There’s always something happening in Ward 38, Scarborough Centre! Each year, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker hosts a wide range of events designed to enrich the lives of community members.
Glenn hosts job fairs at the Scarborough Civic Centre with Councillor Michael Thompson—it’s one way in which these councillors help their residents find good jobs and help local employers find good employees. Glenn and Michael estimate that more than 3,000 people have found jobs thanks to their 11 job fairs. Employers who have participated include Centennial College, Porter Airlines, Scotiabank and the Toronto Transit Commission, to name just a few.
At Glenn’s Environment Days, local residents drop off items such as old paint cans, chemicals, old eyeglasses, sports equipment, stereos, computers, cell phones and old art supplies. Glenn promotes each day heavily, which helps ensures that it’s always one of the busiest of such events in the entire City of Toronto. Across the city, in 2014 alone, more than 155,490 kg of used electronics were collected, as well as almost 304,000 kg of household hazardous waste. In addition, more than 68,000 kg of reusable household goods were collected across Toronto. At the 2016 Environment Day more than 1,500 residents attended—and the new free paper-shredding service was a huge hit! The 2017 event is slated for Saturday, Sept. 23, at Thomson Memorial Park.
Hundreds of Scarborough residents of all ages attend the annual Remembrance Day ceremony to honour our lost war veterans and the many men and women who have served their country during war, military conflict and peace. Glenn is proud to be part of this important ceremony at the Scarborough Civic Centre. The 2016 service was on Sunday, Nov. 6.
Glenn has hosted more than 80 free compost days at locations across the community. More than 1,000 residents have participated in these events, where they receive free compost (thanks to the City’s green bin program) and chat with Glenn about local issues. At five locations in May 2016, hundreds of people turned out. Glenn will be hosting six locations in 2017, on the weekend of May 13 and 14.
Held on a Sunday afternoon close to Valentine’s Day, Glenn’s skating party is destined to become another Scarborough Centre tradition. The party at the Centennial Recreation Centre attracts residents of all ages for an afternoon of skating, hot chocolate, popcorn and other treats. Kids enjoy face painting, crafts, balloons and entertainment by jugglers.
Free movie nights are hosted by Glenn on Fridays during July. Thanks to donations from the private sector, hundreds of local families experience magical evenings in local parks with free popcorn, a juggling show and the occasional Chinese dancing dragon, as they enjoy family play time and watch great family movies, such as Paddington, Bolt and Shaun the Sheep.
After the worst ice storm in 100 years, Glenn arranged to supply over 400 cubic metres of wood mulch (the equivalent of 400 pick-up trucks) free to local residents. The ice storm damaged or destroyed thousands of trees, but Glenn did not want the fallen wood to go to waste. So, he first organized a free wood mulch day for his residents in 2014. Hundreds of Ward 38 residents now have healthier gardens thanks to this great program! The 2017 event will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 18. See details on the event flyer.
Glenn and his volunteers have participated in several Canada Day events over the years, including the festivities at Thomson Park and the community parade that travels down Brimley Road. Glenn not only celebrates Canada and Scarborough, but raises funds for local charities such as “Guitars not Guns” and chats with local residents about local issues.
To foster a sense of community spirit, ownership and pride, Glenn hosts annual wildflower plantings in the 100-acre Scarborough Butterfly Trail (located in the hydro corridor that runs through Scarborough). Residents plant flowers, remove weeds, spread mulch, install bird boxes, and make and distribute seed balls. They also enjoy tours led by local biologists and have the opportunity to chat with Glenn about local issues. The 2017 event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16. Nature lovers are invited to meet at 6:30 p.m. in the hydro corridor near Bendale Junior Public School.
Glenn has special arrangements with Santa to make a special stop at the Cedarbrook Community Centre each December. In addition to having their picture taken with Santa, children receive a letter from Santa, make holiday cards and crafts, sip hot chocolate, and play while their parents have a chance to chat to Glenn about local issues. This magical Santa’s workshop has become an annual tradition for many local families. About 500 people attended the event in 2016.
The annual Chinese New Year celebration at Scarborough Town Centre is always a fun event for Glenn and hundreds of Scarborough families. It’s a great opportunity to view live entertainment, meet with neighbours and wish friends “Kung Hay Fat Choy!”
Scarborough is home to many citizens who, through their volunteer work, enrich the lives of others and help make our community a wonderful place to live. There are unsung heroes of all ages: teens who go above and beyond their required volunteer hours, adults who provide elderly neighbours with meals on wheels or a snow-free front walk, and seniors themselves who help with countless good deeds. Glenn recognizes such individuals—who are nominated by others in our community—with a Good Neighbour Award. Glenn also supports other local volunteer recognition efforts, including the Parks, Forestry & Recreation awards program (see photo), which honoured volunteers such as high school student Sharaz Manbahal (left) and university student Judy Perpose at a ceremony in November 2015. As the sign says, “Volunteers Are Gold”!
A strong supporter of libraries and reading programs, Glenn hosts bookmark contests that encourage children to love reading and express their artistic flare. Winners receive laminated copies of their winning entries, so that they may share their creations with their families and teachers. The deadline for the 2017 contest is June 9. For details, download the flyer.
Glenn uses computer technology to hold telephone town hall meetings during which he updates residents on local issues, answers questions, and surveys residents about issues that are important them. In the past, about 30 residents would show up for a town hall meeting at the local library, but now Glenn has about 1,000 people tune in from the comfort of their own homes!
Local dogs show off their good looks, demonstrate who is best trained, and reveal who looks most like their owner at these popular events that are hosted by Glenn. Visitors can check out the low-cost microchip booth and, from the local animal shelter, they can meet some of the animals that are up for adoption. In addition to admiring the adorable pups, residents can chat with Glenn about local issues.