Lisa Marie Diliberto and Charles Ketchabaw have been very busy lately working both in London, ON on another Tale of the Town version (as seen here last fall) as well as at our own Queen and Bathurst street corners. Below is a post from Lisa on recent interviews with the inhabitants of these corners.
On the North West corner of Queen and Bathurst you will find The Meeting Place, an Adult Drop-in Centre.
From the outside, all we see on the Meeting Place corner are people carrying sleeping bags, or nap sacks, going in and out… and others hanging out on the steps out front. We see people who are clearly not shopping or dining on Queen West like the rest of us.
This corner doesn’t go unnoticed, but it is often ignored. And, as we interviewed people on the four corners, it was impossible not to detect the tension that exists between this corner, and the others.
In the interview clip here with the owner and manager of the Design Exchange (located in the Boroughs Building on the South East corner beside CB2), we can hear the strain that exists in the relationship between The Meeting Place and the larger retailers on these four corners. This feeling seems to come from a notion that The Meeting Place doesn’t really fit in to the current Queen West trend.
But perhaps, it is the retailers that are out of place, since The Meeting Place has been at this location since 1995….
We must thank the interviewees from The Design Exchange for being brave enough to speak out honestly about how they feel about this corner in relation to their own.
So, what does go on inside The Meeting Place, really?
Well, we couldn’t tell you, because believe it or not, throughout of FIXT POINT’s research and story gathering around Queen West for this project and The Tale of a Town, Charles and I had never been inside The Meeting Place to find out. It was about time. Here’s a clip below from an enlightening tour we took inside those walls…
Over 200 people each day benefit from The Meeting Place and the services they provide for people who come to this neighbourhood. See the list below for a comprehensive understanding of just how much this staple organization provides to people in need.
The Meeting Place offers:
▪ Laundry and showers
▪ A place to cook and store food
▪ Computer, Internet and e-mail access
▪ Telephones, fax, photocopying, mail and message services
▪ Counseling, referral and crisis intervention
▪ A place to store personal belongings
▪ Weekly Housing Worker
▪ Weekly Legal Worker to help with landlord/tenant problems, Ontario Disability and Support Program, and Ontario Works
▪ Weekly Members Meeting
Programs offered by the Meeting Place are:
▪ Camera Club
▪ Community Kitchen
▪ First Nations Craft Group
▪ Woodworking Shop
▪ Welding Art Program
▪ Odd Jobbers
▪ Courier Service
▪ Art Group
▪ Silk Screening
▪ Regular Outings
To find out more about The Meeting Place, check out this link: