Growing a Community Hub: New Activities, Volunteers and Donors at Tobermory Meeting Place

Submitted by Noreen Steinacher

We, at The Meeting Place (TMP) like the concept of ‘growing a community hub’ because the idea of ‘growing’ has so many positive connotations. Growing scope of activities, growing leadership, growing volunteers and growing donors. Most of all we hope that growing community impact is part of this. 2019 has been a good year so far.
With the busiest part of the year behind us it’s good to reflect on what we’ve done as we move into the summer months. Behind the scenes each year for the past 6 years The Meeting Place has offered an important service to residents. Through the Community Information & Resource Coordination Service or CIRC for short, many people who are seeking information to better support themselves and their families are assisted in the right direction with gentle guidance and no red tape. Each year up to 90 different people access this person-to-person service and often leave with more information and support than they expected. Most people hear about CIRC by word of mouth so we don’t really advertize except through 211. With all the community fundraising support this year, we thought it was time to make sure the community knew a little bit about this local support service. An annual summary has just been completed, showing the extent of community impact so if you are interested in more information please call us at 519-596-2313 or e-mail us at
The mini gym program is operating out of the new expanded exercise room at TMP and is now the proud recipient of a lightly used donated bowflex machine. The ‘room’ now houses the bowflex, a treadmill, pilates machine, stationary bike, ellipitical machine along with free weights and other free standing exercise equipment. If you haven’t already joined the member group roster, you can call TMP and arrange to join at no cost and attend an orientation session. From there you can book time to use the ‘room’ at your own schedule. There may be a special ‘intro to bowflex’ coming soon. All of this fitness focus at TMP has happened because we have some incredible volunteers and some incredible donors.
The Community Gardens has attracted new gardeners and volunteers this year so this is a busy time for planting and growing the garden complex at the Community Park. The children at Primary Place will have the fun of playing in a Sunflower house again this year thanks to the volunteer efforts of Alanna Rogers and yours truly, who together did the prep and planting. While the Community Gardens Group is its own entity, it is supported by TMP for operational functions. We’d like to thank Tony McArthur for his donation of cedar mulch, Ricky Peacock for delivering compost and Ivan Smith for his superb carpentry skills and for rebuilding some of our older tabletop gardens.
TMP would like to look ahead to 2019/20 as a year to build community engagement. We have the prerequisites.