Make your vote count, Scarborough

Whether it’s Toronto’s municipal election or our community poll to decide which Scarborough stories we’ll pursue, your ballot matters.

This week, I want to talk to you about voting. First off, get out and vote on Election Day, Oct. 22. Choose your representative for Toronto city council, your school board trustee and who our next mayor should be. If you voted in an advance poll, like I did — sorry, no brownie points. You’re performing your civic duty.

But you might get some brownie points — well, from me at least — for voting in this poll about which community-powered stories I should pursue in Scarborough. We do journalism a little differently here at The Discourse. Our journalists believe that reporting should be driven by what people want to know. That’s why we spent the past few months asking Scarborough residents to tell us what issues they care about most in their community. After listening to two dozen people, we heard lots of questions about transit, safety, combating stereotypes, and arts and culture.

Help us figure out which story ideas to dig into first by voting in this poll. You have from now until Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET to vote. Here are the options:

(On a related note, please also vote for what our Scarborough Facebook group should be called!)


Before he made it onto Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, Satish Kanwar, VP of product at Shopify, hustled by selling bootleg CDs to his classmates at school.

Growing up in the McCowan and Finch area of Scarborough, Satish was inspired by the entrepreneurship of small businesses he saw all around him. “That community and small-business culture is something I especially admired about Scarborough, and really started the entrepreneurial spirit in me,” he tells me.

Satish thinks that big investments by corporate giants in Toronto should be matched with the “right training, education and support for local small businesses,” and that this should be a focus of the upcoming election. “That’s the most self-reliant and scalable way we can create the right kind of economic opportunity for everyone inside the city, especially around the boroughs,” he explains.

Around town

  • Oct. 20: Jollibee Talk and Lunch with Patrick Cruz. This event explores the cultural significance of the fast food chain within the Filipino diaspora, Unfortunately, the talk at the Doris McCarthy Gallery is sold out (not surprising since it sounds fascinating), but you can still put your name on the waiting list. It’s part of an ongoing exhibition called “It Can Only Be This Place,” which you can check out until Nov. 3.
  • Oct. 20: Wellness through Caribbean Storytelling. Join local seniors as they share their life experiences, wisdom and knowledge through traditional Caribbean storytelling. All ages. Free. Registration is required.
  • Oct. 24Lit On Tour Scarborough. From a fringe play to a stage show and now a popular TV series, Kim’s Convenience has had quite the journey. You can catch its creator Ins Choi, Canadian author, actor and playwright, in conversation with New Zealand author and editor Tina Makereti (Black Marks on the White Page). The award-winning writers will discuss how they came to write, and the highs and lows of representing cross-cultural characters on screen and on the page.

Real talk

In our Facebook group, member Jamaal Myers posted this thought about how Scarborough city councillors don’t reflect the demographic makeup of the community:

What do you think of Jamaal’s assessment? And what does diversity on city council mean to you? Let me know by responding to this email.


  • Transformations is a theatre program offered by Community Arts Guild that encourages youth to create original performance material and to practice theatre skills, including improv, voice and movement, and writing. Meet up with other youth interested in theatre and train with professional artists ever Thursday from Oct. 18 to Dec. 6. Share your work in a final presentation. All levels of experience are welcome.
  • Inductees to this year’s Scarborough Walk of Fame include rapper Kardinal Offishall, educator Bruce Kidd and Pizza Nova president Domenic Primucci. The honorees were celebrated at an event yesterday at Centennial College.[end]


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