The last thing Peggy Clarke expected to do when she woke on Monday, January 9th was cook hot dogs for her Pelham Park Gardens community. "I don't barbecue in the winter," she said, flipping hot dogs while bundled up in a winter jacket, "but you have to do what's necessary to support the community."
On this day, staff, tenants and community partners teamed up to support the residents of the 455-unit west-end community who found themselves without power and water while a four-alarm fire raged in a storage facility across the street.
Toronto Community Housing staff contacted Clarke and other leaders to help provide a safe space for residents to keep warm and grab a snack until power was restored.
Staff opened the recreation room at 61 Pelham Park Gardens and the tenants got to work preparing and laying out the snacks donated by community partners - hotdogs from Don's Wholesale Meats and coffee and snacks from Rainbow Contracting.
"We wanted to make sure kids and seniors have something to eat," said Clarke, who wheeled her barbecue over from her townhouse and started cooking.
Thanks to the generosity of residents and community partners about 100 people, mostly children and seniors, were served, filling the void until the power and water were restored.
The situation is an example of how Toronto Community Housing staff, tenants and community partners work together to respond to emergencies that happen in communities across the city.