IN KINGSTON GALLOWAY/ORTON PARK, UTSC HELPS A COMMUNITY RISE UP
SUSANNAH BUNCE, professor, Department of Human Geography, City Studies Program
& MALCOLM CAMPBELL, professor, Department of Biological Sciences and vice-principal, research,
University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)
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The City of Toronto has designated the Kingston Galloway/Orton Park (KGO) region in Scarborough a “priority neighbourhood”—one of 13 underserved city communities confronted with the more intense challenges of modern urban living, including
poverty and abandonment by residents and businesses. These complex issues rob communities of their vitality, and without investments in the physical and social
infrastructure of urban neighbourhoods, they can decay.
To help invigorate KGO, Susannah Bunce and Malcolm Campbell, along with others, spearheaded a partnership between UTSC and the community group East Scarborough Storefront (ESS) to build on existing community revitalization efforts. With funding from the United Way and the Galin Foundation, the collaboration has led to many new initiatives including several educational and recreational programs for KGO community members. UTSC students have also been able to volunteer with local charities and service agencies, and conduct research on subjects of importance to neighbourhood residents and organizations, including housing, public transit and green space.
Additionally, with support from CERIS/The Ontario Metropolis Centre, Bunce has studied housing and newcomer settlement issues within KGO.
New social supports have helped to strengthen the KGO neighbourhood and
improved residents’ quality of life. The partnership is also having an important
positive impact on UTSC students, who have had opportunities for hands-on learning, and the university as a whole has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the
UTSC plans to use the lessons learned from its current partnership to innovate
together with other communities across the city, country and world.
“Collaborating hand-in-hand with our
neighbourhood partners, we conduct the
research and create the social innovations
that positively transform communities.”
– Malcolm Campbell