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  • 🎯 Urgent Community Action on Homelessness | Whitby Hospital Update | Rotary Park Revitalization & More

🎯 Urgent Community Action on Homelessness | Whitby Hospital Update | Rotary Park Revitalization & More

Issue #078

Issue #078 - February 16, 2024

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In this issue of Whitby Thrive…

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Durham Region Declares Urgent Need for Action on Homelessness and Health Crisis

The Regional Municipality of Durham, under the leadership of John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, has issued a statement addressing the critical challenges of mental health, addictions, and homelessness affecting the area, mirroring the national crisis. Despite a significant 67% increase in homelessness, Durham Region is taking proactive steps, including the opening of a 45-bed shelter with comprehensive support services, revitalizing community housing, and developing mixed-use affordable housing projects. However, the escalating crisis, highlighted by over 14,000 emergency visits related to mental health and substance abuse and a sharp increase in opioid overdose calls, underscores the urgent need for collaborative solutions involving all government levels.

The statement also praises the provincial and federal governments' recent funding initiatives but emphasizes the necessity for a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario to discuss long-term strategies. Durham Region has developed a policy paper in partnership with community organizations, proposing actionable solutions to address this multifaceted crisis, advocating for immediate action and cooperation from senior government tiers to make a tangible difference in residents' lives. Read more.

Premier Doug Ford Confirms Whitby Hospital Plans on CKDO Radio

Photo credit: whitby.ca

In a significant development for healthcare in Whitby, Premier Doug Ford confirmed in a recent interview on CKDO Radio that plans for a new hospital in the town are moving forward. This announcement came just one week after Whitby initiated a community advocacy campaign to push for the construction of a new hospital. The Premier's assurance reflects the provincial government's responsiveness to the community's concerted efforts and voices.

During the interview on February 15, Premier Ford mentioned that planning grants for the project are expected to be issued soon, marking a critical step in the project's progression. Specifically, a $3 million capital planning grant for Lakeridge Health and the allocation of land necessary for building the new hospital were highlighted as imminent actions.

The town of Whitby has pledged to continue its advocacy campaign for the next seven weeks or until the province formally announces the planning grant and land allocation. The campaign has already demonstrated remarkable engagement, with 1,600 community members actively participating by submitting letters to the province and sharing personal narratives highlighting the critical need for a new hospital facility.

This wave of community support underscores the importance of the new hospital to Whitby residents. Local officials are encouraging more people to join the advocacy efforts by signing a call-to-action letter or sharing their own experiences related to the need for enhanced healthcare facilities in Whitby. Read more.

Oshawa's Centennial Legacy: Rotary Park and Pool Set for Grand Revitalization

Photo credit: oshawa.ca

The revitalization of Rotary Park and Pool in Oshawa marks a significant milestone as the city gears up to celebrate its centennial year in 2024. After a thorough evaluation, a contractor has been selected to commence construction this upcoming spring, promising an exciting blend of modern amenities and accessible features.

The project is set to introduce a host of new facilities, including a four-lane outdoor pool equipped with a zero-entry section and a designated area for toddlers, ensuring fun for all ages. Additionally, plans include the construction of a destination playground, a splash pad, a new parking lot, pathways, and various site amenities, all designed to meet the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Oshawa’s own Accessibility Design Standards.

Chosen as Oshawa’s Legacy Project for its centennial celebration, the Rotary Park and Pool redevelopment is a nod to its historic inception in the 1920s. For generations, the park and pool have served as a cornerstone for family and community engagement in the city.

Strategically located in the southern part of downtown Oshawa, at Centre and Gibb Streets, the park not only offers recreational opportunities but also serves as a vital link to the Joseph Kolodzie Trail and Brick By Brick Park. Its proximity to City Hall and the downtown core further enhances its appeal as a community hub, providing easy access to local businesses and city landmarks.

For more information on the project and its features, interested parties can visit the official website at Oshawa.ca/RotaryPark. Read more.

