Victoria Park

Just One Person Who Cares


In 2012, Laura founded the Birchmount Community Action Council after seeing a poster in her building’s lobby at 1021 Birchmount Road in Victoria Park, Scarborough. The poster advertised the City of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Grant Program, which provides small funding opportunities to citywide residents looking to better their neighbourhoods in a meaningful way.

Having moved into the residential building a few months prior, Laura was eager to better utilize the vacant indoor space for residents. The Neighbourhood Grant Program offered Laura the opportunity to create lasting and meaningful change for her neighbours and community members. 

With only a small grant of $1,000, Laura started organizing and encouraging other residents to get involved. The funds went towards a neighbourhood-wide clean up initiative and the creation of a community garden. These efforts also planted the seeds for a more permanent organization to take root, that would eventually become the Birchmount Community Action Council. 

Since 2012, the resident’s council has expanded their programming to offer weekly foodshare programs, seasonal community gardens and an onsite apiary for local youth to learn about beekeeping, and growing organic food in the summer. Even with all these successes, Laura is constantly visioning toward her next goal. The council’s next big initiative is to support residents of 1021 Birchmount to collaboratively lead community workshops and programming that allow them to showcase their individual passions and hobbies.

Laura Hammond: "Are you going to become a resident's council?"