Strengthening Sheppard and Victoria Park’s community ties

Strengthening Sheppard and Victoria Park’s community ties

July 02, 2015

Rain and grey skies did not stop residents in Scarborough from coming out to a community barbecue hosted by NFL player Orlando Franklin.

Families, kids, members of local football team Scarborough Thunder, and staff from the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Community Housing's Community Safety Unit, shared a fun afternoon together with soccer and football games, bouncy castles and refreshments.

Person grilling burger patties and hot dogs.
Photo: Residents enjoyed a wide selection of food and snacks, including hot dogs and burgers, in the rain.

Franklin, a former Toronto Community Housing resident, has not forgotten his roots. "Kids are our future and it is important to give back to them and to the city."

"Franklin wants kids to know that it is possible to achieve the things he never thought he could when he was a kid," says Sergeant Rodcliff Chung of Toronto Police Service, "this event is his way of sending this message."

Young boy eating cotton candy.
Photo: Matthew enjoying his cotton candy in a dry spot under the tent.

Many people came together to organize this event for the benefit of the residents and the kids. Working together as an organization and a community "stereotypes can be broken down and positively change the community as a whole," says Franklin.

On the morning of the barbecue, staff from the Toronto Police Service went door-to-door to remind residents to come out. The event was also promoted to residents through posters, email and word-of-mouth outreach. ​​

Police officers and residents standing infront of a tent.
Photo: Orlando Franklin (middle) with staff from the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Community Housing's Community Housing Safety Unit.

"Residents could not have asked for anything more. A great community event and congrats to Mr. Franklin and all who worked to make it happen," said Steve Marshall, a Community Safety Advisor at Toronto Community Housing.