1425 Bayview, emotional and mental wellness, day program Toronto, independent living

Our Stories

Every summer we go to the Toronto Island Fire Station. We arrived on the island after taking the ferry across to be greeted warmly and with a hug by our friend Pete the Fireman. He gave us a ride in the red fire truck to get to the island fire hall. Pete asked us if we wanted to try on the uniform. I was floored  “Would I pass as a firewoman?”I tried the hat and the jacket it was very exciting. I think I did pass as a firewoman!

We had a blast. I want to take this time to say thank-you to all the firemen at The Toronto Island Fire Hall and especially to Pete, our friend who took the time away from his busy schedule to give us a guided tour and lunch. Thank-you Pete and we hope to come back again soon.”

There are three aspects of the program I particularly love. One is yoga with Jill, who’s an excellent instructor, patient, dynamic and fun to work with.  Another is the community service we do, especially at the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, where a charming cast of elderly volunteers make the work pleasurable and time speed by. My very favourite is singing with Paula, the delightful folk singer and stage actor with the Southern-belle demeanour who brings her crazy arsenal of ukuleles and kazoos and sings Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Pharrell Williams with us. It’s hard not to be charmed when she lets me indulge my crazy tastes, so I’m forever getting the residents and staff dancing to Wilson Pickett howls or African psychedelia or some rap group.”
We went to Midland in the summer and stayed for the weekend at a cottage there. It was good to see people outside of the normal routine at the residence and to spend a weekend together someplace elsewhere. It was an enjoyable time and I hope we can something similar in the future.  We went for hikes, watched movies, and went to restaurants.

During the week I love singing with Paula. It is certainly a highlight of the programming and something to look forward to.  I love it because Paula is full of energy and encourages participation.  Singing is fun and it is something that I hope we can continue to do.  It is a wonderful experience and an exercise in creativity.”

It’s 10:45 and all is quiet at the Island fire hall. No calls yet. Meanwhile, not far from Wards Island are 8 eager individuals waiting to see what lies ahead on this crisp fall day.The island ferry docks, the pumper truck pulls up and handshakes and hugs are exchanged. Back at the station lunch is ready and the dining hall is filled with a buzz of laughter and chatter; stories shared about daily lives. Group photos are taken with jackets and hats while Peter demonstrates some fire tactics and new gear. Then the gang hop on the captain’s van and get one last ride in the fire truck before hitting the ferry dock.

On behalf of 1425 Bayview to Captain Gutenberg and firehall 335, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a great day.”

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