ANC selected the Simpson-Ogden neighbourhood in Thunder Bay because of its declining and aging population, its high proportion of Aboriginal residents, its high unemployment and low average income, and disproportionately high rates of medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
At the end of its first two years of operation, ANC in Thunder Bay secured a number of financial backers for continuing its revitalization efforts in the Simpson-Ogden neighbourhood. United Way of Thunder Bay committed to fund work in Simpson-Ogden, and both the City of Thunder Bay and the Ontario Trillium Foundation supported the ANC project.
An initial grant from the McConnell Foundation helped prepare the group to apply to McConnell’s “Building Resilient Community by Engaging Youth” initiative. If approved, $300,000 over three years will be matched by in-kind funding from community, government and nonprofit partners.
The 15-member Simpson-Ogden Neighbourhood Advisory Committee has agreed to seek incorporation under the new name “Evergreen: A United Neighbourhood.” Sub-committees have been established to:
- Manage neighbourhood cleanups
- Work on bylaw enforcement
- Install neighbourhood lighting
- Establish newsletters that deal with children’s and wellness issues
Neighbourhood cleanups have been especially successful: advance promotion resulted in most of the trash disappearing before the scheduled clean-up, and new trash cans are in place to help residents continue to keep the neighbourhood litter-free.
Eight action grant recipients were recommended and selected by neighbourhood residents. The projects ranged from art and recreational projects for youth, to environmental programs, to programs for women responding to violence and a project that created and sold greeting cards.
Cross-community exchanges have also been fruitful – Thunder Bay’s community garden project took root in a Scarborough neighbourhood, while a project initiated in Regina to clean up rundown properties is now being adapted by Thunder Bay. Renters can complain about substandard housing to a community-based, voluntary committee and receive information on how to resolve the problem and a free inspection. If necessary, the committee contacts the relevant city departments for follow up.
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Sandra Albertson, Project Manager
Action for Neighbourhood Change
500 Simpson Street
Thunder Bay, ON
Action for Neighbourhood Change was
in operation from 2005-2007. This site exists to capture and share the
learnings that emerged from this initiative, but new material is no longer
being added on a regular basis. ANC is not responsible for the content
of external links, which may change; however, if you find a broken link,
please let us know.
Simpson-Ogden was named for two citizens
who assumed civic prominence in the 1800s and is the second oldest residential
neighbourhood in Thunder Bay. Simpson Street developed as the area’s
first business district in the early 1900s and Ogden Street has been
the site of community park programs for more than 80 years. Travelling
north to south on Simpson Street provides a glimpse of the neighbourhood’s
ethnic and socio-economic diversity. The street itself is often heavy
with traffic and widens to four lanes inside the Simpson-Ogden neighbourhood.
Its commercial buildings are mostly two and three stories high, often
with apartments on the second and third floors. More...