Community Researchers and Organizers
Community Researchers are Weston-Mt. Dennis local residents who participate in both C-GEN and APCOL projects to animate involvement of local businesses and residents. A Community researcher’s role is to connect the university-based researchers with business owners and help in getting more community members interested and involved in the projects. Their experience and local knowledge of the community is vital to the success of the research.
As well, in the conclusion of the project, Community Organizers will assist in organizing community forums to relay the research to the broader community. For their efforts, community researchers will be monetarily compensated for their work as ANC- Mt. Dennis recognizes the importance of their contributions.read more
WHAT IS WEST END LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ABOUT?
Improving the economic conditions of youth, residents and businesses in the Mount Dennis area has been a priority for Action for Neighbourhood Change -Mt. Dennis. This project aims to develop a solid local economic development strategy based on community research involving local business owner, residents and community organizations. It is a collaborative effort to learn how to improve the economic conditions of the area with a focus on strengthening local assets while also building links to city wide movements focused on the systemic roots of poverty. Our goal is to bring about long lasting and positive changes in the Weston-Mount Dennis area of Toronto.
Our local economic development strategy is as follows:
- Engage with marginalized groups, including local business owners, to develop a collective approach to neighbourhood economic development
- Identify local economic development priorities and strategies
- Explore ways to support small and medium size businesses in the neighbourhood to make them more sustainable, successfully with a stronger sense of community
- Pursue economic opportunities for local youth and residents, including supports for self-employment and entrepreneurship, as well as links with potential employers.
To undertake these strategies Action for Neighbourhood Change-Mt. Dennis will collaborate with local stake holders such as, City of Toronto and other government bodies, Social Planning Toronto, Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning, U of T Commercial Gentrification research, and York Youth Coalition.read more
In order to ensure the community benefits from the university-based research conducted, ANC-Mt. Dennis hopes that the Economic Advisory Committee will continue and identify several short-term actions.
First, ANC-Mt. Dennis would like to engage residents and businesses in a community forum that reports research findings and initiates discussion about local economic development strategy. It is important to start from the visions of local residents and businesses. Possible follow-up actions could be to continue with more forums/discussions, take a tour of other similar Toronto neighbourhoods that are undertaking innovative economic development, or start liaising with employers and government agencies to promote local employment and support local businesses.
Another outcome that ANC would like to see is to continue having discussions with Economic Development Advisory Committee and engage business owners in the community and have them voice their opinions. It is important to empower the business owners and provide a space where challenges, successes, and future plans can be openly discussed.
ANC-Mt Dennis would also like to bring media/public attention to our process of organizing a local economic development strategy, in order to counter the usual images of our neighbourhood as full of crime, poverty and violence.
Overall, the real work begins after the university-research is done, and it becomes the community’s and local business-owners, residents, and local agencies role to take ownership of the information and decide what course of action to take.read more