Parkdale Community Information Centre
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Parkdale Community Information Centre Parkdale Community Information Centre

Mission

A community resource for connecting people and organizations to information and services.

History

With over 30 years of service in Parkdale, the Parkdale Community Information Centre maintains a strong commitment to providing assistance to Parkdale residents. Below is a brief overview of our history.

The origins of a community information service in Parkdale can be traced to the Social Planning Council's Social Opportunity Project report in 1968. Parkdale residents had participated as committee members on the project, and one of the committee's recommendations was: " that the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto initiate a neighbourhood information centre or citizens' advice bureau in the Parkdale area of Toronto."

The South Parkdale Residents' Association endorsed this recommendation the following year and initiated discussions with the Toronto Public Library Board about the feasibility of locating the service in its Parkdale Branch. The Library board agreed to undertake responsibility for developing this service, and in 1970 the Parkdale Library Information Post was opened under the leadership of Rita Cox, Parkdale Library Branch head. The Post collected information on local services and resources and Library staff assisted patrons in using the files.

As use of the Information Post grew over time, individuals and groups in Parkdale pointed out the need for an expanded information centre with its own staff and with greater community involvement in its operation. It was felt that a multilingual, multi-resource centre, directed by a community board, would better serve Parkdale's residents. This was reinforced by the City of Toronto Planning Board's 1976 study of South Parkdale which found that, still: "the most notable service deficiency in the South Parkdale community is in information services."

In November 1975, a proposal for an autonomous community information centre to be established in Parkdale Library was enthusiastically supported by the Library's West End Citizens' Advisory Group. The Toronto Public Library Board agreed to house the new Centre and to continue providing staff support.

A public meeting in May 1976 endorsed the principle of a community-run information centre, adopted the constitution, and selected an interim Board of Directors. The Board began to work on fundraising and in November 1976 the Parkdale Community Information Centre, Toronto (PCIC) was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization. At the first public meeting of PCIC, in January, 1977, the board of directors was enlarged to fifteen members, including a minimum of eight local residents.

The Library obtained a Local Initiatives Project grant in early 1976 enabling it to hire staff to update and expand the files of the former Information Post and to undertake community outreach. Other project grants in 1977 allowed the Centre to continue building its information base and to begin offering full information and referral service to the public.

Since 1977 the Parkdale Community Information Centre has received ongoing support from the United Way, the City of Toronto, the Ontario Government, and from the the Toronto Public Library, which supplies office space, maintenance, telephone, co-ordination and staff support. The Board supplements these funds through local fund-raising events.

In 1980, with the aid of City of Toronto Neighbourhood Improvement Programme Funds, one corner of the Library was renovated to create more spacious quarters for the Information Centre in a new, more visible location. Use of the Centre's services increased more than 50% in the year following this move, and has continued to grow rapidly ever since. In 1987 we answered almost 13,000 enquires and by 2005 that number had grown to exceed 23,000.

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Funders

We would like to thank the following for their continuing support of PCIC:

  • United Way of Greater Toronto
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Toronto Public Library
  • City of Toronto Community Services Grants Program
  • Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture, and Recreation
  • Human Resources Development Canada Summer Career Placement Program
  • Industry Canada - Urban Community Access Program
  • Ontario Network - Canada Volunteerism Initiative funded through the Department of Canadian Heritage
  • The Bickell Foundation
United Way of Greater Toronto Toronto Community Service Partnerships The Ontario Trillium Foundation

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Donations

As a small community based organization PCIC relies on financial support from dedicated individual members. You can be assured your donation will go directly to support our programs and services. Donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year and any donation over $10.00 will be provided with a tax receipt.

If you would like to make a secure on-line donation:Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!\

Alternatively, you can download our information sheet, then print it out and send it to us.

If you can't view PDF files, you will have to download Adobe's free viewer.   Download Adobe Acrobate Reader

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Membership

PCIC is a charitable organization and relies on public support for maintenance of our programs and services.

You can support PCIC by becoming a member if you live in Toronto. By becoming a member of PCIC you are demonstrating your interest in our organization, you will be eligible to vote at our Annual General Meeting and you will be added to our newsletter mailing list. Membership costs $5.00 for community members, $3.00 for seniors and $25.00 for community agencies.

If you would like to become a member you can download our information sheet, then print it out and send it to us.

If you can't view PDF files, you will have to download Adobe's free viewer.   Download Adobe Acrobate Reader

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Equal Access and Non-Discrimination Policy

PCIC has an equal access and non-discrimination policy. You may download a copy of this policy here and view information regarding its implementation and complaints procedures here.

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