Ryan has been a proud Rivertowne resident for the past 3 years. He and his son were searching for a neighborhood to call home and developed a connection to Riverdale after meeting many passionate residents and business owners in the area. They both frequent the Queen/Saulter Toronto Public Library and his son is enrolled in the ITF Taekwon-do classes at the community centre.
Ryan has been working at a non-profit management company for the past 7 years and has held positions with the Canadian Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation. This gives him a unique perspective on how a wide range of non-profit associations operate and their use of best practices. Ryan brings his varied finance/operations management experience to RTCC and is looking forward to helping the Riverside communities as a Board Member.
John loves the East end of Toronto and has lived here; the Bain Co-Op and Greenwood-Dundas neighbourhood, most of his life. His work has been focused on counselling, income support, disability issues, accommodation and training. While on staff with the Metro Labour Education Centre he travelled the province delivering educational workshops to Labour-Management committees facing plant closures and layoffs. He witnessed the devastation caused by job loss but also saw first-hand how well-targeted programs can provide relief and hope. For the last 16 years John has been the Ontario Training Coordinator with Indigenous and Northern Affairs where he gained an understanding of the challenges facing aboriginal communities, even as he was frustrated by inadequate bureaucratic response. John has recently retired and is looking forward to using his skills to support the efforts of the Ralph Thornton Community Centre in enabling all the voices in our community to be heard. He has a passion for music, local history and municipal affairs.
Christine recently returned to Toronto, Canada after a number of years living and working in the US. She has 12 years of professional experience on Wall Street and is currently working as a senior project manager/senior consultant in the Canadian financial industry. Christine is passionate about making a long lasting impact in the community and is a strong advocate for mentoring, diversity, and inclusion.
She has an Honors Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She hopes to contribute her varied finance/project management background experience at Ralph Thornton.
Caleb Edwards, his wife and two children have lived in the neighbourhood since 2014. Originally from Scarborough, Caleb spent time in New York City and London before returning to Toronto. Caleb and his family enjoy the neighbourhood and want to give something back to the community. Over the past two years on the board, Caleb has learned about the role Ralph Thornton plays in the community, welcoming new neighbours, providing space for older neighbours and providing access and opportunities for those with needs.
Caleb has a JD from Columbia Law School and an LLM from University College London. During the day, Caleb practices commercial litigation at a firm downtown. He hopes to continue to work with the board in strengthening the centre and preparing it for new challenges.
Councillor Paula Fletcher
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
Sharon Ho has lived in Leslieville for the last 10 years and previously in the Pocket for seven years. She is passionate about community development, environmental and community gardening. Sharon and her family have used the After School program and the Joy of Writing group at the Ralph Thornton Community Centre. They value the affordable and accessible space that the Centre provides especially at the time when the community is changing and becoming less affordable in some ways for people to live and gather. Sharon is currently a financial journalist, but has a long history of working and volunteering for non-profits.
Alan has been a resident of the Ralph Thornton Community 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 and activities as well as supports for all of its residents.
He spent 25 years working in the labour movement in Toronto both as an activist and a staff member representing workers in the federal government. Using the skills in organizing, administering and analyzing policy learned and developed through those experiences, Alan hopes to continue contributing to the building of the Ralph Thornton Community 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.
For the past 4 years, he has served on the board as a member as well as Treasurer and President. Alan is looking forward to continue to help build RTCC as a vibrant community centre for all our residents.
Megan moved to Leslieville in 2004, where she and her husband are raising their children and operating a consulting firm. Megan has dedicated her time to amplifying the voices of underrepresented peoples, ensuring they are represented in public policy development, and encouraging broader civic engagement.
Megan has a wide range of management experience, including program design, implementation and evaluation, human resources and financial oversight. With a certificate in Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials, Megan has assisted Boards and staff with updating, developing and implementing policies and procedures for achieving compliance and best-practices in NFP management. Megan has provided organizations of various sizes with fundraising, public engagement, event management, media relations and social media strategies.
Megan and her three children have benefited from the wonderful programming at the South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre; she looks forward to giving her time and expertise to the Ralph Thornton Community Centre to ensure families and community members feel similarly welcomed and supported in their neighborhood.
Daniella is a lifelong lover of all things Toronto (initially loving from the Prairies) and a resident here for the last decade. Her family chose to move to Riverside just before having their first child, due to its warm and diverse neighborhoods, and the joy of having children in the heart of the city (including a son who already loves the streetcar!) As a new mom she has been active at the South Riverdale Parent Child Centre, as well as attending meetings for breastfeeding and baby wearing support at the RTCC.
Daniella is a nurse with a wide range of experience supporting healthy communities—everything from blood pressure checks, to working to create more trans-inclusive healthcare. She also has significant finance and fundraising experience supporting indigenous communities. She hopes to contribute her experience to help build a strong, accessible and reflective community Centre, and have fun along the way.
Ed moved to Riverside in 2015 and fell in love with the shops and energy of the neighbourhood immediately. Ed & his partner frequent the Queen/Saulter TPL and enjoy supporting local merchants. Ed welcomes an opportunity to learn more about the residents served by RTCC and to contribute to support the needs of the community. Ed is an engineering consultant in Toronto and has worked with the CNIB and the Red Cross Disaster Management Team.
Julia has been living, playing and raising a family in the Riverdale and East Toronto neighborhood for over 10 years and has actively navigated the community, education and health sectors. As an active member in the community, Julia is committed to fostering diversity and community well-being in order to strengthen the neighbourhood and is passionate about building supports for families, parents and children. Professionally, Julia brings expertise in healthcare, governance and IT and has been facilitating strategic change through active engagement with individuals and organizations for over 15 years. Julia has advanced degrees in developmental psychology.
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 to RTCC’s vision, helping to meet community 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.
William (Bill) Somerville
Bill is a native Torontonian and has lived in Ward 30 (soon to be Ward 36) for the past 11 years. He and his family enjoy the community parks and are always interested in urban exploration. He supports small business and enjoys shopping and eating local. Bill has worked in the service industry for over a decade. He also has a degree in public relations and communications and is a freelance writer and blogger. Bill has produced pieces for various community newspapers such as the Beach Mirror and content for the YMCA of Greater Toronto. He has been involved in various community events such as the Taste of the Danforth and the Danforth Thrill of the Grill. Bill strives to support the communiy and is always looking for volunteer opportunities and encourages others to help out.
Ejay has been a Downtown East Toronto resident for over 12 years, currently residing in the Riverdale/Leslieville area. He is passionate about the neighbourhood and particularly interested in serving marginalized people in this area.
He has been involved in serving vulnerable people for over 13 years by working for the Yonge Street Mission as a Case Manager, serving as the Community Chaplain at Cornerstone Dinner in Regent Park, and employed as a Youth Minister for Church in the City in St. Lawrence area. Ejay currently runs his own not for profit start up serving individuals in the downtown neighbourhood who are in cyclical poverty. His extensive experience in public speaking, fundraising, and teaching, has served him well in his past experience and current role.
Ejay is best known for his compassionate heart, his love of people, his music and his great sense of humour.