In 1984, the Pelham Neighbourhood Action Committee (made up of neighbourhood residents) was formed to review the social conditions of the Davenport West/Junction Triangle area. In 1984 and 1985 the Committee worked with the City of Toronto to conduct a needs assessment of the community. The assessment identified serious social, economic and health issues in the neighbourhood, suggesting that this was a high risk area of the City.
At the same time other areas initiatives were being launched, including:
- The Toronto Children’s Network selected this area as a site for a Family Centre.
- The West Toronto Support Services for Seniors and Disabled was organized with the assistance of Metro Community Services as a successor to West Metro Senior Citizen Services in 1984.
- The Northern Health Area of the Public Health Department had given priority to initiating community based health programs. Staff, area residents and other agencies investigated the potential for a Community Health Centre.
- The Pelham Youth Outreach Project was initiated, given the need for support services for youth living in the community. Three staff were hired under the sponsorship of the Planning and Development Department and seconded to work under the direction of the Youth Service sub-Committee to develop on-going services.
The Junction Community Information Centre (now Community Action Resource Centre) was opened in 1983 by the High Park Interagency Network.
In partnership with agencies, government bodies and faith communities serving the neighbourhood, the Pelham Neighbourhood Action Committee initiated a proposal for the joint development of a Neighbourhood Services Centre (initially called Neighbours) on the basis of: Involvement of residents and resource people in developing programs in response to identified needs; the potential to maximize staff resources, funding, facilities and equipment through joint development; the potential to enhance community development efforts through shared goals and mutual support.
In July 1985, the Neighbourhood Services Centre Work Group began the development of the Centre and by October of that year, it was incorporated as the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre.
A Home with the Davenport-Perth United Church
The congregation of the Davenport-Perth United Church voted to enter into a partnership with DPNC and the community and lease the church building and manse at 1900 Davenport Road. It was seen to be an excellent site for the Centre in the very heart of the community, in a building whose church has played an historic role in the development of the area. It is also linked well with public transportation routes.
In 1988, Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre secured funding from the Community Health Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health. A team of physicians, nurses, receptionists and a social worker was hired to provide clinical health services.
A Renovated Home
In the late 1980′s plans were made to renovate the Church and manse. A committee worked with the architect to develop a design which linked the 130 year old Church with a west addition. The connecting space serves as a public internal street with high, bright ceiling space. A further addition in the north-east part of the site accommodated the expansion of the daycare. The Church sanctuary was converted into a multi-purpose space. By 1991 the renovations were complete and programs which had been operating off site at two storefront locations on Davenport and in space at our next-door neighbour’s Symington Place were moved into the new building.
In 1996 Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre received funding from Human Resources Development Canada to open and coordinate two Employment Resource Centres (ERC). A mini ERC was built on the main floor of the Centre, while a much larger one was developed at 605 Rogers Road. Both locations were designed to help community residents with their job search through workshops, information, resume writing, internet, job fairs and the use of phones and a fax.
In the summer of 1998, renovations were completed on an office building that was located in the southern-most tip of our catchment area in a cooperative housing complex. A neighbourhood advisory group was formed to determine which programs and services could be offered in this new neighbourhood centre. After some deliberation, the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood & Community Health Centre and the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club were the two organizations chosen. The Perth Randolph Neighbourhood Centre, as it became known, was one of our Early Years program sites until early 2009 when the building was sold and DPNCHC had to relocate.
In 2003, ALFA, (the Adult Literacy program, which has been a tenant at the Centre) became a program within the DPNCHC renamed as Adult Literacy Services. Also in that year, the Centre was designated as an Ontario Early Years Centre, with responsibility for early childhood development and parent education services for the Davenport Riding. We provide these services in partnership with a number of other Early Years organizations.
In 2009, we received the long-awaited news that our request for funding for a new community health centre was approved, and in September 2012, we officially opened the Davenport-Perth Community Health Centre. This state of the art, 10,000 square-foot facility provides comprehensive health services, including
- Primary health care, health promotion,and disease prevention
- Referrals to outside medical specialists and lab services
- Mental health and addiction counselling programs
- Access to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on-call service & home visits