This category recognizes community-based volunteer organizations that are active in the city of Toronto. This award includes a cash prize to support the continued work of these organizations.
Heritage Toronto members in good standing as of Sunday, June 30, 2016, are eligible to vote on the Members’ Choice Community Heritage Award. In addition, your membership also grants you a discount on tickets to the Heritage Toronto Awards!
The voting deadline for the Members’ Choice Award is August 24th. Members will receive a ballot in the mail.
The 2017 nominees are:
|Architectural Conservatory of Ontario – Toronto Branch
The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), founded in 1933, helps communities preserve buildings and structures of architectural merit, as well as places of natural beauty and interest. Toronto, one of the largest ACO branches, is a community-member based organization.
To achieve its work for conservation advocacy, the ACO Toronto Branch hosts public events, publishes books and magazines, and undertakes special projects, including their most significant research project to date: TOBuilt. By consolidating community research, they hope to facilitate protection for future generations.
|Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) is the largest organization of its kind in the world. It acquires, preserves, protects, and provides public access to vital information related to the LGBTQ2+ experience in Canada. A significant resource, the archive is a catalyst for those who strive for a future world where LGBTQ2+ people are accepted, valued, and celebrated.
The CLGA has developed outreach programs that connect the public with the evidence needed to build a strong sense of identity and shared heritage for LGBTQ2+ Canadians. This includes Pride Walk, public lectures, class visits, conference presentations, tours of the CLGA house, and social media posts.
Heritage York was incorporated in 1991 to preserve the built and natural heritage of the (former) City of York, and to increase people’s awareness of the usefulness and value of history, buildings, and structures.
Heritage York’s principal project has been the restoration and maintenance of the 1847 Lambton House, the last remaining structure from the prosperous period of Lambton Mills (1850-1915). The organization also provides education programmes and annual activities which include community pub nights, History Nights, and an annual fundraising dinner-dance.
Jamii (Swahili for “community”) was founded in 2011 to serve this diverse community of The Esplanade, by addressing the continued risk of alienation of certain individuals and groups, and the disconnect between newly-arrived and long-term residents in the face of a rapidly-changing neighbourhood landscape.
Jamii believes that creative experiences and the sharing of cultural heritages will foster connectivity. Since 2011, Jamii has organized over 200 workshops, produced 69 public events, and gathered an audience of more than 45,000 through their arts-based, community-engaged projects and events that take place in or near David Crombie Park.
|KCWA Family and Social Services
KCWA Family and Social Services (formerly known as the Korean Canadian Women’s Association) aspires to empower all members of Toronto’s Korean community to live free from violence, poverty, and inequality by providing services that are sensitive to culture and language, and programs for immigrant families.
To support their mandate, KCWA works hard to bring Korean culture and heritage to Toronto and Toronto culture and heritage to Koreans. KCWA believes that integrating Korean immigrants into the social fabric of Toronto means a stronger city for everyone.
|Midland Park Modernism Alliance
Founded in 2011, the Midland Park Modernism Alliance is a resource for the documentation, preservation, and promotion of mid-century modern houses of the Midland Park community. The organization’s fundamental objective is to create awareness, and build public appreciation and support for the distinctive historic character of this 1960s community.
The Midland Park Modernism Alliance stands for the preservation of an aesthetic that is fading away, and has applied for a Heritage Conservation Designation. Their goal is to make Midland Park the second Heritage Conservation District in Canada to celebrate mid-century modern design.
|Project Bookmark Canada
Project Bookmark Canada celebrates Canadian storytelling and identity by marking the places where real and imagined landscapes meet. They install Bookmarks (500 word ceramic plaques) with text from stories and poems in the exact physical locations where literary scenes are set to connect people to their communities through literature.
The first Bookmark, a passage from Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, was placed on the Bloor Street Viaduct in 2009. Since then, 16 other Bookmarks have been installed across Canada. Most recently, a Bookmark for Dennis Lee’s The Cat and the Wizard, was installed at Casa Loma in 2016.
|St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association
The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood includes the ten original blocks of the Town of York and the many low-rise, yellow- and red-brick buildings in the 19th century core lend the neighbourhood a distinctive historic character.
The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association (SLNA), incorporated in 1983, is dedicated to maintaining the area’s international reputation as a model for diverse, mixed-income, multicultural, healthy and safe living neighbourhood.
|Toronto Ward Museum
The Toronto Ward Museum (TWM), a ‘museum without walls’, is a far-reaching social alliance that engages the public in connecting Toronto’s migration stories of the past to current day struggles, in order to shape a more just future.
Forgoing a physical location allows the organization to meet the demands of a diverse city, embedding museum programming everywhere from public libraries to local eateries to online. Their programming highlights personal narratives about work, food, family, struggle, and triumph. Their work inspires Torontonians to identify common experiences and to build bridges between individuals, communities and generations.