Graham has lived in South Riverdale since he arrived in Toronto just over a year ago. Although quite new to the city, he has quickly come to love this neighbourhood with all the diversity and potential that it demonstrates. It is clear to Graham that this is the type of community where neighbours help one another navigate the challenges of urban living. Graham’s experience with the RTC, mostly through the South Riverdale Child Parent Centre and the library, has been one of welcome to a newcomer in the city. Graham seeks to contribute to this welcoming environment his skills in public speaking, writing, and editing to help galvanize volunteers and encourage community members to find out about opportunities available in their neighbourhood that can meet their needs.
Marie DeLuca has been in the not for profit sector creating, managing, and marketing revenue generating events, programs, and products for a number of years. Her work has centered on community development, social purpose enterprises, health promotion, and combating human trafficking – working with organizations such as; the South Riverdale Revitalization project, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Recently working in senior care, Marie was responsible for creating and implementing the integrated marketing & communications strategy for a charitable foundation, a senior community centre with over 700 members, a long term care home, and a number of programs and services focused on the seniors market, such as: meals on wheels, transportation services, and more while creating all the strategies and promotions for 6 events. At the same time, she completed a Masters Certificate in Marketing & Communications at Schulich and is currently working on her Canadian Fundraising Executive Certificate, and a Certificate in Volunteer Resource Management.
Liz is a native Torontonian, who has called Leslieville home since 2014. She remembers the important role that her local community centre played in her early years- from day-care, to after school programs, to one of her first jobs as a day camp counsellor- and hopes to contribute to RTC’s role in the community.
Liz previously sat on the Board of Serve!, a youth-service organization (now closed) at Queen and River where she chaired the program committee. She has worked as a wilderness instructor in Ontario and the U.S., a television producer in Toronto and Yellowknife, NT, and is now working in anti-money laundering at a major bank. She is a licensed lawyer and notary public. Liz hopes to use her skills and experience to support RTC’s work in the coming years. She is also looking forward to meeting and working with people from Leslieville and the surrounding neighbourhoods to deepen her roots in the city’s east end.
Robin, his partner, and their baby daughter live in Riverside, and he has been a member of the RTC Finance Committee for the past year. He and his partner co-founded the Riverside Residents’ Association. Robin has been a Senior Policy Advisor in the Ontario Government for the past five years. He has public policy expertise in diverse areas such as consumer protection, human rights law, and healthcare. Robin is solutions-focused and is looking forward to working collaboratively with the other members of the Ralph Thornton Centre Board of Management to find ways to serve this community better.
Paula Fletcher has served Ward 30 residents for several years, becoming involved as a leader in the East End Parent Network, then working as Public School Trustee. In 2003 Paula was elected to City Council for Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth, and has been advocating for the Ward for 10 years. Paula works with residents, business owners and community agencies to build vibrant, healthy neighbourhoods, and is a strong voice at City Hall defending the services residents expect from their City.
Paula has served many capacities in her role as City Councillor. She is the Chair of the Toronto and East York Community Council which is responsible for local planning and neighbourhood issues.
Paula’s Committee and Board memberships include:
- Toronto and East York Community Council, Chair
- Community Development and Recreation
- Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Board (Toronto Film Board)
- Toronto and East York Community Council Billy Bishop Airport Subcommittee
- Toronto Civic Employees’ Pension and Benefit Committee
- Toronto Fire Department Superannuation and Benefit Fund Committee
- Canadian National Exhibition Association, Municipal Section
- Bridgepoint Health, Board of Governors
- Foodshare, Board of Directors
- Danforth Mosaic BIA
- Gerrard India Bazaar BIA
- Greektown on the Danforth BIA
- Leslieville BIA
- Riverside District BIA
- The Danforth BIA
- Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre
- Ralph Thornton Community Centre, Board of Management
- St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts, Board of Management
Jeff is a relatively new resident to South Riverdale, having lived in the area for less than two years. He believes strongly in citizen participation in shaping their communities. Jeff is a Registered Professional Planner in Ontario. Much of his work has focused on designing and implementing public engagement and communication strategies for a wide range of community issues that have aimed to engage people in their communities, mobilize change, and work towards a sustainable future. Recently, Jeff has been involved with a number of community engagement initiatives in the South Riverdale community, including the City of Toronto’s Leslieville Visioning project, providing advice to the Crows Theatre on community consultation, and is currently involved with community engagement efforts for the Carlaw + Dundas Community Initiative.
