an open letter


For nearly forty-one years, The Stop has served food and fostered connections in our community.


Today, we face a challenge that threatens to uproot this vital mission.


At 1884 Davenport Road, The Stop Community Food Centre serves hundreds of free, nutritious meals to our community each day. Amounting to over 60,000 meals yearly, we are a critical lifeline for many. Beyond serving meals, we act as a warming centre in the winter months and a cooling centre during the summer months and organize activities that unite people; our space is a beacon of dignity and community, fostering strong bonds. Here, our Drop-In support workers not only provide meals but also connect individuals with additional support services. Often, it is the starting point for a bigger journey.


In late 2023, we learned our landlord, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), will be renovating our Drop-In space to create an additional accessible bathroom, as well as other access-related upgrades. We had been loosely notified of these plans in 2021 and promised that we would be involved in the development of them, however this did not happen. While we are committed to equity and support this initiative, our bathroom space is already AODA compliant, and the plans were developed without consultation of The Stop’s management, staff, and community members.


The renovations, once complete, will also make many of our programs non-viable.


Critically, the construction is set to last from 6 to 9 months, during which time we will be unable to run our Drop-In food programs from this space. At this time, no suitable alternate locations have been offered, meaning not only will The Stop’s food programs be displaced, we will also face insurmountable costs in finding a temporary home – with just a few weeks before work is set to begin on 3 June 2024.


People are at the heart of everything we do. If we cannot run indoor, seated meals we will be unable to deliver our community services that help people address their complex needs. If we are forced to move our meal service to a different location, we might risk denying our neighbours in Davenport West access to good quality, nutritious food. We are still unsure about the impact this work may have on our ability to take deliveries of food for the food bank, and we are running out of time.


We strongly believe there is a design solution that will work for both The Stop, our community members, and TCHC, but we have not yet been able to have a meaningful discussion with TCHC that balances those needs appropriately.


We, the undersigned, are highly concerned about this and the impact it might have on food security in our West Toronto community. We are asking TCHC to commit to the following:


  1. Redesign the architectural plans for the Drop-In space, in consultation with The Stop’s staff and community members, to ensure that we can still run our programs there.
  2. Pause construction work until an appropriate solution has been identified and secured by TCHC and The Stop, so meal service can continue uninterrupted for our community.


Add your voice!