Common Stories: Cloverdale Ambassador

Posted on: May 17, 2019

As a Cloverdale Ambassador at the Common, I have an opportunity to be involved in shaping my future community.  I help to facilitate conversations with my neighbours while also developing and strengthening my own skills in community engagement and consultation.  It’s really neat to be involved in something that’s quite big but also be on the ground.

The design and development principles that shape the goals of the Cloverdale redevelopment project align with what I’m learning while completing my Master’s in Urban Planning at Ryerson.  We learn a lot about policies that encourage mixed-use neighborhoods: they can integrate residential, parkland, and community space that engage multiple generations and supports growth in the area.

I grew up in the neighbourhood, I can walk here from my mom’s house.  My grandma has been coming here since the ‘60s to do her shopping.  My mom remembers it being an open-air mall and coming when she was a kid.  Coming here all my life, I remember taking photos with Santa, and going to the Hot Oven Bakery, filling out the pink order slip and getting a sugar cookie.  When I walk around the mall today, I see my neighbours and it’s nice having people recognize your face.  Cloverdale is a place that I’ve seen change.  When I was younger, I couldn’t wait until our next visit to Cloverdale Mall, but as I’ve gotten older it doesn’t cater to me as a young professional.  As a member of the community, I recognize the importance of the role that Cloverdale currently plays and its value, but as a planning student, I also see the potential and the need for redevelopment.  I see a dream for the future of Cloverdale being a space appealing to multiple generations – whether it’s me, my mom, my grandma, my kid – there’s something for everybody.

At the Common, community engagement means inviting folks to come in, and have a conversation about the things they like, the things they want to change, and their hopes and dreams for the community.  We ultimately want to be collaborating.

~ Danielle, Ryerson urban planning student and Resident of the Etobicoke-Centre neighbourhood

Common Stories is a monthly blog series that will bring you people’s stories, told at the Cloverdale Common. The Common is the designated space within the mall created to seek the community’s input regarding the proposed Cloverdale redevelopment. Visit us in the North end of the mall and let us know your thoughts and visions for the future of Cloverdale.