Committee of Adjustment Hearing for the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society – 2217 Kingston Rd.

The Committee of Adjustment hearing for the Healing Lodge is on July 25th at 11:30 am, Scarborough Civic Centre Council Chambers.

You may demonstrate your objection or support for this proposal by attending the hearing, or by writing  to the Committee of Adjustment at paul.galvin@toronto.ca

Please remember that the C of A cannot consider aspects of the proposal that do not require minor variances, or personal comments regarding neighbours, agents or applicants. For more information on the process of the C of A and how you can participate, please see the C of A brochure by clicking on this link.

Healing Lodge Floorplan

Healing Lodge Meetings

Attended

Councillor Gary Crawford and 2 staff members
Patti Pettigrew: President of the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society
Kelly Potvin: Executive Director of TWHLS
Kelly Graham: Planning Consultant, SvN Architects + Planners
51 residents (over four 1-hour sessions)

Questions and Answers:

Q – What is the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge?

  • It is a facility for Indigenous women who have been involved with the justice system.
  • The healing lodge residential program will have twelve spaces for women who are either: on bail, on probation, or on parole. These are women who have completed a sentence, and are looking to turn the corner, improve their lives and actively participate in our program.
  • If any of the women have a parole officer, they will be required to check in on a regular schedule with that officer.
  • There will also be 12 transitional apartment units for women who have graduated the program and who are able to live independently but still wish to remain part of the healing lodge community and have access to the support network available through the healing lodge.

Q – Why is a Healing Lodge important?

  • This Lodge will be designed for women to heal from past trauma and to connect to their culture.
  • We know through official documentation, that almost every Indigenous woman involved with the justice system has been victimized.
  • The Indigenous culture provides strength and direction.

Q – Is the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society a charity?

  • Yes, TWHLS is a Registered Charity.

Q – Where is the funding coming from?

  • TWHL has applied for a variety of funding sources, including municipal, provincial, and federal grants
  • The City of Toronto Open Door Program waives the development charges for qualified affordable housing projects.
  • Provincial funding is provided through the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program.
  • Federal government provides funding for justice and Indigenous initiatives.
  • Healing Lodge residential program: Correctional Services Canada will fund 4 federal beds, Province will fund 8 beds.

Q – Is TWHLS permitted to make a profit if the property is sold?

  • As a Registered Charity, profit is not a motive.
  • The only circumstance when a profit is permitted is if property values rise and we sell and re-invest the funds in a society/lodge in an alternate location.

Q – Why was this location chosen?

  • TWHLS considered 18 properties throughout Toronto, all were cost prohibitive.
  • The current owner of this property has indicated that he would prefer that this land be used for a social endeavour. The Healing Lodge, being a non-profit organization, fits this category.
  • The current owner granted the Society four extensions, which have allowed TWHLS to undertake a more detailed due diligence and submit the minor variance application.
  • The price was within our budget.
  • Ward 20 has the highest Indigenous population in Toronto.

Q – How will the women at the healing lodge be selected?

  • Applicants will be vetted based on how dedicated they are to recovery, healing and healthy reintegration.
  • Their incarceration record will also be reviewed as this document is a good indicator of commitment to change.
  • If a resident violates her parole conditions, the parole board would then be contacted and woman would be removed from the healing lodge.

Q – Will women who have committed crimes against children be accepted?

  • Women who have committed crimes against children would be automatically disqualified from the TWHLS as they would not be permitted to be housed near a school based on their parole conditions.

Q – What is required of the residents who are on parole/probation/bail? What will their daily routine be like?

    CONDITIONS:
  • Upon arrival, residents must complete a three-month program.
  • Residents must sign in and out at all times.
  • Must follow conditions and rules set by parole officer.
  • Will be actively engaged in programming at the Lodge between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • After 2 pm, residents will go to necessary appointments e.g. dentist, doctor, parole officer, social worker, visits with family etc.
  • An 11p.m. curfew must be adhered to and will be actively enforced.
  • We understand the safety concerns of the community, and we want to ensure the safety of the Lodge residents as well.

Q – What programming will be available at the Lodge?

  • Job counselling
  • Connecting with employers: i.e., the Steelworkers Union provides training for Indigenous men and women.
  • Resumé writing
  • Managing personal finances
  • Self-care
  • Life skills training
  • Trauma and addiction counseling
  • Intergenerational mentoring
  • Computer skills
  • Skills for joining the work force

Q – What is the layout of the healing lodge?

  • 2nd and 3rd floors for women who are on: bail, parole or probation. These floors will be shared accommodation with separate bedrooms.
  • 4th, 5th, and 6th floors: fully independent units where women will pay subsidized rent.

Q – What type of rooms/beds will be provided?

  • Once graduated from the mandatory programming of the 2nd and 3rd floors, residents will have the option to apply and move into the 12 one-bedroom apartments on the 4th, 5th and 6th floors.

Q – What retail space will there be?

  • Small scale, owned and operated by TWHL. Possibly a coffee shop/art gallery.

Q – How will it be integrated into the community?

  • A Community Liaison Group will be established with the assistance of a professional facilitator.
  • Liaison members will include: members of the Cliffside community, Lodge staff, Lodge residents, the Councillor’s office, and other agency members the committee decides upon, i.e., Police, social worker, health care advisor etc.
  • The aim of the Liaison Committee will be to provide good communication between the community and the Lodge, and to address concerns and consider suggestions.

Q – What are some of the minor variances being applied for?

Q – Can the minor variances become precedents for other applications in the area?

  • No, each minor variance application is evaluated on the basis of its own merit by the Committee of Adjustment.
  • A Minor Variance is the usual process used to finalize the regulations applicable to a custom-designed building, such as the Healing Lodge.
  • The Minor Variance process ensures a high quality built environment is achieved while at the same time meeting the needs of Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society and the City.
  • The requested variances are consistent with citywide standards as contained in the Official Plan and Urban Design Guidelines. They respond to the intent of the zoning by-law, however it is not possible to comply with some of the specific performance standards and so variances are requested.
  • No, each minor variance application is evaluated on the basis of its own merit by the Committee of Adjustment.