With new leaders, Toronto groups continue their partnership | News, Sports, Jobs

With new leaders, Toronto groups continue their partnership |  News, Sports, Jobs
With new leaders, Toronto groups continue their partnership |  News, Sports, Jobs

TORONTO — The new leaders of the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization said they are considering new projects while building on those the volunteer group had pursued to attract visitors to the city and its businesses.

This includes a partnership with the Toronto Beautification Committee, which has provided funding to local businesses to spruce up their storefronts.

The coalition’s new officers — chair Abby Lemasters, vice-chair Toni Moreland and secretary-treasurer Lish Troski — along with Susan Greiner and Ginny Popson of the Toronto Beautification Committee, recently presented a $1,600 grant to Meraki Made, a store on 218 North Fourth St.

The committee is also under new leadership, with Greiner taking on the role held for some time by Linda Komar.

She and her husband George, the former coalition president, are moving to North Carolina to be close to their children and grandchildren.

With the development, Lemasters, Moreland and Troski – all local entrepreneurs – have stepped forward to lead the coalition.

Lemasters said there are no plans to change things like the coalition’s free summer concert series, which will happen again Wednesday at 7 p.m. with classic rock group Poor Man’s Heaven, or the Christmas lights event also being held at the Gazebo Commons on North Third Street.

“We want to keep everything they’ve had because it’s been successful and we love it, but we want to add a few other things to it,” said Lemasters.

Since Lemasters opened a coffee shop on the corner of North Fourth and Clark Streets a few years ago, the company has partnered with other brick-and-mortar and home-based business owners in the city to host special events, including an outdoor vendor show, to showcase their products and services.

She, Moreland and Troski said they have a few ideas for new events, including a fall farmers market, a Small Business Saturday event and an event focused on children, that they may develop in the future.

One new idea that has already become a reality is the coalition’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship, which will go to a Toronto High School graduate interested in starting his or her own business.

This year’s recipient of the $500 scholarship is Riley Fisher.

As the new leader of the beautification committee, Greiner said the group will continue to plant flowers and decorate the city’s north and south entrances, the Gazebo Commons and other areas of the city, as Linda had done with other members of the group who are still involved.

She said a recent call for new members was successful and included a number of people who have played an active role in the group’s efforts, but more people are welcome to join.

Greiner noted that the volunteer group normally meets on the first Monday of each month during the cooler months to plan, but takes a break in the summer to focus on the beautification projects.

Shelly Rogers – co-owner of Meraki Made with her daughter Haley Clark – expressed her gratitude to the two groups, who each donated $800 toward the storefront revitalization.

She said she wants to use it for new signage and to smooth out the entrance to her store.

The name contains a Greek word meaning “made with love and creativity,” and the store offers many custom clothing and other unique gift items.

Since opening in 2022, Rogers and Clark has expanded its store footprint to accommodate its wide range of merchandise.

“Being a small town, we did very well. We have increased sales every year,” Rogers said.

She added that the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie among local entrepreneurs is a blessing.

Rogers said other business owners often refer their clients to her, and she has done the same.

‘We are constantly exchanging ideas’ she added. “It’s fun.”

(You can contact Scott at [email protected].)

Today’s latest news and more in your inbox