Celebrating Seniors Month with residents at Montgomery Place

Celebrating Seniors Month with residents at Montgomery Place

June 27, 2016

​​​​​​​​​​​​​The seniors at Montgomery Place are always up to something. 

A Bingo night here, an exercise class there. A rummage sale, a party in the recreation room, a social outing with friends.

For residents at Montgomery Place, these small get-togethers are the bonds that tie their community together.

For the past 35 years, the Seniors Social Club has helped build a sense of community for residents here. Whether it's weekly game nights and fitness classes or holiday parties and group trips, the resident-led club has allowed tenants break out of their shell and give back to their community. 

On June 4, family and friends came together to mark the social club's 35th anniversary with a special Seniors Month dinner.

Family and friends gather to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Montgomery Place Seniors Social Club.

Residents dressed up to share a meal with friends and celebrate over thirty years of friendship. 

The evening was filled with great food, raffle prizes, dancing and even a few lively rounds of karaoke. The residents were also presented with a certificate of recognition from City councillor Josh Matlow and greetings from the federal Minister of Indigneous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett and Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins.

Councillor Josh Matlow (left) presents residents with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Jeff Chappelle, club's secretary and event organizer, says the dinner was a chance to recognize the great impact the social club has had on residents over the years.

 "We organize a lot of great events. The weekly Bingo is a great way to get residents together, people come from all different buildings to play. The proceeds from our rummage sales go towards helping residents who may be struggling financially. We really try to help each other out as much as possible," he says.

"The club gives residents a social outing and gets them out of their apartments. We advocate for different things, many people gather at the social club to bring up concerns or ask questions about how to make the building better," adds Jeff.

Residents enjoy a tasty dinner at the Seniors Month celebration.

"The most rewarding part for me is the interacting with other tenants and learning from them. We have residents from all over the world – Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Vietnam, Japan. We even have two ladies who are Holocaust survivors," he says. 

Mary has served as a Tenant Representative at Montgomery Place for the past year. She says the building and its residents hold a very special place in her heart.

"Montgomery Place and the people that live here mean a great deal to me," she says.

"I'm going to turn 70 in August and if it weren't for this building, my life would be very, very different. I wouldn't have enough money to pay market rent and also buy food and whatever else I needed. I can lead a full life here," she says.

Lena Tyrass, a Tenant Representative, says many of the residents have become like family to her.

"I don't have a lot of family, so in many ways, the residents have become my extended family. You don't really think about it, but whenever you feel ill or frightened or need someone to talk to, you realize how your neighbours are the ones you turn to and how important they are to you," she says. 

Lena (left) and Mary (right) share what Montgomery Place means to them.

For many residents, the dinner is also a chance to reflect on the invaluable contributions that seniors make to society.

"If you think about it, seniors really lay down the ground work for society," says Lena. "Seniors represent history, culture, memories, family bonds. They pass on their understanding of the world to future generations, they are constantly giving back to society through their shared experiences and wisdom. Each generation takes and builds from the last, more than I think they're consciously aware of," says Lena.

The residents of Montgomery Place are a perfect example of the amazing work and contributions that seniors make to our communities.

We would like to thank the residents of Montgomery Place and the more than 17,000 seniors living across Toronto Community Housing for the role they play in helping to build stronger families, neighbourhoods and communities.