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July 2020 Newsletter PDF version

July Birthdays
Happy Birthday to all of our friends born in July! 

  • Patricia R - July 2

  • Gloria L - July 5

  • Kenny C  - July 14

  • Sandra S - July 15

  • Susan G - July 16

  • Shirley M - July 18

  • Ryan M - July 21

  • Semion D - July 24

  • Bob G - July 28

If you want us to celebrate with you, please let us know your birthday!

Famous July Birthdays


  • Princess Diana – July 1, 1961

  • Lindsay Lohan – July 2, 1986

  • Tom Cruise – July 3, 1962

  • Sylvester Stallone – July 6, 1946

  • 50 Cent – July 6, 1975

  • George W Bush – July 6, 1946

  • Kevin Bacon – July 8, 1958

  • Tom Hanks - July 9, 1956

  • Julius Caesar – July 12, 100 BC

  • Will Ferrell – July 16, 1967

  • Nelson Mandela – July 18, 1918

  • Alexander the Great – July 20, 356 BC

  • Ernest Hemingway – July 21, 1899

  • Amelia Earhart – July 24, 1897

  • Jennifer Lopez – July 24 - 1969

Our Place Hours
In order to keep everyone safe, all programming in the centre is canceled until further notice. We will keep the Our Place website and Facebook page updated and hope to re-open as soon as it is safe for everyone.

In the meantime, we will continue with the following services:

Take-away Meals
Tuesday-Friday, between 2:00 and 5:00 pm. UPDATE: Starting after the long weekend in August (August 4th), we will be serving meals on Mondays as well! So you can come for your meals 5 days a week!

Friendly Check-Ins
Sign up for once a week phone calls, Zoom calls or emails from staff. This will give you a chance to let us know what services you need and for us to provide you with support, information and referrals.  

If you would like to schedule a Zoom video call, please call the office or email Kristel at

Referrals & Assistance

If you need assistance filling out forms, requesting a shelter bed, finding housing, etc., call the office and we will do our best to help you.

Phone the Office

Staff will be available by phone Tuesday-Friday, between 1:00 and 5:00 pm. Call at 416-598-2919 if you need support.


The most common question we get lately is when Our Place will be reopening and we wish we had an answer for you!

We have to follow the guidelines set out by Public Health and ensure that we are doing our best to keep everyone healthy. We will let you know, when we know, and we will celebrate together when we are able to re-open.

When we do reopen, there will be changes to the way we used to do things before COVID-19. Although we can’t say exactly what it will look like, we do know the following will need to take place:


  • Screening before entering the building (temperature, symptom questionnaire). Only one person will be able to enter at a time.

  • Anyone with symptoms will not be allowed to enter and will be sent home.

  • You will need to put hand sanitizer on before entering the building.

  • No volunteers in the kitchen – staff only.

  • We will ask that you sanitize the member computer before and after each use. 

  • No groups in the small rooms to ensure physical distancing.

  • Staff will be wearing masks. Members will be encouraged to wear them as well. 

  • We ask that you maintain physical distancing (6 ft).

  • Large bags and buggies will not be allowed in the building.

  • No donations will be accepted.

New Program: Anger Management
St. Michael’s Homes is offering an extensive Anger Management course to anyone who is interested. It is free of charge and will be offered virtually (on Zoom).

The training utilizes Cognitive-Behavioural tools and techniques to help individuals navigate tough situations. With topics such as Communication, The Cycle of Violence, and Learning from Mistakes, participants can dive deeper into the root of their anger and learn more about themselves in the process. 

There are also many opportunities for individuals to connect the lessons with their past and/or current experiences, as open discussion is encouraged. This group operates from a trauma-informed perspective, and aims to provide a safe, open, and non–judgemental space for individuals to explore their emotions and find new ways to grow.

Due to the sensitive nature of the topics being discussed, we feel that it is best to keep the groups gender-specific. This means that there is a group available for women and a separate group for men. These groups are currently being offered virtually so please inquire for information on how to access them.

When: Every Thursday, starting on July 9th. The Women’s Group will meet at 2:30pm and Men’s Group at 3:30pm.

Where: Zoom (through your phone or computer. Must have Internet access.)

To Sign Up: Please email or call the Our Place office- (416) 598-2919. To complete your registration, the group facilitator will call you to introduce themselves and have a quick chat with you.

Mental Health & Crisis Resources

  • Call 911 if you are in immediate danger or need urgent medical support.

  • Text WELLNESS to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Provides immediate support.

  • Wellness Together: 1-866-0445 (24/7). Provides free counseling and support.

  • Gerstein Crisis Centre: (416) 929-5200 (24/7). This is a community-based crisis service for adults age 16+ in Toronto who are dealing with mental health issues and/or substance use issues and are currently in crisis. Also offers online face-to-face support, wellness groups, short term follow-up support, and referrals to other services.

  • Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or text START to 45645 (4pm-midnight). This is support for people who are thinking about suicide.

  • Distress Centre of Greater Toronto: (416)-408-4357 (42/7). They provide emotional and crisis support.   

  • St. Michael’s Homes: (416) 926-8267 ext. 110. Addictions Services for men.

  • Assaulted Women’s Hotline: (416) 863-0511 or 1-866-863-0511 (24/7 crisis line)

The social isolation measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic are making it more difficult for those who are at risk of abuse or violence to safely reach out for help. Signal for Help is a simple one-handed sign someone can use on a video call. It can help a person silently show they need help and want someone to check in with them in a safe way.



If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

If you see someone use the Signal for Help,
check in with the person safely to find out
what they need and want you to do. 


