Centennial Community & Recreation Association of Scarborough, Ontario, Est.1949

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Posted Mar 2015

Calling All Dog Walkers!

Centennial Community Dog owners have a great opportunity to get involved in helping to keep our neighbourhood an even safer place to be, thanks to a new program that is being offered by Toronto Police Services.

“Dog walkers know their neighbourhood and are more likely to notice when something is not quite right” says Gary Gomez, Police Constable with 42 Division Crime Prevention. The 42 Division Dog Walkers Community Safety Initiative is a program that taps into our Dog Walkers’ constant and accepted presence in our neighbourhood and provides some Crime Prevention training to create an impressive Community Safety Program that will benefit everyone in the Centennial Community.

The program is for local dog owners, who walk their pets daily, as individuals, pairs or in groups to learn how to become more aware and alert when they're out on their normal walks. Training involves a one hour workshop that will help you:

• Identify any environmental and neighbourhood crime and safety concerns
• Report any suspicious activities and people to the police
• Discourage unlawful activates by bringing their presence in the neighbourhood
• Inform local residents of unsafe home practices (e.g. leaving garage door open, leaving tools and home recreational equipment open to view etc.)
• Learn and apply basic CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles
• Increase natural surveillance and act as extra ‘eyes and ears’ of our community

If you would like to learn more or you would like to get involved in this program and are interested in participating in a one hour training session hosted by the 42 Division Community Officers please contact The Rouge Hill Dog Owners’ Association through e-mail (kcynart@bell.net) or on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rouge-Hill-Dog-Owners-Association/396507093779748) or you can contact Police Constable Gary Gomez (#6528) directly at 416-808-4220 or through e-mail (gary.gomez@torontopolice.on.ca).

Further details regarding dates, times and location of training sessions will be communicated once we have a sense of community interest and numbers of participants. We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted Feb 2015

Scarborough Waterfront Project
Public meeting #2 update

Scarborough Waterfront Project Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has initiated a study under the Environmental Assessment Act to create a system of public spaces along the Lake Ontario shoreline between Bluffer’s Park and East Point Park in Toronto, Ontario. The vision of the Scarborough Waterfront Project is a system of linked scenic landscapes along the water’s edge providing a safe and accessible waterfront experience with opportunities to actively enjoy the outdoors, to relax and reflect, and to learn about and appreciate the natural and cultural heritage of the bluffs.

Based on feedback received, Public Information Centre #2, originally scheduled for January, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 24, from 5:30 - 9:00 pm at Qssis Banquet Hall, 3474 Kingston Rd. The intent of PIC#2 is to provide the public, stakeholders and interested parties a meaningful opportunity to be part of the planning process.

To receive project updates and information please subscribe to the Scarborough Waterfront Project E-newsletter: http://trca.on.ca/swp

Outdoor Ice Rinks update

At the January 13th meeting of Scarborough Community Council, councillors recommended that the City of Toronto:

- Request Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff to assist in the creation of volunteer run outdoor rinks as an interim measure at the Thomson and MacGregor Parks.

- Request the Toronto School Boards to create skating rinks at a minimum of one school per ward.

Scarborough Community Council referred written submissions, including a deputation from CCRA, and the following recommendations to City staff for consideration in the preparation of their 20-year Facilities Master Plan:

1. That the Community Development and Recreation Committee develop a 10-year outdoor artificial ice rink strategy that would see approximately one or two artificial ice rinks built per year in Scarborough and North York with a goal of creating one additional ice rink per ward in North York and Scarborough.

2. That Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff report on the economic benefit of building one or two new four-pad hockey arenas with associated library, basketball, pool, and other community amenities in Scarborough and North York.

To read the complete Scarborough Community Council consideration, including background, recommendations and motions, visit http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2015.SC3.2

CCRA would like to thank those Centennial residents who gave voice to their concerns by assisting us in our deputation. The CCRA deputation can be read online. We also thank Scott Harrison, for his continuing efforts to advance this issue on behalf of Scarborough residents.

Posted Jan 2015

Toronto Ward Boundary Review

Toronto City Council has hired a group of consultants to conduct a Toronto Ward Boundary Review (“Draw the lines”) to look at the size and shape of Toronto's wards. The review was put in place because many wards, including wards in Scarborough, are significantly above or below the average ward population due to population growth or decline. Although our ward, Ward 44, is only slightly above the Toronto ward population average (1.4%), we are surrounded by wards with increasing or declining populations (Ward 41, 42 and 43). So, our ward boundary could change as the boundaries of neighbouring wards are adjusted.

The review is concluding its first round of public consultation. Consultants are holding public meetings and surveying residents on their opinions about the type of representation we would like to see.

