Building Community Through Our Market

Building Community Through Our Market

At the heart of the Thorncliffe Park community, the Thorncliffe Park Community Market has been an energetic and vibrant hub for the past 15 years. Every Friday from May to October, hundreds of our neighbours gather in R.V. Burgess Park from 3 p.m. until sunset, fostering connections and strengthening our community fabric.

The Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee, a grassroots not-for-profit organization, is proud to orchestrate this unique event. We are committed to empowering newcomer women, promoting their integration through education, entrepreneurship, food security, and civic participation. Our market is a reflection of these commitments and the rich diversity that defines our wonderful community.

From its inception, the Thorncliffe Park Community Market has aimed to provide entrepreneurial opportunities to newcomer women. This vision aligns with our mission of enhancing self-esteem, improving conversational skills, and fostering learning among peers. It also provides a platform for supplemental income, supporting families and stimulating our local economy.

Our beloved Park Café has emerged as a natural extension of this model. We firmly believe in addressing community challenges such as unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, and food insecurity through grassroots solutions. The café is a testament to this belief, serving up delicious Bolani and Tandoor bread, and acting as a melting pot of cultures and cuisines.

The Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee is driven by the belief that our community’s cultural mosaic is its greatest strength. Our ultimate aim is to improve the quality of life for every community member, regardless of economic status, ethnicity, ability, or gender. We strive to foster a sense of inclusion and diversity, which we believe is key to a thriving community.

One of our significant achievements has been the transformation of R.V. Burgess Park. Once neglected, this park is now a vibrant community meeting place, thanks to our advocacy and the City of Toronto’s commitment. The park now boasts playground equipment, a renovated splash pad and water fountain, new swings, benches, bins, light poles, picnic tables, a community garden, electricity, and a first-of-its-kind permanent outdoor tandoor bake oven.

Our integrated model of community and economic development has garnered recognition both locally and internationally. In 2013, R.V. Burgess Park was named a “Frontline Park” by the Washington, D.C.-based City Parks Alliance. This honour, the first given to a park outside the U.S., acknowledges our creative revitalization efforts and our commitment to building safer communities.

Every vendor, every visitor, and every conversation at our market contributes to this vision. We invite you to join us in celebrating our community’s diversity and strength, one market day at a time.