As Squibb’s moves into its 9th decade(!), we continue to work with the Weston community to make it a great place to live, work and play … giving back is part of who we are and is part of the Squibb’s legacy in Weston Village. Over the past 10 plus years, there have been many events, rallies and projects that we have participated in as both storekeepers and as residents.
Suri & Mike are involved in a variety of community organizations as volunteers. Listed below are the various Boards that Suri either sits on currently or has sat on over the past 20 years:
Weston Village Residents’ Association – Executive Board & Communications Director
Weston Historical Society – Secretary & Newsletter Editor
Weston Heritage Conservation District – Treasurer
Weston Artscape & John Street Renewal project – Advisory Committee
Clean Train Coalition – Founding Member/Treasurer/Media Contact
Weston Community Coalition – Founding Member/Treasurer
Weston Village BIA – Past Chair, Streetscape
Little Avenue Memorial Park (LAMP) Restoration Project – Gateway design
This year was an exciting year for development in Weston Village!! I am proud to have been asked to sit on the Advisory Board of Artscape Weston Common and we are well on our way to a finished site and new beginnings. We had an opportunity to visit the adjoining apartment tower and this is the beautiful view from the 27th floor!
We are also the lead organizers of the Annual Weston Village ‘Neighbours Night Out’ which is in it’s 13th year! This annual community BBQ was a product of our fight against ‘Blue 22’ beginning in 2005. We used the BBQ to create awareness of the coming infrastructure of what is now the Union-Pearson Express (UPX) which was in its early stages of being planned and built. The Weston Community Coalition (WCC) was a key player in getting the project revised to the benefit of the community and creating an increased awareness of the diesel traffic that would be coming into our community as well as all the communities along our rail corridor. This effort culminated in the Clean Train Coalition in 2009 which was a collective of all the communities along the Kitchener (formerly Georgetown) Corridor and our voices being heard at Queen’s Park and beyond. While we still have diesel trains, we are much closer to the day of electrification as the preferred mode of trains in the GTA.
We, as residents and business owners, are proud of our participation in this key issue and that the BBQ is now one of the highlights at the beginning of the summer season yearly. Our NNO is considered the biggest in the west end of Toronto!
In Spring of 2016, the Weston Village BIA & Weston Historical Society partnered to bring a large mural to the side of Perfect Blend Cafe directly across from us. The WVBIA also received a Mural Grant from the City to cover a portion of the costs. Having sat on the WVBIA for many years and being a current WHS Executive, I was asked to participate in the process. We came up with a theme and after many incarnations and choosing the artist to work with, we had the unveiling of the mural in November 2016. It was fantastic!!! And it ended up being nominated by TABIA for an award and won! Thanks to the artist, Christiano, for executing our vision – it’s a showstopper!
In December of 2012, I was honoured by our past MP, Mike Sullivan, for my community service over the years with a Queen’s Jubilee Medal. It came as a huge shock to receive the invitation in the mail and I was very pleased to see that 3 of my favourite people in the community were also part of that amazing evening. I will be forever grateful to have been chosen as one of 60,000 Canadians that year to receive the medal in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth’s amazing reign of 60 years. She is one of my personal heroes which made it all the more special.
Here are some media mentions and articles that I have been involved in or they are interviews with me about the area. It’s always fun to see your name in the printed word!!
This is one of my favourites!
And this one came out of the previous one … Michelle Henry from the Star saw the article on the jewelry store and came up to visit – it was her grandfather’s store! Through further conversation, it turns out her other grandfather and my father came from the same town in Poland and played together as children – very small world!!! Here is her article on us and Weston…
The early days of fighting ‘Blue 22’…
Below is a blog post with lots of comments – I go by ‘squirrelly’
And this is one of the more current fights that the community had around Christmas 2016..