Public meetings in Scarborough and Etobicoke/York already took place in early and mid-December. Meetings will take place in January 2014 in North York, Downtown Toronto and East York in January 2014. Details about the dates and locations of these meetings can be found at http://www.drawthelines.ca/meetingdates/.

You can also fill out an online survey at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/TWBRSurvey/.
Feedback received from consultations and surveys will inform the development of several options for structuring Toronto’s wards. Once options are developed, a second round of consultation will begin in May 2015. At that time, the public and stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed ward boundary options.
More information on timelines of the review can be found at http://www.drawthelines.ca/processtimeline/. The review is expected to produce a final report to Council for approval in Spring 2016. The new ward boundaries will be used for the October 2018 municipal election.

Residents can sign up to receive updates on the review at http://www.drawthelines.ca/mailing-list-sign-up.

Posted Dec 2014



Highland Creek Biosolids Environmental Assessment


Comments and City Responses from PIC #1


The first Public Information Centre was held on June 16th at the Legion Hall on Lawson Road. Those in attendance were invited to submit written questions and comments to the City. The City has recently tabled two documents outlining its responses (shown below in italics). The first document, issued by the Project Consultant CIMA, deals with the questions raised by the community attendees (16 pages), and the second, from the City Project Manager, deals specifically with the comments submitted by The Toronto Environmental Alliance (11 pages).

A summary of these documents is presented below.


Community Comments and Questions

Seventy attendees signed in, and thirty written comment sheets were submitted. The responses were prepared by the Project Team, and were grouped into ten topic headings:

1.      PIC format and Contents

·         There was some support for a town hall type meeting rather than the poster session used for PIC #1 – City will consider alternate formats for PIC #2 and PIC #3 to optimize the opportunities for group discussion.

·         Most attendees felt the information was well presented, and there was support for the inclusion of health aspects in the new EA.

2.      Rationale for Class EA Study

·         Many attendees were upset that the recommendation of the original EA was not implemented by City Council, and were concerned about the extra cost of the new study – staff indicated that, because of City Council’s rejection of the Highland Creek recommendation, a new EA for Highland Creek was required, so that the remaining parts of the Biosolids Master Plan for the other City sewage plants could be implemented.

3.      Study Approach

·         Concerns were expressed that the City would choose a lower upfront-cost solution that may not be the best in the long term; a few attendees were concerned that Social impacts were being given priority over Health impacts – all feasible options will be considered based on a combination of health, environmental, social (community) and economic evaluation criteria; the Class EA will consider Cumulative Air Emissions, Human Health Risks and Health Impacts in the evaluation process.

·         Will the City use the latest models to evaluate pollution emissions – the City will use the Biosolids Evaluation Assessment Model (BEAM) for calculating greenhouse gas emissions, and the CALPUFF model for cumulative air emissions assessment.

4.      Public Consultation

·         Concerns were expressed the process will be hijacked by special interest groups from outside the study area, and by politicians driven solely by ideology and political opportunity - the City indicated that the consultation process is transparent and all comments received, and the responses, will be made public.

5.      Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Stakeholders Group

·         Who will be members of the HIA Stakeholder’s group and when will they meet – the first HIA Stakeholder’s meeting was held on November 12th and was attended by representatives from the NLC, the Centennial CRA, the Coronation CA, the Highland Creek CA, the West Rouge CA, Toronto Public Health, TDSB, TCDSB, the East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, Local Immigration Partnership, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, TEA, and Open Policy Ontario and Metcalf Fellowship.

6.      Timing for Implementation of Selected Biosolids Management Solution

·         Concerns were expressed that the proposed new facilities would be delayed by modifications currently being made at the plant, and that the solution would be dated before it is built – the timing of the implementation of the recommended solution will be determined as part of the Class EA, and the recommended replacement of the existing incineration equipment will be undertaken in a timely manner, once the EA is completed; the existing incinerators are tested and monitored regularly, and meet all regulatory requirements.

7.      Biosolids Generation and Management Alternatives

·         There was strong support for the thermal destruction option with best available technology and resource recovery, as it appears to have the best health, environmental and financial outcomes – City will evaluate fluid bed incineration, pyrolysis, gasification and other emerging thermal destruction technologies;

·         Concerns were expressed about the long term sustainability of the demand for processed biosolids as fertilizer, which could then result in the biosolids ending up in landfills – City acknowledges that there are a number of factors affecting long–term reliability; a contingency plan will be developed for all the alternatives.

·         There were some questions about the reduction in the frequency of off-site trucking, if an on-site biosolids processing plant is recommended – City will consider the following on-site processes; drying (pelletizer), alkaline stabilization, thermal hydrolysis, Lystek process, and composting, and the related trucking requirements.

·         The City needs to consider energy recovery options, such as co-generation – any processes that have potential for energy recovery, through biogas or heat generation, will be considered, along with ash recycling.

