5 min read
22 November 2023

National Housing Day: How WoodGreen helps create community at its seniors housing buildings

Eunice Mamic, Community Engagement Manager

November 22 is National Housing Day! As one of the largest non-profit housing providers in Toronto, we know that a home is more than just having a roof over one’s head. That is why we provide wrap-around supports to help our tenants at our 28 social housing properties find stability and thrive.

One of these supports is helping to create a sense of community at our housing buildings, in particular for our senior tenants. Seniors living in affordable housing may face unique challenges in building and maintaining social connections. Limited resources and potential isolation, amongst other reasons, can impact their sense of belonging. We strive to empower our residents to live fulfilling lives and build connections that last a lifetime.


Here are three ways that we help to create communities for our senior tenants:


1.Community Spaces


Community Space at 540 Cedarvale Ave

We’ve worked diligently to create communal spaces at our affordable housing or neighbouring sites (indoor or outdoor) to serve as gathering points for residents to meet, share stories, and engage in activities together. Above is a picture of one of our communal spaces at 540 Cedarvale Avenue which includes a TV and tables with chairs for shared meals and programming.


2. Social Events


On September 27, Cedarvale House (located at 540 Cedarvale Ave.), in collaboration with WoodGreen’s Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee (AIAC), hosted a community BBQ at Stan Wadlow Clubhouse.

Our teams host various events weekly for residents to come together and mingle, which include a mixture of activities such as puzzles, board games, cards, storytelling, bingo, movies, book clubs, karaoke, etc. Beyond the traditional recurring events (i.e. weekly coffee social), we host cultural celebrations, holiday gatherings and themed parties (i.e. Thanksgiving Dinner Party). These occasions provide seniors with the chance to relax and enjoy each other’s company while creating lasting memories.


3.Educational Programs


seniors pole walking outside

Learning is a lifelong journey. We provide educational opportunities for seniors to learn, pick up a new skill or hobby and exchange ideas through workshops, classes and events on topics that are of interest to them. This allows residents to connect with one another while gaining valuable knowledge. In some cases, they serve as occasions for residents to share their experiences and skills with others. For instance, we recently introduced a new Light Exercise Class at one of our housing facilities that is led by a resident! We also have Seniors’ Active Living Centres (SALC) that run a variety of recreational activities, educational workshops and classes that help seniors enhance their well-being.

In addition to the initiatives at their respective housing sites, our senior residents have access to several programs and services that we provide to support their health and well-being, including Meals on Wheels, medical escorts, friendly visits, seniors' day programs and more.

Everyone deserves a supportive network that enhances their quality of life. With the help of our community, we are building more than affordable housing for seniors; we are building homes where residents in Toronto feel connected and supported to thrive.

Visit our Seniors programs and services webpage to learn more about the integrated care we provide for seniors.

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