The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma, Toronto
Organized in 1921 as a part of Kiwanis International, the Club was originally known as the Kiwanis Club of West Toronto. With a rich heritage of community service and an enviable record of accomplishment, the Club continues to serve the ever-changing needs of young children, youth, the physically and mentally disadvantaged and senior citizens.
This year Kiwanis Casa Loma celebrates 85 years of service to the community. As part of our anniversary celebrations we plan to launch a youth exercise and sport program in co-operation with Mayor Miller's initiatives.
Our active Youth Committee concerns itself with young people through a variety of programs in our elementary and secondary schools. We have supported arts and music programs at Queen Victoria and Clinton School Public Schools. In 2001 we joined with the York Board Alumni Association to help fund the arts and music scholarships in schools in the former City of York.
Our most recent project was the launch a Kiwanis partnership with the Toronto Public Library to address literacy.
The Toronto Public Library has been able to launch the Kiwanis Outreach Storytime a project taking story programmes out to parenting centers in high needs areas in the south and west of Toronto.
In these programmes, children and their caregivers are introduced to the joy of reading and are encouraged to develop their language skills through songs, stories and fingerplays. They are able to get a card and borrow books to take home, while dedicated volunteers model appropriate reading skills and talk to parents about the value of early exposure to books and reading. And, at the last session, each child is given a book of his/her very own to keep.
This year we will reach over 6,500 children and 5,500 caregivers throughout the City. This program would not be possible without the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma and the funding received from Casa Loma's revenues.
As part of the Kiwanis family, the Club sponsors a Builders Club for Grade 6 to 8 students at CR Marchant PS and Key Clubs for high school students at Parkdale Collegiate, Harbord Collegiate, Upper Canada College and Central Technical School. These clubs focus on youth leadership and volunteerism. These junior Kiwanis clubs has its service activities within the school and school community. Each year the students help to fundraise at TVO telethon. They are actively involved in Mayor Miller's Community Clean Up Day. Recently the Key Clubs have partnered with the Toronto and Region Conservation authority and other local volunteer groups in tree planting and stream cleanup along the Mimico Creek.
The club launched three millennium projects in partnership with Hillcrest Public School, High Park Nature Centre and Pia Bauman School for Ballet and Creative Movement in Toronto's west end. These partnerships demonstrate how Kiwanis addresses local needs. We helped build and fund the new playground at Hillcrest PS. We helped establish and continue to support the High Park Nature Centre by providing funds for the educational programs for city children. These programs focus on the creative, hands-on experimental activities centered around High Park's unique ecology and natural features.
The Seniors Committee supports an activity program at the Senior Adult Services in the Annex.
The Club sponsors an annual boat trip and a Christmas party at Casa Loma for the residents of Queen Street Mental Health Centre for over 50 years. A shuttle bus was purchased to transfer patients to and from events.
The Club was one of the founders of the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto and has been a major sponsor for more than 60 years.
In addition, the Club has supported a number of local groups including: the Salvation Army, CNIB, Hospital for Sick Children, Encounters Canada, Citizenship Court, Sleeping Children Around the World, Toronto Hostels Association and the Staples Back to School Project.
In 1997, to mark its 60th Anniversary at Casa Loma, the Club introduced the annual Alex & Sara Watson Scholarship Program. Every year five graduating high school students are each awarded $ 2,500.00 for post-secondary studies.
Alex Watson was a long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma. The Watson Estate provided a significant portion of the initial funding for the scholarships.
Seventeen West Toronto secondary schools each nominate one candidate. The scholarship criteria include a serious financial need and a record of service to the school and community in keeping with the Kiwanis spirit. The winners, accompanied by their families and representative from their schools, are invited to Casa Loma for the gala Watson Scholarship luncheon held annually in early June. To date we have awarded over $120,00 to students in our city.
The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma offers caring community-minded men and women the opportunity to work with others for the benefits of the community and the world. The rewards of membership are many: friendships, contacts, informative and entertaining gatherings, developments of personal leadership skills, opportunities for international understanding, fellowship and a sense of accomplishment.
The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma meets on Thursdays at Casa Loma. Learn more about Kiwanis and Casa Loma. Make a reservation and be our guest some Thursday soon.
The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma
1 Austin Terrace
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: (416) 926 - 1588
Fax: (416) 926 - 1894