By Jen Taylor
As Toronto’s first major snowfall gently blanketed the city recently, residents rushed from work, school, and last-minute errands into the comfort of their homes. However, not everyone was able to brush the snow off their shoulders as they arrived on their doorstep. In a city that has led the world in residential construction and whose skyline is punctuated by cranes, many are surprised to learn that “over 5,000 men, women, and children in Toronto will have nowhere to sleep tonight.” In response to the growing need for outreach programs, Lifetime Development’s charitable foundation – Lifeline – partnered up with Smashed Charity Ping-Pong Tournament and Event to raise money and awareness for the city’s homeless and at-risk urban populations.
Smashed Ping-Pong Party Breaks Records
Earlier this fall, over 500 guests clad in Tennis whites flooded Muzik Nightclub to compete in the third Annual Smashed Charity Ping-Pong Tournament and Event. This annual Ping-Pong Tourney may seem like fun and games, but its underlying purpose is to raise funds for various charity programs in the city. In the past, proceeds have been donated to support reputable organizations such as Free the Children and The Good Shepherd. This year the tournament was able to raise over $100,000, more than triple the proceeds raised last year, for Lifetime Development’s new Lifeline Foundation.
“We could not be more impressed by, and grateful for, the participation of so many who helped make this year’s Smashed event such a huge success,” says Lifetime Developments Vice President, Brian Brown. According to Brown, the event would not have been such an overwhelming success without the tremendous support and generosity shown by members of the development industry and friends of Lifetime.
In addition to the Smashed Ping-Pong Tourney, Lifeline has also hosted a Connect and Capture Photo Contest which prompted professional and aspiring photographers alike to capture their connection to Toronto’s Entertainment District. For every photo tagged with the #BondTO hashtag, Lifetime Developments donated $1 to the Lifeline Foundation. Through this project, neighbourhood residents are encouraged to pay closer attention to their community through the lens of a camera.
Lifeline: holistic development for healthier communities
With Toronto in the midst of a real estate boom, it is easy to forget the growing number of homeless urban residents that have not shared in the success of the condo market’s continuing prosperity. “It’s easy to look up and see all the cranes in the sky and know that the City is doing something great,” says Brown. But the reality is that, according to the stats, 32% of adults have given up food to make rent, and there has been a 24% increase in the number of people sleeping outside since 2009.
Aware of the disparity between Toronto’s concentrated residential development and the number of individuals without sustainable shelter, Lifetime Developments has taken a strong position on the issue of homelessness in Toronto. Established in 2013, Lifeline’s mission is to provide aid and support for homeless and at-risk communities in the city. The charitable foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funds, as well as creating hands-on initiatives that improve the lives of these vulnerable groups.
As an industry leader and award-winning Toronto-based condominium developer, Lifetime is aware that building a community is about more than erecting residential structures. A healthy community also requires funds for local organizations and initiatives to ensure that the needs of Toronto’s at-risk urban population are not neglected in the midst of the development boom. Lifetime is motivated by the desire to extend their holistic approach towards development to the greater community, and is dedicated to improving community health by supporting local organizations and initiatives that target youth homelessness, food bank services, and educational and counselling services.
Get Involved, Be A Lifeline
Right now there are approximately 5,000 homeless people in Toronto, and up to 3,200 people waiting to receive supportive housing. Without essentials like heat, food, water, shelter, and clean clothing, it can be daunting to apply for jobs, or even reach out for help. As we move into the winter season, the city’s homeless population face greater challenges and even risk death. Lifeline is currently looking for volunteers to get involved and donate not only money, but time to help Lifetime Developments reach their goals of becoming a “Lifeline for a Lifetime.” To learn more about Lifeline and how you can get involved, click here or visit www.lifelinecares.ca. To learn more about Lifetime Developments visit their website.