All posts in Social Innovation

Canadian Pacific Railroad Station repurposed for community use


Contextual view, from the southwest, of the Winnipeg Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Winnipeg, 2006 Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006

WINNIPEG, MB – There are many untold stories of success by indigenous people in Winnipeg, but one of the first and most remarkable is the story of how a determined group of individuals turned the derelict CP station into a beacon of hope for a generation of young aboriginal people.

The corner of Higgins and Main once had the worst reputation in Winnipeg. It was the centre of seedy bars and prostitutes, a place where only the uncaring or desperate would go at night. That was 25 years ago.Now all that has changed: the bars are gone and new construction has put a bright face on the corner. The catalyst for that change over the past 25 years has been the Aboriginal Centre of Winnipeg Inc., now Neeginan Centre of Winnipeg, along with a collection of agencies that reside in the massive building that used to be the railway station and offices of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The story of that change is one of courage and conviction, of entrepreneurial spirit laced with a social mission. And it is the remarkable story of a handful of aboriginal people who decided to take control and make change happen for their people in the inner city of Winnipeg.The power symbolBack in the late 1800s, the coming of the railroad to Manitoba was a game changer for everyone living here, most particularly for the First Nations, who were crowded out of their traditional lands to make room for an influx of European settlers.

Many of these settlers came through the CPR station and its adjacent immigration sheds.This massive four-storey, 120,000-square-foot office building, with an elegant hotel attached next door, was built in 1904 to 1905 as a monument to the power of the railroad. It was vacated in 1989, a decade after passenger traffic through the station had ceased and the offices were moved out of province.

Full story here


The Idea of a Human Rights Museum. Karen Busby, Adam Muller, and Andrew Woolford, eds. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press

…here is a brief excerpt of the content,

Reviewed by

Jason Chalmers

The Idea of a Human Rights Museum is the first book-length collection that explores the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which opened in 2014. It situates the museum transnationally within the context of other ideas and human rights museums. Chapters explore museum content, debates within and surrounding the museum, and the potentials and problematics of human rights museums in general. The collection generally frames the museum as an important cultural institution in Canada, although several contributors are critical of the way it represents human rights and reproduces settler colonial narratives.

The editors structure the book in much the same way that a visitor might approach an artefact or artwork within a museum: first approaching from a distance to get a sense of general themes, inspecting particular details as one gets closer, and finally reflecting on content and situating it within larger contexts as one moves onward. The first set of chapters explores the purposes and functions that define the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. These include the museum’s role in creating space for public dialogue about difficult human rights issues as well as the dual (and potentially conflicting) functions of commemoration and education. The second section focuses on the way museum space is organized by considering architecture and conceptualization of the permanent exhibits. The third section considers curation within the museum by addressing some of the potential challenges and possibilities of representing what throughout the text is referred to as “difficult knowledge.” The final group of readings explores other museums from around the world to situate the Canadian Museum for Human Rights within the twenty-first-century global phenomenon of human rights museums. While these museums tend to be characterized by a commitment to the prevention of human rights violations, each is also shaped by the particular socio-political context in which it developed. [End Page 465]

A strength of the collection is that it historicizes the museum while maintaining a future-oriented approach. Christopher Powell argues that human rights did not descend upon humanity fully formed but, rather, were forged in the struggles of people in distinct socio-historical contexts.

Historical processes likewise shape the museum. Contributors view the museum as the unique manifestation of domestic pressures and global trends. It emerged from the interaction between Canada’s distinct political culture, the dynamics of settler colonialism, and the transnational push toward education and the commemoration of atrocities. However, while contributors frame the museum as a product of history, they simultaneously focus on future possibilities.

The purpose of “informed citizenship” is to cultivate a public that desires positive social change and has the tools necessary to conceptualize and realize this transformation.

Continue Reading →

Centre for Social Innovation has office space.

click image to visit their site

click image to visit their site

Office Spaces Available at CSI Spadina and CSI Regent Park!

The Centre for Social Innovation has office spaces available for rent at CSI Spadina and CSI Regent Park right now!

Become a part of the CSI community and do your world changing work from an office at one of our beautiful Toronto buildings!

Email Kyle Shantz to inquire about availabilities.

CSI Spadina Spaces

David Fincher’s Advice to Young Filmmakers, …it applies to community makers too.

David Fincher’s Advice to Young Filmmakers, really applies to those doing community works.


108 and 162 Vine Avenue proposed – Amendment No. 231 Official Plan Designations & Mapping – Employment Areas

GovanBrown Construction Managers 108 vine ave

108 and 162 Vine Avenue

building  – formally the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd /Roman Meal Bakery(orginial builder)  – then Canadian Eastern Rogers Company – now GovanBrown Construction Managers

All text proposed – Amendment No. 231 to the Official Plan of the City of Toronto with respect to the Economic Health Policies and the Policies, Designations and Mapping for Employment Areas  Page 79

Zoning for this address

Retail developments are permitted by way of a zoning bylaw amendment and supported by a satisfactory transportation impact assessment provided the do not exceed 2,000 square metres of retail gross floor area.

Some images of the marvelous building.





Facade changes at 108 Vine Ave going to massive

108 Vine has had the entire facade of the stack blue and grey block building removed.

This east section of the complexes buildings – is being being viewed bunt his blog as being converted to two levels.

The image above taken on the night of May 30th 2013. Shows the front wall facade has been completely removed. We should expect windows.

108 Vine Ave. window installs

The old Rogers Eastern Plant is receiving new windows today is the historic building section.

The choice if style is a good balance of energy efficiency and visual congruency with the building facade.