Do you Have the Scoop on a Breaking Local News Story?

Elderly Couple Tricked by Banking Fraud; Police Seek Suspect

Photo credit: drps.ca

An elderly couple in Clarington was deceived by a fraudster claiming to be from their bank, who then stole their banking cards and PINs on February 7, 2024. The suspect, a man in his mid-20s to mid-30s with a distinct appearance, used the stolen cards to siphon money from their accounts.

Anyone who can identify the suspect or has any information about this incident is asked to contact D/Cst. Kane of the Financial Crimes Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5371.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward. Read more.

12-Year-Old Faces Serious Charges After Loaded Firearm Seized in Oshawa

Photo credit: drps.ca

A 12-year-old boy in Oshawa is charged with multiple firearm-related offences after police responded to a threatening video on Snapchat. A coordinated search by multiple police units resulted in the seizure of a loaded firearm and ammunition.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Det. Dellipizzi of the Central East Criminal Investigation Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2766.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward. Read more.

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Whitby's Station Gallery Invites Families to Craft Love Bugs This Family Day

Photo credit: whitby.ca

Whitby's Station Gallery is hosting a unique event this Family Day, inviting families to engage in a creative and fun-filled afternoon. On Monday, February 19, 2024, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, participants will have the opportunity to craft their own "Family of Love Bugs," a project that promises to bring families closer through the joy of making art together. This event, aimed at celebrating both arts and culture as well as fostering community connections, is open to all at no cost.

Situated at 1450 Henry St., Whitby, ON, Station Gallery provides an ideal backdrop for such a family-centric activity. Known for its commitment to promoting the arts within the community, the gallery ensures a welcoming and inspiring environment for creativity to flourish. This Family Day activity is not just an opportunity for artistic expression but also a moment for families to create lasting memories together.

The "Creative Family Day" event underscores the importance of shared experiences in art, offering a special way for families to explore their creativity. Whether you're an experienced artist or new to the art world, this event is tailored to accommodate all skill levels, ensuring a rewarding experience for every participant. Read more.

Durham College Volleyball Stars Shine in OCAA Awards

Photo credit: durhamlords.com

Amanda Larsen, Aislinn Pedersen, and Chelsea Oke have been honored with awards for their contributions to Durham College's women's volleyball team during the 2023-24 OCAA season. Larsen was recognized for her exceptional blocking, Pedersen led in kills and ranked highly in digs, and Oke made an impressive debut with significant achievements in both kills and digs. Their awards underscore the talent and dedication they bring to the team and their sports. Read more.

Ontario Tech Ridgebacks Stumble in OUA Playoff Opener Against Ottawa Gee-Gees

Photo credit: goridgebacks.com

The Ontario Tech men's hockey team was defeated 5-1 by the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the opening game of the OUA playoffs, despite a vibrant Valentine's Day atmosphere and a strong effort. Ottawa established an early lead that they maintained throughout the game. Ontario Tech's only goal came from Gabriel Bernier, while Ottawa's goalie, Franky Lapenna, delivered a stellar performance. The Ridgebacks are now preparing for a critical game two in Ottawa to continue their playoff aspirations. Read more.

Whitby is home to a significant natural landmark that becomes particularly popular in February for outdoor activities. What is this landmark?

  • A) The Rouge National Urban Park

  • B) The Uxbridge Historical Centre

  • C) The Greenwood Conservation Area

  • D) The Heber Down Conservation Area

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Trivia Answer

Correct Answer: D) The Heber Down Conservation Area

The Heber Down Conservation Area, located in Durham Region, Ontario, is a significant natural landmark known for its extensive network of trails and scenic beauty. Particularly in February, this conservation area becomes a popular destination for winter outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking. With its diverse landscapes, including meadows, forests, and wetlands, Heber Down offers residents and visitors alike a serene escape into nature during the winter months, making it a cherished spot for embracing the colder season.