·         City should partner with private industry to increase efficiencies – the City indicated a willingness to partner with private industries for the off-site hauling and processing of biosolids; in this case the ultimate end destination would not be selected by the City.

8.      Biosolids Transport Off-Site

·         There was much opposition to trucking biosolids through the local communities, for safety, as well as health and property value considerations, and airborne contaminants from the trucks – if truck haulage is selected, the City will specify measures to minimize noise, odours, traffic, and safety related impacts; the operation of vehicles transporting biosolids is regulated by Federal and Provincial legislation and City bylaws.

·         There were requests to investigate other off-site transportation methods such as rail cars, lake barges or pipelines – the EA will evaluate all modes of transportation, and results will be presented in PIC #2

9.      Land Application of Biosolids or Processed Biosolids Products

·         Many concerns were expressed about the Health Impacts due to the contamination of food, soil and groundwater by spreading biosolids on farmland – City indicated that the assessment of health risks would be limited to residents of Wards 43 and 44 only.

·         Many were concerned about the long term impacts on human health by the spreading of biosolids that contain complex chemicals that are not regulated in sludge, and heavy metals on farm lands; biosolids should not be used as fertilizer on Ontario croplands and beyond – the Province regulates the use of biosolids as a fertilizer on land, through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and the Ontario Ministry of Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA); these agencies, along with other Canadian and US government and academic institutions, have concluded that when practiced reasonably, and in accordance with guidelines and regulations, agricultural land application is beneficial, and poses minimal health or environmental risk; evaluating the regulations governing the application of biosolids to agricultural land is beyond the scope of the EA process.

10.  Air Emission Impacts

·         The City needs to consider the greenhouse gas emissions for the complete trucking operations, not just to the 401, but to the final disposal destination – the truck haulage greenhouse gas emissions will consider both the minimum and maximum haul distances, but the health impacts outside the community will not be considered.

·         Many were concerned about the emissions from the existing incinerators – the emissions from the existing incinerator will be modeled, along with the emissions from all the feasible biosolids management options.


Toronto Environmental Alliance Comments and Questions

The TEA comments were predominantly focused on demonstrating that the PC #1 Poster Board presentation was biased in favour of the incinerator upgrade that was selected as the preferred option in the previous Biosolids Master Plan. The City did not accept this position.


1.      Meeting Notice for PIC #1 and Technical Memoranda.

·         Inadequate notice of PIC #1 was provided – City said that Notice of the Meeting was issued on June 5, 2014 and was publicized in two editions of the Scarborough Mirror; notices were also published on the Project website.

·         Requested that the Technical Memoranda be posted on the website – City indicated that Technical Memoranda will not be published on the website, however some Technical Updates will be published on the website.

2.      Format of Meeting

·         Requested that the ‘read and roam’ poster board format be changed for PIC #2 and PIC #3 to include ‘question and answer’ sessions; this would allow more community dialogue, and would ensure accountability and lack of bias from the consultants – PIC #1 was only to provide information on the purpose of the Class EA, and the approach and schedule; other formats will be considered for PIC #2 and PIC #3, to ensure unbiased presentation of information and receipt of feedback.

3./10./11. Poster Boards were Biased

·         Information on some of the Poster Boards was confusing and biased – the information in PIC #1 was intended as background for those less familiar with the wastewater treatment process; technical information will be provided at later stages in the process, as the options are developed

4.      The EA Study Process

·         When will the City Councillors and the Mayor vote on the final decision; does the current Public Consultation process eliminate the need for a 30-day Review; questioned the role of the Ministry of the Environment – once the Class EA Study is completed, it will be presented for approval to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, and then to City Council; the construction of any recommendations resulting from the study will require a modification to the MOE Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA); the ECA also covers monitoring and compliance requirements; the Public Consultation Process does not reduce or eliminate the 30-day mandatory review period, or the submission of the final report for review by the Minister of the Environment.

5.      Long List of Options

·         It is indicated that TM-2 will indicate the long list of options; how will the options be selected and will the public have a chance to comment on the list – information on the long list will be included in Newsletter #2, which is scheduled for release in November; the short list will be presented in one of the first Technical Updates.

6.      Bias against Trucking

·         It was suggested that some of the descriptions such as ‘risk of spills’ was biased against trucking – the intent of the posters was to provide general information on the project; a full list of impacts will be evaluated as part of the Class EA process, and will be presented at future PICs.

7./8./9./15. Development of Short List

·         How will the four decision-making categories (health, social (community), environment and economic) be assessed in developing the short list; will both positive and negative impacts be assessed; how will the scoring system work – the short list of management options will be those determined to be feasible for the Highland Creek Treatment Plant; the screening process will be presented in a Technical Memorandum and at PIC #2; the evaluation criteria are currently being developed.

12.    Approach 1 (On-site Thermal Treatment of Biosolids)

·         The thermal treatment title is misleading, as the poster does not include all types of thermal processes; no mention of ash disposal – the Approach 1 category will cover all potential thermal destruction processes; ash disposal, which in 2013 involved 64 truck loads, will be considered in the evaluation.

13./19.  Approach 3 (On-site Processing and Off-site Transporting of Biosolids)

·         The on-site processing poster does not cover some of the advantages of this option, including the reduced number of trucks – note that some on-site processing options would increase the number of trucks compared to Approach 2 (Off-site Transportation of Biosolids), because of the need to import materials that could increase the volume of biosolids; other options, such as on-site pelletization, could reduce the number of trucks.

14.  Transportation

·         A number of questions were asked about the transportation study – the evaluation of preferred routes and modes will become part of all options that involve the off-site transport of biosolids.

16.  Health Impact Assessment

·         Who will be included in the HIA Stakeholders group – a broad range of organizations will be asked to participate; one member from TEA will be invited.

17.  Cumulative Air Impact Assessment

·         Questions about the methodology for the CAIA – a range of scenarios, considering wind patterns, will be modeled to evaluate impacts.

18.  Human Health Risk Assessment

·         Questions about the HHIA, and who can attend the PICs – the HHRA is a quantitative assessment of health impacts in the study area, and will feed into the HIA; the PICs are open to anyone who would like to attend.

20.  Further Opportunities

·         A number of opportunities offered by the Approach 2 (Off-site Transportation of Biosolids) option were mentioned – the City appreciated the identification of these issues, and indicated that by utilizing the broad expertise of the project team, and through public and stakeholder consultation, all opportunities related to all the biosolids management options will be evaluated.


The above summary is not intended to cover the questions, comments and responses in complete detail. Interested readers should apply by email to Josie Franch, the Project Public Consultation Coordinator, for the compete reports (biosolids@toronto.ca).


The Future

The next PIC #2 meeting is scheduled for March 2015. It is critical that we get a strong attendance by local residents, including the submission of written comments, to ensure that the Community’s views are made known to the Project Team.


Notes prepared by Frank Moir,

Co-Chair Highland Creek Treatment Plant Neighbourhood Liaison Committee.



21 November 2014

Posted  Nov2014



Notice of OMB Hearing of Watson Farm (222 Centennial Rd. and 35 Acheson Blvd.)


The developer of the Watson Farm (222 Centennial Rd. and 35 Acheson Blvd.) has appealed to OMB for hearing, pursuant to sections 34(11) and 51(34) of the Planning Act. The reasons for the appeal are:


1. The City has failed to make a decision regarding the Zoning By-law Amendment application within 120 days after it was received;

2. The City has failed to make a decision regarding the Draft Plan of Subdivision application within 180 days after it was received;

3. The proposed Zoning By-law Amendment and Draft Plan of Subdivision would permit development on the Subject Property which represents good land use planning, is appropriate for the Subject Property and is in the public interest;

4. The proposed development on the Subject Property will respect and reinforce the existing physical character of the neighbourhood;

5. The Zoning By-law Amendment application is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 and conforms to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe; and

6. Such further and other reasons as counsel may provide and the Board will permit.


The hearing is scheduled on Feb 4, 2015 at 10:00AM. The hearing location is:

Ontario Municipal Board (Toronto)

655 Bay Street, 16th Floor

Toronto ON M5G 1E5


Residents who are interested in participant the hearing may write a letter to the following person to register as a participant at the hearing (It is free). Individuals should appear at the start time of the proceedings.


Case Number: PL140968

OMB Contact:

Raymond Borja, Case Coordinator, Planner,

Ontario Municipal Board 655 Bay Street Suite 1500 Toronto, Ontario M5G 1E5

(416) 326-5358


Residents who have concerns regarding the development are encouraged to contact the city stuff:

Katrien Darling, Senior Planner City of Toronto, City Planning Division

Scarborough Civic Centre

150 Borough Drive, 3rd Floor

Toronto, ON M1P 4N7

Tel. 416.396.7721 Fax 416.396.4265

E-mail: kdarling@toronto.ca

Charlottetown Boulevard Child Care Centre: Facing the challenge of change

Posted Nov 2014


If you take a drive up Friendship Avenue you can usually hear the sound of children’s laughter as they play in the playground hidden behind the trees next to the West Rouge Plaza.  The laughter that you are hearing would be coming from the over 175 children that are in the care of Charlottetown Boulevard Child Care Centre (CBCC).


