November 25th was a day of celebration for the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation.
The morning’s events began with the unveiling of the Tolley Place sign. The Tolley Place townhomes opened in 2009, offering quality housing to younger seniors.
James Kooistra, Chair of the Board of Directors for the corporation, said, “the idea of this started long ago. I was told it was Trevor (Tolley, former Chair of Board) who had this idea.”
Tolley reminded everyone present that he did not do this alone. He listed all of the people and organizations that worked hard to make Tolley Place a reality.
From the unveiling of the sign, the group moved to one of two new sheds recently erected. Here Kooistra informed everyone that the corporation had received a $15,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which financed the two sheds, two dedication trees, as well as the walkway between Tolley Place and J. W. MacIntosh Seniors Support Centre.
According to a press release from the corporation, due to a 2010 gardening project started by Tolley Place residents, “a garden shed has been placed at Tolley Place and will be available for tool storage. A second shed was placed at the east end of the walkway and will store maintenance equipment.”
As for the trees, Kooistra said, “some years ago the Board said farewell to three board members: Trevor Tolley, Joan Findlay, and Barbara Phifer. They served on the board for many, many years.”
“They were promised that we would plant some trees, one for Trevor and one for the two ladies.”
He then thanked the three again, for their “years of commitment and dedication to the Board.”
A sign dedicating the trees to the three former board members will be affixed to the garden shed.
The walkway, which was completed this fall, finally “links two projects that should always be linked,” said South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds.
As Kooistra pointed out, “the walkway was constructed to provide easier access to the services of the Community Support Centre. These services include exercise classes, hot meal programs, health and wellness clinics and educational presentations. The sidewalk encourages regular walking which is great exercise in itself.”
Jim McDonell, MPP for SD&SG, concurred, saying, “the constructed walkway will provide easy access while promoting a healthier lifestyle.”
“We have a plaque here from the Trillium Foundation to commemorate the volunteers,” who, as he later pointed out, “come out and make a difference.”
Catherine MacLaine, representative for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, said “in October of last year the grant review team was happy to support their efforts with a $15,000 grant.”
She said, “we see a group of dedicated staff and volunteers.”
With that said, Mary Salmon, tenant of Tolley Place, cut the ribbon, officially opening the walkway between Tolley Place and the support centre.
Kooistra then said, “you’re now invited to walk the walk.”
Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation oversees the operation of Tolley Place, Park Drive Villa, County Road 18 Group Home, Schell Street Group Home, as well as the J. W. MacIntosh Seniors Support Centre.
It also provides community support in the way of meals on wheels, adult day services, transportation, respite, foot care, assisted living services, and diners club.
For more information, contact them at 613-535-2924 or at 613-535-2470. They also have a website: www.wnphc.ca.