For a full list of Drop-Ins and meals, please go to the Toronto Drop-In Network website, or call the Our Place office 416-598-2919.


Emergency Cooling Centres
The City’s Heat Relief Strategy has been updated for the 2020 summer season, in response to COVID-19, and to ensure that emergency heat relief opportunities are available and accessible to those who may need them. 

The Emergency Cooling Centres are offered to residents if they do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors. They will offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place.


In our community, Wallace Emerson Community Centre, located at 1260 Dufferin Street, will operate as an Emergency Cooling Centre from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional Emergency Cooling Centres will operate at the following community centres from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.

  • Malvern Community Centre Arena, 30 Sewells Rd.

  • Scarborough Village Community Centre Arena, 3600 Kingston Rd.

  • Amesbury Arena, 155 Culford Dr.

  • Domenico DiLuca Community Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.

Showers, Washrooms & Drinking Water
Cans of drinking water are available at Our Place for whoever needs it, Tuesday-Friday between 2 and 5 pm. Just ring the doorbell!

The City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services.

Portable Toilets

  • Alexandra Park, 275 Bathurst St.

  • Jimmie Simpson Park, 870 Queen St. E.

  • Regent Park, 600 Dundas St. E

  • Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne St. – Outside the Community Centre

  • Moss Park, 150 Sherbourne St.

  • Sunnyside Park, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

  • Little Norway Park, 659 Queen’s Quay W.

  • North-West corner of Lake Shore Blvd. and Spadina Ave. near the Gardiner/Lakeshore encampment
























Social media is full of claims about COVID-19 – where it comes from, what will cure it, how to prevent it – but most are just not true. Read below for the most common COVID-19 myths debunked!


Myth: Masks can cause CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency


FALSE! The prolonged use of masks (when properly worn) does not cause CO2 intoxication OR oxygen deficiency. Make sure it fits properly, is tight enough to allow you to breath normally, do not re-use disposable masks and always change it as soon as it gets damp.


Myth: 5G mobile networks spread COVID-19.


FALSE! This is not true! Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks, or by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose. 


Myth: Sun or high temperatures will protect you from COVID-19.


FALSE! You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.  


Myth: Holding your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or discomfort means you are free from COVID-19.


FALSE! The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a 

laboratory test.  You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.


Myth: Eating garlic can prevent COVID-19. 


FALSE! Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic (or any other food!) has protected people from the new coronavirus.


Myth: Only old people can be infected by the COVID-19 virus.


FALSE! People of ANY age can be infected by the COVID-19 virus. The elderly, and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 


People of all ages should take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.


From the Kitchen of Our Place


Kristel’s Filipino Chicken Adobo

Prep Time: 5 minutes   |   Cook Time: 35 minutes   |   Servings: 4 people


  • 2lbs chicken (cut into serving pieces)

  • 3 pieces dried bay leaves

  • 8 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 5 cloves garlic (crushed)

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 teaspoons sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorn (or regular pepper grounds)


  1. Combine chicken, soy sauce and garlic in a large bowl. Mix well. Marinate

  1. the chicken for at least 1 hour. Note: The longer the time, the better.

  2. Heat a cooking pot. Pour cooking oil. When the oil is hot enough, pan-fry the marinated chicken for 2 minutes per side.

  3. Pour-in the remaining marinade, including garlic. Add water. Bring to a boil.

  4. Add dried bay leaves and whole peppercorn (Or pepper). Simmer for 30

  5. minutes or until the chicken gets tender.

  6. Add vinegar. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.

  7. Put-in the sugar, and salt. Stir and turn the heat off. Serve hot.




Natasha’s Lazy Holubtsi (Cabbage Rolls)

Prep Time: 5 mins  |  Cook Time: 75 mins   |   Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins   |  Servings: 6  



  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 3 lg carrots, shredded

  • 3 lbs cabbage, coarsely chopped (1 head of cabbage or approximately 8 cups)

  • 14 oz can tomato sauce (I used low sodium)

  • 2 x 14 oz cans diced tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp tomatoe paste

  • 2.5 cups rice – COOKED

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp dried dill

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 2 tsp salt

  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • Fresh herbs (dill, parsley, green onions) & Greek yogurt, for serving


    ** If you want meat in it, you can add 2 lbs extra lean ground meat (turkey, pork or beef)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13 pan.

  2. In a large skillet, sauté oil, onion, garlic and carrots. If you are using meat, cook

  3. Add tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, dill, parsley and bay leaf. Simmer covered 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and stir in rice (rice should be already cooked).

  4. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cabbage and cook until tender crisp.

  5. Place half of the cabbage in the pan. Top with half of the rice mixture. Repeat layers ending with rice.

  6. Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes or until hot & bubbly.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely, and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.




Alanna’s Easy Fruit Crumble - with any fruit!


For the filling:

  • 6 to 7 cups fruit, enough to almost fill pan

  • 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit

  • 1 to 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on juiciness of fruit


    1 teaspoon ground spice, such as cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg (optional)

For the crumble topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • Heat oven to 375°F and prepare the baking dish. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat a 9x9-inch or 11x7-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.

  • Prepare the fruit filling: If necessary, dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces, removing any stems, seeds, or inedible parts. Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and any spices in a large bowl. Pour the fruit filling into the baking dish. Transfer the fruit filling into the baking dish.

  • Prepare the crumble topping: Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large, heavy crumbs are formed.

  • Pour the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.

  • Bake until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the pan and the topping is firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes.

  • Let the crumble cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If transporting to a picnic or party, let the crumble cool completely to give the fruit filling time to set.

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