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Introducing The Stop’s Wychwood Open Door

We’re pleased to share some exciting news: The Stop Community Food Centre has integrated with our long-time partner Wychwood Open Door!

Wychwood Open Door is a daytime drop-in centre that has served the St. Clair West area since 1986. Their small team serves over 40,000 nutritious meals each year, while offering vital programs like life skills training, peer advocacy, and harm reduction services.

Sadly, Toronto’s growing rates of poverty and food insecurity have led to an unprecedented demand for such supportive spaces.

In response, Wychwood Open Door approached us in late 2017 with the offer to acquire the largely volunteer-run organization and more effectively meet the growing needs of its community.

Following a unanimous vote from Wychwod Open Door’s Board of Directors, The Stop has now assumed operations in their existing space at 729 St. Clair West under the new name The Stop’s Wychwood Open Door.

This exiting new development is the result of over a decade of close partnership between our two organizations, and builds upon our shared mission to provide supportive, inclusive, and dignified food-based programming that works with community members to challenge the systems of inequality.

Along with nearly four decades of award-winning staff and services, we’re thrilled to offer an extended network of facilities and resources to the Wychwood Open Door community.

The Stop’s Green Barn, with its community garden, greenhouse, and kitchen facilities, has been a hub for community programs in the St. Clair West community since 2008. Wychwood Open Door members will receive access to its full suite of programs, in addition to those available at The Stop’s Davenport location.

Consistency and familiar faces offer critical stability for vulnerable community members, and we will strive to preserve the legacy of this beloved neighbourhood organization. We will maintain Wychwood Open Door’s staff and programming, and have hired two new, permanent community workers to support its ongoing operations.

We’re also embarking on a comprehensive review of our new facilities with the goal of expanding and enhancing our services—targeted to the specific needs of the site and its clients.

Our intention is not merely to extend, but transform conditions and access for Wychwood Open Door’s members

In a time of undeniable crisis facing low-income people in Toronto, we’re confident that this decision will result in significant improvement in the quality and sustainability of services for our community.

We’re excited to share more information on the expansion on The Stop’s website, in our newsletter, and on social media in the weeks to come.

If you have any questions about the transition, please contact The Stop’s Director of Programs Francsico Vidal at francisco@thestop.org.

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About Wychwood Open Door

Wychwood Open Door is a day-time drop-in centre, serving Toronto’s mid-town St. Clair West community since 1986. It seeks reduce social isolation, boost nutrition and help develop life skills among homeless and socially isolated people.

 

About The Stop

From our origins as one of Canada’s first food banks in the 1980’s, The Stop has blossomed into a thriving community hub where neighbours participate in a broad range of programs that provide healthy food, foster social connections, build food skills, and promote civic engagement.