Residents throughout Toronto Community Housing neighbourhoods are enjoying the swimming pools in their communities.
To celebrate the opening of their pool, children, residents and staff of the Jane Firgrove community (5 Needle Firway) gathered on June 29 to relax by the water, cool off with refreshing beverages and enjoy barbequed treats.
Mariah, stops for a quick smile right before another dip in the pool
"Today we gave out 250 burgers and hot dogs," says Mina Bahgat, Manager, Strategic Planning and Business Support, Resident Services Division, Toronto Community Housing. "The pool is cold, the kids are having fun, and the sun's out. It's a perfect weekend here at Toronto Community Housing."
Toronto Community Housing staff Lesley Skelton, Greg Spearn and Mina Bahgat (left to right) prepare food for Jane Firgrove residents
This year, Toronto Community Housing has extended the operating hours and season for its swimming pools. This is consistent with Toronto Community Housing's goal of providing better customer service to all residents.
"We're hoping for something with Parks and Recreation where the kids can learn leadership lifeguard skills, so that kids can work within the community during the summertime," says Lorraine Anderson, Coordinator at Firgrove Community Learning Center. " I'm also trying to engage parents to show examples of leadership by taking control of their community and show positive impact to the youth."
Local resident Carlis and her children, Joshua and Abigail, arrive excited to swim
Traditionally, every year Toronto Community Housing and Superior Pool Spa & Leisure Ltd. provide swimming suits for residents. This year, 200 boys and girls under 12 years of age received a new swimsuit.
The summer fun continued on Saturday July 27, when residents at Sheppard Victoria Park (2743 Victoria Park Avenue) also received swimming suits and held a barbeque.
Sheppard Victoria Park staff and residents stop by just before the day's barbeque comes to an end
"We've been working very closely with Toronto Community Housing for many decades," says Alex Dugar, Supervisor, Superior Pool Spa & Leisure Ltd. "I feel very proud and grateful to host this event, work in the community, get to know the residents and encourage them to swim under the supervision of our lifeguards. Swimming is a great skill to know, especially for little kids. Today, friends and families can come out, enjoy the barbeque and have a great time."
Superior Pool lifeguard makes sure safety comes before the fun starts
"I think today is a very fun day for the kids," says Sherika Alexander, Jane Firgrove resident. "I like what Toronto Community Housing has done for the kids, especially giving away the swimsuits. Today is a very enjoyable day for the kids."
Mariah shows off her new swimsuit for Toronto Community Housing mentor Lesley Skelton
"Our team at Toronto Community Housing together with Superior Pools have worked very hard this year to ensure that our pools were opened on time for the summer season just as the kids got out of school," says Greg Spearn, Chief Development Officer, Toronto Community Housing. "Our success has already been measured in the smiles of the kids as they are enjoying the six day per week extended hours we have implemented for 2013 -- hours that were even further extended during our recent heat wave! Congratulations to everyone involved in making this happen. Getting these pools open is just one more example of our commitment to do all that we can for our residents."