LEAF’s Tree Tenders Volunteer Training



LEAF’s Tree Tenders Volunteer Training

This multi-day course is designed for individuals who want to gain tree-related knowledge and skills. Individuals who want to take on a leadership role in your greening projects would benefit greatly from this course. Topics include biology, soil science, tree identification planting, care and maintenance, municipal bylaws and more! We are currently taking registrations and payments for our spring courses.


Designed to give you tree-related knowledge and skills. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about trees and how to properly care for them then this course is for you!

Each session provides basic arboriculture training which includes a combination of indoor and outdoor instruction, and a group tree planting. This course is pending approval for ISA Continuing Education Units (CEU).

Cost: $50 +HST / $70 +HST with ISA Citizen Arborist Manual (recommended). Payment cannot be refunded or deferred to future classes.


Next Tree Tenders Courses:


Northern District Library
40 Orchard View Blvd. (Yonge & Eglinton), Toronto
Wed, May 22, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thurs, May 23, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sat, May 25, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wed, May 29, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Oak Ridges Community Centre
12895 Bayview Ave. (Bayview & 16 Ave.), Richmond Hill
Sat, June 8, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wed, June 12, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sat, June 15, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


To register for our spring courses, click here.




  • LEAF’s Community Action Presentation – Free!
  • LEAF’s Tree Tenders Volunteer Training – New sessions coming up
  • Neighbourwoods© Training – Brought to you by local experts, this course is a must if you’re thinking of doing a tree inventory
  • LEAF Presentations, Workshops and Tours – A great way to engage your neighbourhood
  • Spread the Word – We’ve put together a promo package to let others know how they can green their backyards


Click here to find out more information about the following opportunities:



Evergreen Brick Works – Design By Nature- juried art competition-functional furniture, public art & sculpture

fsc_designxnature_ca_wp_content_uploads_2013_02_DxN_2013_CallForProposal_i4_1_pdf (1) fsc_designxnature_ca_wp_content_uploads_2013_02_DxN_2013_CallForProposal_i4_1_pdf

from the site,


…emphasis this year will be on functional furniture – Evergreen Brick Works

Design By Nature is a juried art competition of functional furniture, public art and















sculptural installations using “re-purposed” or salvaged materials. The items are designed for designated


from the site,


locations on the Evergreen Brick Works campus. Pieces appropriate to both interior and exterior application are encouraged, and should be designed to withstand the rigors of an unsupervised public environment.

Artists are asked to limit their submissions to a maximum of four pieces each, and ensure that each piece can be displayed independently of each other. All proposed designs must contain at least 50% existing, reclaimed, or recycled materials. These materials must be non-virgin, with some previous use or purpose, and/or materials destined for landfill or waste had they not been used in the submission.

Any size of piece will be considered. However, keep in mind the location and scale, and public nature of the installation sites. Our emphasis this year will be on functional furniture – Evergreen Brick Works can always use more places to sit, eat, relax and enjoy the amazing wonders of the site.

A jury will review all submissions based on the following judging criteria. Finalists will be announced within one week of the deadline. Finalists will be paid an honourarium of $2,500 towards the costs of production. Selected pieces are exhibited for three months, and will dot the vast landscape of Evergreen Brick Works.

See our FAQ’s for more details on site specifications, submission process and program requirements.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 26, 2013.

 Download Call for Proposals PDF

TV star company moves into old Canada Bread Factory also

The old Canada Bread Factory on Cawthra Ave is quickly becoming what this blog wrote about hoping it would become a great hime for innovative businesses. Another business that has moved in is

90 Cawthra Ave – Unit 102, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6N 3C7



from their about us text…


About Posterjack is a Canadian company based out of Toronto. We are an online business, and we serve the entire Canadian market from our Toronto location. 

The people at love turning photos into artwork. Because we love what we do, we always strive to create the very best products available. The type of products that we love to hang and enjoy in our very own homes. So far this vision has served us well. In a just a few short years, has surpassed the traditional photo companies and now produces more photo art than any other company in Canada. 

We hope that you are excited about turning your photos into art and we look forward to the opportunity to help you do just that! 


The outside of the part of the old bread plant they occupy.




Community Building…. a news series of on the blog highlighting community building. Today, The Centre for Social Innovation


A little bit of the international Big Society movement  has been created in Toronto.

All Italic text below  from The Centre 
for Social Innovation (CSI) 

For nearly five years we have been trying to explain what the Centre
for Social Innovation (CSI) does and what social innovation is. We
are officially giving up! Sure, we have created a dynamic shared
workspace for people with world-changing ideas. And yes, we are
home to some amazing incubated projects and an incredibly diverse
community of change-makers; the energy is infectious as social innovators come together under one roof. We are pushing new ideas,
new models, and new policies to reinvent the way things work. It is all
true! But this just doesn’t begin to get at it.

What we are really about is possibility. We are creating a vision of
how the world could be and we’re working every day to bring it into
reality. We are building new models, new initiatives and new ideas.
We are hybrids. We are inter-sections. We are solutions. We are the
inventors of new ideas that are resonating across sectors. We are
social entrepreneurs, artists, activists, idealists and pragmatists. We
are transforming the marketplace and finding ways to live in harmony
with each other and the planet. We are about creating the world that
we want, together.

What is social innovation? It’s about ideas that are changing the
world to make it better for all of us. It is about working together to
create the models and systems that will define our future. And for us,
that means prioritizing projects that are collaborative, entrepreneurial
and systems changing.
Here is just a taste of what we have been up to for the last five years.
We hope this inspires you to be a part of our shared journey