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UTSC committed to building a better community

On September 10, 2011, UTSC alumni, together with fellow UofT graduates and community members, raised funds towards  Habitat for Humanity Build Day and volunteered  to build a home in Scarborough at the 4572 Kingston Road build site, for a local family in need. Habitat for Humanity at University of Toronto mobilizes volunteers and partners within the UofT community in supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission to provide quality affordable homes to low-income families through a no-interest, no-profit mortgage with payments set less than 30 per cent of the family’s gross income. This solution helps families in need to afford housing, reduce their dependence on other forms of social assistance and break the cycle of poverty. 

UTSC’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity is but one example of UTSC’s involvement in numerous initiatives to build a better community. Toronto’s successful bid for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will leave a lasting legacy for UTSC and the community. Construction is scheduled to begin next summer for the 2015 Pan American Games facilities. The sports and recreation complex, to be owned jointly by the City of Toronto and UTSC, will be comprised of the Pan American Aquatics Centre, Field House and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. Not only will UTSC students benefit from these venues that will serve as a hub for high performance and university sports events and activities, but after the games, the world class facilities will also benefit the local community. Enhanced transportation links, local jobs, much needed community resource space and access to first-class facilities for health, wellness and athletics for the neighbourhood community will be the legacy of the Pan Am Games.

In 2009, UTSC launched Learning in Community Service, a new initiative in its City Studies program of the Department of Social Sciences and a new partnership with community organizations. Students enrolled in the course would volunteer at the off-campus location of Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) in the East Scarborough office known as “the Point”. The ANC is dedicated to supporting resident-led initiatives that strengthen the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park neighbourhood.  The Point is a community space that was collaboration between the United Way, UTSC, East Scarborough Storefront and Residents’ Rising, a residents’ engagement group in the Kingston-Galloway neighbourhood of Scarborough. The Learning in Community Service program provides opportunities for students to get engaged in local communities and to learn first-hand the challenges and realities of urban life in their community neighbourhoods that have been historically marginalized. Students bring their experience back to UTSC for classroom discussion and further research that can translate into building better and stronger communities.

If you would like to find out more information or to participate at the next UofT Build Day, scheduled for November 5, 2011, please contact Ennis Blentic, Alumni Outreach Coordinator, UofT at 416-978-4096.


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