CBCC has been an integral part of the West Rouge/West Hill Community for almost 30 years offering childcare programs for children aged 18 months to 5 years of age, as well as programming for school aged children 6 to 12 years old.  They are the only non-profit childcare centre a short commute from the GO Station that offers childcare services and provides bus service to all schools within the area.  For working parents they provide a safe place to leave our children while we are at work, but they are more than just that.  If you take a walk through the hallways and look into each of the open and airy classrooms you will definitely run into some familiar faces because a number of CBCC staff are also members of the Community – our neighbours, customers and friends.  At times, retired staff from the centre also return as volunteers.


Childcare organizations have been undergoing a number of changes in recent years with the roll out of all-day kindergarten.  Organizations such as CBCC have had to learn how to adapt and change.  This includes offering additional programs such as a half day nursery program for those stay at home parents that want an opportunity to slowly integrate their children into a structured program.


The centre’s Director has been part of CBCC for over 25 years, and has been a witness to many changes in the community.  In recent years the demographics in the area have been changing, with an influx of new families to this area of the city that provides such a great location to raise a family. 

But change also poses challenges, as every open space or older structure provides an opportunity for housing development, and West Rouge Plaza is no exception.  The Centre confirms that there are no defined plans for development of the West Rouge Plaza at this time and the Centre does have a lease on the location that continues to be renewed.  Even so, given the recent changes in the community such as the Island Road development, all members of the West Rouge/West Hill community should be asking their local candidates for councillor and trustees:  “How will you ensure that we maintain the childcare services that are so important to working families and our vibrant community?”


Looking back at Centennial

By Matthew Chin

Posted Nov 2014


The Centennial Community was a lot different during Louise Boyden’s upbringing.  The waterfront could be seen from the Centennial Road School and the Johns-Manville Plant was fully functional.  Boyden attended Centennial Road School and remembers it much differently than what it is today.

“When I first went to Centennial, you could see the lake from Centennial Road School. There were no houses or anything [in the way],” she said.

Louise Boyden is an English teacher and head of the English department at Sir Oliver Mowat.  She was raised in the Centennial community and attended Centennial Road School, where the students were split into four houses in accordance with the four original settlers of the community: Adams, Brumwell, Miller, and Tredvalley.

“We had inter-house competitions and just like in Harry Potter at the end of the year the house that got the most points got a prize,” Boyden said. 

The tradition is what is now referred to as house leagues, due to the different houses competing for a prize.

When the Johns-Manville plant, now a townhouse complex near the waterfront, was open, Boyden and many other children would collect the by-product which was balls of glass referred to as alleys.  

“All the children would go down to the waterfront and we’d pick up what were like alleys, and collect alleys,” she said.

What has kept Louise Boyden drawn to the Centennial community is the natural scenery.  Being close to the lake and being surrounded by parks, she continues to enjoy the greenery.

“We have places where you can go and forget you’re in a city.  You can be outside and think that you’re in a nature reserve,” Boyden said.


This is the first article in an occasional series by Matthew Chin, a graduate of Sir Oliver Mowat C. I.  and journalism student at Ryerson University. Matthew will be writing about and uncovering our local stories.



Sept 2014


Highland Creek Treatment Plant Update

by the Highland Creek Treatment Plant Neighbourhood Liaison Committee


Because there were most likely only 100-150 people who attended the Monday, June 16th initial Public Information Centre presentation by the consultants regarding the Biosolids Environmental Assessment for the Highland Creek Sewage Treatment Plant, we thought it important to have a follow-up article discussing the next steps in the process.


What are biosolids? Biosolids, or sludge, is the highly odorous solid-liquid material left after the treatment of sewage. It contains active pathogens, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus  heavy metals, various industrial chemicals, pharmaceutically active compounds and other emerging substances of concern. It is not just human waste. It is 25% solid and 75% water.


It should be noted that the Environmental Assessment, which started on April 1, 2014, has now identified three possible general approaches for the management of the biosolids at the Highland Creek Sewage Treatment Plant.


Two of the three solutions would involve the daily trucking of biosolids through the neighborhood to the 401, a distance of seven (7) kilometres through residential and busy commercial areas.


The third alternative is to upgrade the present on-site thermal reduction system to the next level of efficiency. Fluidized Bed Thermal Reduction (one possible choice) with state-of-the-art air emission controls, is a system that would dispose of the sewage sludge on site. This is a system that would not require the addition of oil or gas to maintain the combustion process. In fact the process byproducts, namely excess heat and ash, could provide opportunities for energy and resource recovery/reuse.


In September the first of two Health Impact Assessment Stakeholder meetings will be held. The Health Impact Assessment is a procedure used to identify how a specific project could potentially affect health in the affected human populations.


For this study, the HIA will use the following key sources of information to evaluate health impacts from the different sewage sludge management options:

A.    Cumulative Air Emissions Assessment

B.     Human Health Risk Assessment, which will evaluate the potential for health impacts from emissions

C.     Noise Assessment

D.    Odour Assessment

E.     Traffic Assessment

F.     Other health related impacts, as identified through the HIA Stakeholders Group that represents the community, city and subject experts.


