Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council
In December 2020, East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) initiated a study of the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood. The purpose of the study was to develop a framework to strengthen engagement and collaboration, support building a healthier community in Taylor-Massey and identify steps to improve the way people get healthcare and social supports. One of the recommendations of the resulting report was the creation of the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council (TMRWC).
Residents from the diverse Taylor-Massey neighbourhood are part of the council. The purpose of the council is to support the work of improving health and social outcomes for residents of the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood. Some of the key objectives of the council’s work are to reduce health inequities, achieve more equitable health outcomes, increase community engagement and improve access to coordinated supports.
The council meets once every two weeks. It offers a forum for members to have direct input and influence on the planning and delivery of health and social services in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood.
Help us improve care in Taylor-Massey!
Do you live in Taylor-Massey or Crescent Town? Do you get care in the neighbourhood or look after a friend or family member who lives there? If so, we want to hear from you!
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a community leader and a longtime resident of Flemingdon Park. My professional background is in banking. I held senior management positions with four international banks in three countries and retired with more than four decades of corporate credit experience.
With a passion to serve the community, I have been volunteering with a number of non-profit organizations and have facilitated festivals and workshops focusing on enhancing equity and inclusion, reducing isolation, promoting health and wellness, building capacity and civic engagement, supporting individuals experiencing domestic violence and celebrating diverse cultures.
What motivated you to join ETHP’s Community Advisory Council? I joined ETHP’s CAC in order to amplify voices in the community relating to their health and well-being. I also want to provide my input with the objective of improving the healthcare system to make it more inclusive, accessible and responsive to the needs of the community.
What’s something you love? I am a health enthusiast and love reading about food and nutrition and going out for long walks. I love spending time enjoying the serenity of our beautiful parks and green spaces.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I'm a community ambassador with TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization and I have been a resident of the Taylor-Massey area in East Toronto for over eight years.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? I joined the TMRWC because I am interested in helping improve access to health and social services for the residents of Taylor-Massey. As a community ambassador with TNO, I saw firsthand how the pandemic has affected our neighbourhood and wanted to do more to help.
What’s something you love about your community? Everything! Once it’s safer, I would love to do more active work with local residents and community engagement programs.
Are you a patient, family member/caregiver or community member? I would primarily identify as a community member, although I have experienced each of the listed roles. This has allowed me to view the strengths and weaknesses of healthcare in our community from various perspectives.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? I believe it’s essential for programs and services to be designed in collaboration with the people that will ultimately use – and hopefully benefit from – them. Consequently, I was intrigued by the opportunity to advocate for improved health and wellness in my community. I was motivated by my sense of social responsibility to actively and collaboratively contribute to health promotion, disease prevention and healthcare optimization in my community.
What’s something you love about your community? I love the diversity within my community. I find it very enriching to learn from others with different lived experiences, backgrounds and cultures. It broadens my perspectives, allowing me to think about concepts in new ways. This diversity is reflected among the members of this council. Our varied lived experiences and social identities enable us to critically analyze health-related challenges and solutions from multiple different angles. I am very excited to continue learning from each other and collaborating to improve health equity in our community.
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I have been a patient and a caregiver. I have also been a community club sport organizer for many years. Every corner of this community has a place in my memory.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? I joined the TMRWC because I faced many challenges dealing with healthcare and social services. Hopefully, we can work together to close the gaps and help create a better life and better future for our children.
What’s something you love about your community? I love my community because it is diverse, family-oriented and located near the beautiful Taylor Creek Park.
Are you a patient, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a community member – I have been a resident of Crescent Town since 1973. I was a caregiver for my mom and other family members who all are now deceased.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? I was encouraged to join by Razia Rashed, a community ambassador in the neighbourhood and chair of the council.
I have been a member of the community advisory committee at True Davidson Acres, a retirement home in the area, for many years. I’ve also been a part of other groups in Crescent Town, like the neighbourhood watch, TV and Communications Committee and the Crescent Town Club. Many years ago, I was also on the Board of Directors and served as treasurer at YCC76, a condo in Crescent Town that’s one of the largest in Canada.
Through these experiences, I have been able to help many others, especially seniors, living in the community. As a member of the TMRWC, I wish to offer my input with the objective of improving the healthcare system to make it more inclusive, accessible and responsive to the needs of the community.
What’s something you love about your community? I have grown and aged in this community, and have watched its very diverse demographic evolve over 40 years. Crescent Town has excellent facilities like the Crescent Town Club, Crescent Town Health Centre, shopping, easy access to public transport and Victoria Park sub way station, Taylor Creek parks system and most important the community that resides here.
Are you a patient, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a mother of two children and an active member of the East Toronto community, particularly Taylor-Massey and Oakridge. I volunteer on the local parent council and am a community ambassador with TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization. I am also co-chair of the ETHP inter-agency steering committee for improving integrated care in Taylor-Massey.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been involved in the steering committee for East Effort, a community COVID-19 response project led by Flemingdon Health Centre.
I enjoy being a connector between the community and the high-priority communities teams to support the funding and rollout of grassroots initiatives. I am proud of my work to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and share important information about the pandemic with the people who live in East Toronto's diverse communities. My involvement in the TMWRC allows me to continue this work.
What’s something you love about your community? I am dedicated to my work in the community, which helps people overcome the impacts of COVID-19 and return to some sense of normal again.
Shahedul Haque Siddique, MD
Are you a client, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a community member of the Taylor-Massey community and a retired medical professor. I have been living in this area for a quite long time and have a great bond with the community. Being a healthcare professional, I am passionate and concerned about the health and wellness of the people in this unique geographical area.
Since the day I immigrated to Canada, I have tried to be actively involved with the community. As part of this, I have previously been a research assistant for a research project on seniors at WoodGreen Community Services. I’ve also participated in client experience surveys conducted by Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services and am a community health ambassador with that organization.
I’ve also had the opportunity to support ETHP’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. For that, I was given an Appreciation Award and my and other community ambassadors’ work was featured on the ETHP website.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? My background in healthcare was a big motivator. I also have experience in leadership, social and community work and volunteering.
For example, as a child, I was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Rover Scout. I was also the president of a Leo club, the director of a district of Lions Club International and a member of a blood, organ and tissue donation organization that works with public medical colleges. I feel I am able to draw on all these experiences with this position at TMRWC.
I also love to be involved with my community. Taylor-Massey is one of the largest communities in Toronto and made up of many immigrant and South Asian groups. Some of them face lots of barriers to getting healthcare, including language barriers and technology barriers. For seniors, in particular, this isolates them and leaves them vulnerable.
What’s something you love about your community? It feels like home, especially for many of us who are immigrants or of South Asian descent. We can see the reflection of our culture and values here. The whole community is peaceful and caring and we are respectful to each other. I am happy to have lived in this neighborhood for a decade without even a single incidence.
Are you a patient, family member/caregiver or community member? I am a community member who has lived in East Toronto for five years. I live in Crescent Town Place.
What motivated you to join the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council? I wanted to make connections in the community. I’m new to Canada, so this is a good opportunity to network and meet other people.
The wonderful members of the TMRWC have helped introduce me to different community services, like the Crescent Town Health Centre. They have also shared with me how to access grocery gift cards, food boxes, employment services for people in need.
The way the council conducts meetings and events is very organization. There are many opportunities to engage and share feedback for improvements in the community related to health and social care.
What’s something you love about your community? The strength of community is its kind and hardworking people. It feels great to be connected.