsafe traffic. Avenue Road Safety Coalition has a practical plan to make Avenue Road safe. They have a vision for the road, persistence in their work, and the ability to get the community and city on board with their vision. Thank you for making our streets safer!

Parents of Carmelite – Community Organizing Award 

The Parents of Carmelite daycare contacted our office after their daycare, Carmelite, announced they were closing. 175 families are now looking for a new daycare spot for their child. Carmelite parents organized a press conference with us so we can sound the alarm about the state of childcare in Toronto and to call for real solutions. They are just getting started and we very much hope they will be successful – personally, and as a group!

Champions of 250 Davenport – Community Leadership Award

Rita, John and Christopher have made outstanding and long-lasting contributions to their neighbours at 250 Davenport – a TCHC building - going back as far as 25 years. Their work impacts all aspects of living, from food security to mental health to building maintenance and more. Some of their contributions include tending to a community garden, a volunteer library, and performing wellness checks, especially for seniors. This is the very definition of community.