Project Newsletter #2 will be issued in November 2014. The second PIC open house for the Environmental Assessment will most likely be held in February 2015. The exact time and date should be available for the next issue of our newsletter.


For further information on the EA Communications and Consultation Plan, please refer to the project website at:   www.toronto.ca/hctpbiosolidsea


To be added to the project information mailing list, send an email to:  jfranch@toronto.ca


If you would like to receive news and updates from the Highland Creek Treatment Plant Neighbourhood Liaison Committee, email news4ccra@gmail.com and request to the added to the HCTP email list.









Sept 2014




There’s a place in the wilderness of the northern lowlands, a paradise dotted by black spruce and poplar, tamarack and ash, the earth woven with rivers and pocked by muskeg.  It’s true bush, about 220 kilometers north of Cochrane, Ontario, and about 90 kilometers south of Moosonee and its northern reserve cousin, Moose Factory.


In recent years, these communities, and others very similar to them right across Canada’s north, have been devastated by waves of young people taking their own lives.  There are the theories: brutal socio-economic conditions, psycho-biological tendencies, the post-traumatic stress of a culture’s destruction.  Ultimately, though, no one is quite sure why the rate is often 100 times higher than the Canadian average.  All we know is that something desperately needs to be done.


So we’re doing something.  We are building a camp for kids there, where the Abitibi River meets another, much smaller river, the camp’s namesake, the Onakawana. 


We are working hard to change despair into self-reliance, of changing that frightening feeling of being lost into always knowing how to find home, of changing the belief that there isn’t much of a future into seeing that the world is your oyster, or should I say, your netted sturgeon, your beaded moccasin, your moose tenderloin, your sweat lodge, your eagle feather, your round dance in the wilderness, surrounded by your friends.  


And what makes me especially happy is that this camp, Onakawana, won’t be the only one.  It’s just the first in what will be camps for youth across Canada, where young people can get to learn and get to share, maybe get to find themselves a little bit. It’s a place where they are encouraged to simply become themselves.  


Joseph Boyden






Joseph Boyden, author of “The Orenda” and winner of Canada Reads for 2014 will be the guest speaker on Wednesday September 24th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at West Hill United Church, 62 Orchard Pk. Drive at Kingston Road, Scarborough, On M1E 3T7.   This is a benefit for Camp Onakawana, a camp for kids in the far north, which is dear to Mr. Boyden’s heart.   A ‘meet and greet’ with the author and book signing will follow with light refreshments. Tickets are $20.00, in advance, from the church. Make cheques payable to: West Hill United Church. For more information call 416-282-8566.


The First Nations Study Group at West Hill United Church has been meeting for over 3 years. Through our group studies, the heartbreak of the ongoing tragedy of the suicides and attempted suicides amongst young people on reserves has been painfully brought home to us.  This subject is very close to author, Joseph Boyden’s heart.  He and his close friends are striving to make a difference in the lives of the young people in the far north, changing despair into self-reliance.  We hope that you will be able to join us on September 24th, to help make a difference, too! 


Posted June 2014


On May 10, CCRA Past President Ben Stanton passed away peacefully at Centenary Hospital in his 93rd year with his family at his side. Ben was born in Dutchess, Alberta, the eldest son of 13 children to Mervin and Blanche Stanton. Ben was a cowboy as a young man on the Dorthy Cattle Co. Ranch, Bar U Ranch & The Circle Ranch. He joined the Canadian Air Force - heading east where he met his beautiful bride Margarette. They settled in the Centennial community in 1948, where they still resided in the family home he had built. Ben enjoyed working with friends he made during his involvement in the CCRA. He was influential in creating several landmarks, the gates at Adams Park in the Centennial year and building homes on Ben Stanton Blvd.

CCRA extends sincere condolences to the Stanton family. With warm memories, to follow is an article written by Ben Stanton in 2009 during CCRA’s 60th anniversary year.


60+ Years of Memories

by Ben Stanton, CCRA Past President


In April 1948, my wife Margarette and I came out with a real estate salesman to look over an acre of land on the east side of Centennial Road, four lots north of Lawson Road “very late in the evening”.


It was too dark to survey the property, so we came out the next day on the bus to Highland Creek and walked along Lawson Road, a sandy trail, to Centennial Road (both were paved later to service the new John’s Manville plant at Prot Union and Lawrence  Avenue.  At that time the Scarborough’s border was the west side of Port union Road and later extended to the Rouge River.


The CCRA was being formed so we purchased our first memberships from Tom McMorrow at his little store just west of the present strip plaza at the corner of Lawson and Centennial Roads.


