Trying to reconnect with Thorncliffe Park

Bill Pashby has been trying for years to reestablish the connection between Leaside and Thorncliffe Park, which was part of Leaside from the 1950s for many years.

For seven year the Leaside resident has been chair of the board of the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, and before that was vice-chair. His efforts to reconnect include Flemingdon Park.

“It’s a gradual thing,” he says, and he’s started seeing good results in the last couple of years.

Probably the largest company operating out of Leaside, he says, DH Corporation, at Brentcliffe and Eglinton, is a major sponsor. Members of Leaside United Church and the Leaside Rotary (which helped send 360 kids to a summer camp)  are getting involved with efforts to help the 50,000 people who live in the two communities. More than 45 percent of those families live below the poverty line and have the largest percentage of children under 14 in any Toronto neighbourhood.

Thorncliffe Park, he points out, has the only school in North America for kindergarten only with over 700 pupils.

Their latest effort to get Leasiders involved is a gala dinner catered by celebrity chef Mark McEwan on Nov. 19, with Premier Kathleen Wynne in attendance, to celebrate TNO’s 30th anniversary at the new Ismaili Cultural Centre on Wynford Dr.