TORONTO: The neglected but one of the most important localities of Don Valley West, Greater Toronto Areas, Ontario and Canada---Thorncliffe Park Drive and Flemingdon Park---have started to get some attention and recognition they deserved. Thanks to the tireless efforts of those engaged and involved in promoting and helping these areas.

             As a result of discriminatory and negative propaganda by some people and leaders with narrow thinking, sick mentality and vested interests, bad impression was created about both Thorncliffe Park Drive and Flemingdon Park. These localities were considered and labelled as backward areas and most of the residents as crooks, criminals, illiterate and uncivilized. The motive behind was mainly to deprive both the people and localities of basic and important facilities, with the thinking that they do not deserve such facilities, good impression and recognition.

            The reality is completely different and the area councillor John Parker knows it very well. The reason of his helplessness is not known. Only he can give a good and valid explanation.

            He knows that most of the people are very loving, caring, supportive, helpful, highly educated, civilized, passionate, etc.  Crimes and incidents do happen in almost all areas. Only the proportion varies. Because of some leaders who act like rain frogs, poodles and pimps and have dirty mentality, all the people and the areas cannot be  and should not be condemned.

            John Parker too wants to meet and work with people who are interested in promoting the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park areas and people. He and the people both are fed up of all the familiar opportunists and exploiters.    

             Fortunately, Thorncliffe and Flemingdon areas do not belong to the high proportion ones. Yes, there were some areas in these localities which had bad elements and considered unsafe but they have been cleared and controlled. Police have increased patrolling and monitoring.

            It is hoped that now full attention will be paid towards providing necessary facilities including basic and recreational in these two areas. Both are mostly lacking. The problems could be easily solved. The community and party leaders can work with the  councillor, John Parker, and Mayor Rob Ford in this connection.

            A senior citizen was walking near the Overlea Mall and got so tired that he could hardly take a step forward. He said: “Where have all the benches gone, near the bus stops and other necessary places, where we used to sit and relax while walking. Now it has become extremely difficult for us to walk and relax in these areas. If we don’t walk in the open areas with fresh air we will get sick and die.

            “If you go to the white-majority areas, you will find all such facilities. Only we are being punished. This discrimination must end and all necessary facilities restored. Funds should not be made an excuse. Only will and interest is needed.”     

             Whenever people of these areas get some good news they become very happy and thank all those involved.

            One such very good news and opportunity is now available and waiting for them.  It is hoped that residents of Thorncliffe Park Drive and Flemingdon Park areas would fully benefit from this program. We need more such initiatives and programs which change practically, positively and tremendously change the lives of the families and shape of the areas.         

             MICRO-LOANS: On June 16, 2011, ACCESS Community Capital Fund will launch a partnership with the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO), the newest chapter of their community micro-lending program, says a Press release.

            The event will be from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at 1 Leaside Park Drive, Unit # 7 in Toronto, Ontario.

            The new partnership comes as part of a three-year expansion project to build community-based lending programs across the Greater Toronto Area. The chapter in Thorncliffe Park is the second of its kind, joining an already successful program in Black Creek.

            “This is a community that is very educated and passionate,” says Lee Hodgkinson, Chair of the Thorncliffe Park Loan Review Committee. “Many are running home-based businesses or selling imported goods at the community markets. The business support being provided by TNO alongside the financing opportunity provided by ACCESS will go a long way towards expanding this entrepreneurial spirit.”

            In March, ACCESS established the Thorncliffe Park Loan Review Committee, a team drawn from professionals, business owners and members of the community. The group is responsible for evaluating and supporting loan applicants in their pursuit of funding for their small business ideas.

            Where ACCESS provides loans, the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office will provide assistance in completing applications, overcome language barriers and preparing applicants for interviews.

             “Applying for a loan through the Thorncliffe Park program was a valuable experience in itself,” says Trisha Taylor, owner of Pineapple Express, the first loan recipient of the Thorncliffe Park program.

            She continues: ”The expertise of my interviewers and their genuine willingness to help my business become successful was refreshing.”

            In the spring of 2011, ACCESS received funding from the Citi Foundation, with the specific aim of increasing the number of clients who are able to access microloans through the community chapter program.

            “Citi Foundation’s grant to establish the Chapter Development Project fits well with our global focus on microfinance,” says John Hastings, Chairman and CEO of Citibank Canada. “We are pleased to play a part in the launch of this innovative program.”

            The launch will be an opportunity for guests to meet with members of the Thorncliffe Park Loan Review Committee, as well as noted attendees including Local MPP Kathleen Wynn.

            The evening’s celebrations will include an address by Trisha Taylor, the recipient of the Thorncliffe Park chapter’s first micro-loan.

             ABOUT TNO: Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office is a community-based multicultural, multi-service agency providing services to residents of Thorncliffe Park and surrounding communities. Other programs and services include

information and referral, counselling, settlement services, language classes for newcomers and employment assistance services.

            For more information, visit http://www.accessccf.com/thorncliffe_park or


            About ACCESS Community Capital Fund: ACCESS Community Capital Fund, is a registered charity which has distributed over $400,000 worth of Micro-loans since the program was first established in the Riverdale community in 1999. Access funds are used to guarantee loans of up to $5,000, through partner financial institutions. The guarantee fund itself is made up of investments from socially minded individuals, organizations and businesses.

            For more information please visit, www.accessccf.com or contact: Alex Kjorven

Development Manager, ACCESS Community Capital Fund. Tel: 416 462 0496. Email:


            For further details, contact:

            Aamir Khawaja, Case Manager / Employment Counsellor, 1 Leaside Park Drive, Unit # 7, Toronto, ON, M4H1J5. Tel: 416-467-0126 (Ext. 228). Fax: 416-467-9145

akhawaja@thorncliffe.org. www.thorncliffe.org.

             ---Javed Zaheer (JAZA/JAYZEE/JZEE), Free Expression Award Winner, Desi Idol Recognition Award Winner, Member/Honorary Director of NEPMCC, Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Member of The National Club and The Ontario Club, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, ex-Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, ex-Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Pakistan, Chairman, CANOPI, and Director, Canpak Camber of Commerce, is contributing purely on Voluntary and Honorary Basis in order to serve all people and communities. Contact: (416)696-0981/ javedz@hotmail.com.

            To read more JZ’s exclusive articles, please visit the following websites: www.letstree.com (Pressing needs of the world section), www.nepmcc.ca and www.nationalethnicpress.com (Home Pages & Editorial Sections. Scan years from 2004 to 2010), www.pakistanabroad.ca (Issues) and www.caribbeanbusinessmagazine.ca.