We built our home and occupied it in October 1949 through the “Veteran’s Land Act Plan” and have raised a daughter and two sons who live near and visit regularly.


We attended the first community picnic held by the CCA later the CCRA at the original little school house located at the north side of Adams Park where the Ontario Department of Highways excavated fill materials to form the 2A and 401 connections.  This is how the present ball diamond and soccer field were formed.


1960 – 1963


As President the first time, I had many meetings with Bill Brown and Jack Kay of Scarborough Township, Park Department to encourage the development of Adams Park.  This was a more difficult task because it is a district park not community park.  However, a concession building for hydro and water service was built and flood lighting on the toboggan hill, baseball diamond and soccer field, previously mentioned, boards for an ice rink on the Lawson Road side, flooding the rink etc. were completed by the CCRA.




As President for the second time, I had knowledge and personal dealings with “Hands Fireworks” located in Cooksville, Ontario.  What better way to celebrate Centennial year than by having a May 24th weekend with a fire work’s display.


Hands put on a “super display” at Adams Park and everyone had a great time.  This event was held for many years and, unfortunately, was discontinued.


As President during our Centennial Year, one of my goals was to have stone gates built at the Lawson Road entrance to Adams Park.  We raised funds in various ways, i.e., bottle drives (amazing how many beer bottles were cleared out of sheds).  All were turned in for cash at the beer store.  We held Broom Sales and sold hundreds of regular corn brooms and stiff bristled push brooms.


McCowan Readymix supplied the concrete for the foundations, free of charge, many building trades made cash donations along with many residents.


The Masonry contractor did the work at a reasonable cost.  The hand digging for the foundations was done by a few of the CCRA members.  Consumer Gas supplied the gas lamps and the connections to the lamps.  At the dedication, Mayor Albert Campbell said, “Let there be light” and the gas company employees turned them on.  Unfortunately, vandals ruined them not long after and they were removed.  Generally the youth in this area were very helpful in all the events performed by the CCRA and we believe these vandals were from outside of our community.


It has been a pleasure to put this bit of history together and before I close, I would like to thank you for the great Past President’s Dinner and Dance that my wife and I attended – we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.


Yours truly,

Ben Stanton

Celebrating local heroes: Tony Sibley


Moving to Centennial almost 45 years ago, Tony Sibley remembers “a muddy experience”, coming to this neighbourhood at a time when Lawrence Avenue did not yet cross Highland Creek. He recalls wife June losing her shoes in the mud during those early days, “but she wouldn’t have it any other way”.

Tony retired in 1992 after a satisfying career as a military engineer. Reading at Port Union Library one day, Tony says he “looked up and realized that there was a health club and other things happening” in the community centre. Tony attended an Annual General Meeting of the Port Union Seniors, and upon hearing that they needed a President, stepped up to volunteer for a two-year term. Tony and June remained active in the group for many years, enjoying community involvement and causes supported by the always energetic Port Union Seniors.

In 2002, Tony joined the CCRA executive as Treasurer, a position he held until this year, as well as serving an interim term as Membership Chair. His steadfast commitment since joining CCRA has seen it through many vital initiatives, events and issues in this community. Tony is particularly proud of CCRA’s part in demanding cleanup at the Port Union site of the asbestos-ridden Johns Manville plant, and the successful demand for warning clauses that were added to new home agreements there.

After years of volunteering, Tony feels that Centennial’s growing pains and changes are for the best. He is ready to move on to another good neighbourhood, and says “times change and you have to change with it”.

After almost 45 years, Tony Sibley leaves our Centennial community a better place. His steady hand at CCRA and Port Union Seniors were, and still are, valued in our neighbourhood.

For readers of CCRA News, Tony’s keen editorial eye and mind will be greatly missed. We wish him nothing but smooth, mud-free roads ahead.


“Several years ago I was the Membership Chair for the CCRA. There were a lot of canvassers required to the do the job and it was a lot of work. At the end of the four years, I decided to try to find someone to take on the job as I was running out of friends to help.  As luck would have it for me, I was chatting with Tony and when I told him that I was giving up the position, he told me that he would do it. 

I have always felt that day was my lucky CCRA day. Tony went on to be a great Membership Chair and the Treasurer as well. I will miss you, Tony.”-

Marilyn Hodge, Vice President CCRA 

Celebrating local heroes: Rella Braithwaite 

Rella Braithwaite and her family celebrated her 91st birthday this year, and a lifetime of giving to her community.

Rella and her husband Bob, a World War 2 veteran, settled in Centennial in 1946. She remembers early years here when neighbours shared a telephone and washing machine. Rella speaks warmly of friends like the McMorrow, Watson and Dempsey families, who were also among the first in the neighbourhood.

