Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crowded, stressed in Canada's most populated immigrant neighbourhood: Thorncliffe

Amazing article appearing in Toronto Star today:

Severe overcrowding and poverty is heightening stress and ethnic tensions in Canada’s most populated immigrant neighbourhood, says a study of the Thorncliffe Park community released today.

The U of T study of changes in the Toronto neighbourhood between 2001 and 2006 found more than 30,000 residents — mostly newcomers — are crowded into 34 highrise and lowrise apartments in a 2.2-square-kilometre concrete jungle behind Don Mills Road and Don Valley Parkway. Front-line workers are worried the population is outpacing programs and services, hindering their ability to quickly integrate.

“Thorncliffe Park will continue to attract high volumes of newcomers, relative to most neighbourhoods across Greater Toronto. Settlement services, therefore, should remain a high priority,” says the report. “If population and household numbers continue to climb at the same rates, overcrowding and other issues will present increasingly greater challenges.”

The study found each household has an average 1.4 bedrooms compared to 2.7 across the city, but twice as many sleeping in a bedroom as in an average Toronto home. Half of residents live below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off, three times the rate for Toronto.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wisdom 102 years in the making...

A few years ago Hayley sat down with her grandpa and wrote a notebook full of information about his life. From this book she compiled the following for his funeral:

Letter from Hayley

I want to share some things that I think grampie would like to say if he were here. Five years ago he gave me a journal full of his memories and reflections on his life. Those writings seem more precious now than ever before. Here are some of his own words:

About life he writes:
“My philosophy in life is to do the best I can for as long as I can.”
“There have been many high points in my life and some low ones. I feel I have achieved a great many things in my lifetime and climbed a few mountains.”

About his wife he wrote:
“The best thing in my life that changed things for me was when I married my wife, Phyllis.”
“Our wedding vows were the usual ones…I was awful proud of my wife to be.”
“I liked my wife’s looks, her attitude, her friendly ways, and the loving attention she gave me.”
“My feelings of love go to my wife for being steadfast with me for over 60 years”

About his children he says:
“I am always proud of my children for their many accomplishments.”
“When my children were young I was busy providing a living and did not have the time to spend with them I’d have liked to.”
“The best part of being a parent was watching my children develop and grow into teenagers and responsible adults, and (later) parents.”

To his grandchildren he writes:
“My wish for my grandchildren is that they live good lives, be generous, make the best they can of themselves and always believe in God.”
“I’d like my grandchildren to respect their heritage, respect their parents, and be true to themselves. I’d like them to remember me for any kindness (I’ve done) and my love for them.”
“I would like to pass on traits of honesty, God fearing, and family closeness.”
“Believe in our Savior (Jesus) as a mediator between us and God.”

“Regarding my Epitaph:
"I would want to be remembered as a just man who did unto others as he would have them do to him.”
“I appreciate that I was able to live my life taking care of my responsibilities and family.
I am proud of my wife.
My happiness has outweighed any regrets.”

“My note for future generations:

Put your faith in God and in Jesus as your Savior
Be honest and trustworthy
Honor your commitments
Be a good a neighbour
Cheat no one,
Help those in need,
Thank the Lord for a true conscience and listen to it.”

Daniel H. MacLeod
September 18, 1907- December 24, 2009

Compiled by Hayley on December 27, 2009

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The sayings of Olivia v2 - India

Today we were walking through the mall when Olivia said to us:

"Mommy, can we stop at India on the way home? I want to buy something"

Then she pulled out the rupees i had brought back from our trip this summer :)
Some day Olivia, some day.