A Riverdale resident for 35+ years, Michèle lives just outside RTC’s catchment area. She believes in the strength of community and value community action and has undertaken leadership roles in many local, city-wide, provincial and international non-profit organizations, including the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, the Ontario Health Coalition, and the Ontario Public Health Association. Michèle, an advocate for community health and health equity, has worked on numerous community development projects relating to affordable housing, employment training, literacy and health, and support services for seniors, youth, women, aboriginal people and refugees.
Michèle is a retired programme and funding manager for the OPS. As a RTC Board member, she has led renewal planning, participated in updating our by-laws and was VP. She currently serves as Board Secretary and chairs RTC’s planning committee. Michèle has committed to rebuilding and strengthening RTC’s organizational infrastructure and resource base to ensure its success in building community and supporting local residents and services.
Sharon Ho has lived in Leslieville for the last eight years and previously lived in the Pocket for seven years. She and her family have used the Ralph Thornton Centre including the South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre, the afterschool Boys and Girls Club, the Good Food Market and the Joy of Writing group. Sharon has previously volunteered with the Riverdale Food Working Group. She is also a member of the Matty Eckler Community Garden where her family’s garden plot is next to the RTC’s plot.
Sharon is passionate about community development and environmental issues. She is always impressed by the contributions of RTC to its community.
Sharon is experienced in communications work, project management and fundraising through grant applications. Sharon is a Communications Coordinator with the College of Early Childhood Educators.
Mae has been a long-time resident in the Riverdale area for over 25 years. As an active member of this community, Mae has always found ways to live, work, play, learn, contribute, support and explore this ever-evolving neighbourhood. She appreciates RTC’s invaluable contributions to the community and welcomes the opportunity to serve and further facilitate the vision of this great organization to even greater heights. Mae has extensive experience and is passionately engaged in numerous non-profit and for-profit projects with community outreach, community development, advocacy, technology, and education initiatives throughout the city. Her commitment involves building strategic partnerships, project management, marketing, planning, research, fundraising, maintaining strong ethical standards and objectively seeking answers to questions and challenges as they arise.
Mae is currently serving as Board Vice-President.
Alan has been a resident of the Ralph Thornton Centre catchment area since 1981. Having raised a family in our neighborhood, he is concerned about the future for young families, newcomers and seniors in the downtown of Toronto. For him, a vibrant community requires a mix of demographics, activities and supports for its citizens.
He spent 25 years working in the labour movement in Toronto both as an activist and a staff member representing workers for the federal government. Using the skills in organizing, administering and analyzing policy learned and developed through those experiences, Alan hopes to contribute to the building of the Ralph Thornton Centre as an institution supporting all parts of the community. Such community centers, in his view, must provide both needed services as well as facilitate the building of the capacity to develop and maintain an inclusive and citizen-oriented neighborhood and city.
Born and raised in Riverdale, Samantha has watched the Ralph Thornton Centre catchment area grow and develop into a vibrant community. In 2011, Samantha received her Bachelor’s degree, with honours, from the University of Waterloo, majoring in Business and Legal Studies with a specialization in Financial Regulation. She is currently pursuing her Project Management certification at the University of Toronto.
Samantha has been actively involved in the Riverdale community for a number of years; volunteering at St. Ann’s Food bank, leading a Girl Guide Brownie unit of 20 girls, overseeing the southeastern portion of Toronto as the Senior Administrative Community Leader for Girl Guides of Canada – in addition to sitting on the Health and Safety Committee. Currently living in the West Toronto, Samantha would welcome opportunities to contribute to the RTC Board of Management as she has seen the value and impact the centre has had in the community.
Samantha is currently serving as Board President.
Janet has resided in Leslieville for 11 years and is a strong supporter of local businesses in the neighborhood. Janet is passionate about civic engagement. Ensuring all community members feel represented will be a priority for her at the Ralph Thornton Centre Board of Management. Janet welcomes the opportunity to contribute the RTC’s vision and enhancing the community’s needs. Her career has been focused on information technology in healthcare at both the provincial and continuing care level, and dedicated to inclusive strategic partnership and engagement specifically to community care settings. For the past 6 years, she has led a walk/run clinic for mental health and addiction outpatients, family members and staff at her former workplace, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Jordana Wright is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation project focuses on the governance of city building through special-purpose authorities, quasi-governmental bodies, and non-profit corporations. She teaches in the area of municipal law and local governance, and is passionate about matters of neighbourhood equality. She is also involved in a number of community development initiatives aimed at addressing local issues in Toronto’s targeted investment areas.
As a new resident of the east end, living in the Upper Beaches but regularly participating in events at the Ralph Thornton Centre, Jordana is very enthusiastic about the opportunity to become further involved in the Riverdale community.