Centennial Road Public School was still being built, and Rella’s six children were able to attend there from grades one to eight. Rella became involved with the school’s Home and School Association, later receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award after her involvement for over 25 years.

She recalls being present in 1949 at the Home and School Association when it was decided that Centennial School should have a recreation centre. This led to the founding of the Centennial Community Recreation Association. William Dempsey was made founding President. Rella feels that the CCRA can be proud to be in their 65th year and she was pleased to receive her CCRA recognition medal in 1977.

The Braithwaite family attended Centennial United Church and for a time, Bob Braithwaite sang in the choir. As her children grew, Rella became more active in the community. She attended Scarborough Board of Education meetings for five years, and wrote a column entitled “Scarborough Board Happenings” for West Hill News.

Notably, Rella is one of the eldest descendants of the Queen’s Bush Pioneers, one of the largest Black settlements where fugitives escaping slavery made new homes in Canada. Realizing that Black youth needed to understand their heritage, she began researching and writing about early Black settlers. In the 1960s, Rella wrote a column for Contrast newspaper, sharing Black history with Toronto. She has since co-authored several books including Some Black Women and Some Black Men that profile outstanding figures in Canadian Black history.

Always sharing her research with students and adults, in 1975 Premier William Davis appointed Rella to serve on an Advisory Council of Multiculturalism. Years later, she received a Bi-Centennial Civic Award from Scarborough Mayor Frank Faubert. Among her many honours, Rella has received awards from Who’s Who in Black Canada, Congress of Black Women, Association of Black Women and Negro Colour Guard.

Centennial has been home for over 67 years to this remarkable woman, who says that it “has been a really great community since we came in 1946”. Rella continues to inspire students with an annual writing award at Centennial Road Public School. Never without a project, she is currently working on a book about her sister the Reverend Addie Aylestock, first Black woman minister in Canada.

There is always another story to be told – we wait for Rella to write her own. It may be the best yet



Posted Mar 2014


Tennis Anyone?

Here is What’s Happening at the West Rouge Tennis Club

(by Mary Soye, Secretary, West Rouge Tennis Club)


Have you ever driven by the West Rouge Community Centre between April and October and wondered what was happening under the bright lights of the tennis courts in the evenings? Well this is the West Rouge Tennis Club – a dynamic, community-based club, and home to people who love playing tennis in the great outdoors.


Monday evenings you will see the ladies’ and men’s house league doubles matches. Wednesday evenings we have mixed doubles on the courts. Many Tuesday nights you will see some of our more experienced players hosting other Scarborough teams in a league that is part of the Scarborough Tennis Federation (STF). West Rouge has three different levels of teams in this league – some more competitive than others! And you might just see us playing in the Mixed Luck of the Draw tournament, a fun annual event that sparks some spirited tennis. But the real competition takes place later in the season at the club championships!


Don’t let the competition scare you off, though. The club also offers beginner clinics run by our pro for adult non-members (beginner members are also encouraged to attend) on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:00 in May and June. Here you can learn (or re-learn) the basics. You are sure to meet up with other players at your level and you can arrange games with them.


Our junior program is a great way for children under the age of 18 to get involved in tennis – a sport that incorporates both mental and physical exercise. From May 2 to May 31, all juniors have five free lessons with our club pro on Saturdays and there are five organized junior drop-in session on Wednesday afternoons in May and June from 5:00 to 6:00. We’d like to see more juniors on our courts learning to love the game and play it throughout their lives, and who knows? Your child might be the next Milos or Eugenie! Find out by signing them up. And consider signing up with them. Tennis is a great way to spend healthy, active family time, right here in the neighbourhood.


In addition to court time, the club hosts a number of social events throughout the season, including an opening day barbeque, a Family Day event, a mid-winter wine and cheese evening, an Ironman/Ironwoman challenge that involves golf, tennis and a barbeque, and to round off the season, a house league dinner and awards night.


You have to be a member to play on our courts (except Saturday and Sunday afternoons between 4:00 and 6:00when they are open to the public and at the Wednesday beginner clinics), so sign up now! You can find the application form online at www. westrougetennisclub.com and at the WRCC reception desk. We would love to have you and your family join us at the West Rouge Tennis Club!


Posted Sept 2013 2013



Miller Lash House

As reported in June, the Highland Creek Heritage Day held on Saturday June 8th, was combined with U of T’s 100th anniversary celebration at the Miller Lash House.  This house is located on U of T Scarborough campus property off Old Kingston Road adjacent to Colonel Danforth Park.  Each Thursday evening during the summer a pub night was held at the Miller Lash House.  The last night was Thursday August 15th.  This was a new venture for U of T.  The location of the house is unique and the setting is spectacular.  Food was reasonably priced and good.  From reports I understand U of T will be opening up the house next summer with perhaps more nights available.  Watch for an announcement next spring.