A Human Place


The bottom line is the students were wonderful and they were very appreciative all the way through, no matter who came.
— Kathi Silke

Parkdale is a human place. It is a kind place. It’s a place that has a soul and it’s about people. I cannot say anything else. In spite of all its worst.
— Rita Cox

Rita Cox and Kathi Silke are both Parkdale community members who worked in the neighbourhood for decades. They both contributed immensely to creating a strong sense of community for the neighbourhood’s richly diverse population. Rita was the head librarian at the Parkdale branch of the Toronto Public Library. She took one aspect of her job description, “to serve the needs of the community” to heart and created multicultural settlement support programs that have grown into independent organizations that serve the neighbourhood to this day. Kathi served the neighbourhood as a guidance counselor at Parkdale Collegiate Institute, working directly with newcomer teens and building community through school programs and clubs. Like Rita, Kathi’s dedication to the neighbourhood helped create a welcoming place to land, and, to this day, her “heart is in the Parkdale neighbourhood”. Though they’ve both retired from their careers, Rita and Kathi remain deeply involved in Parkdale’s community life.

Rita Cox and Kathi Silke Talk About Their Experiences Working in Parkdale: