Ford absent at bakery launch

Sep 28, 2012 | News

Take This Bread bakery opened on Friday. From left to right: David Opheim, Priest at All Saints Anglican Church, John Stevenson, parishioner and manager of Take This Bread and Colin Johnson, Archbishop of Toronto. PHOTO BY MATTHEW SMITH

By Matthew Smith

Dozens gathered at St. James Cathedral Parish House on 65 Church St. for the opening of Take This Bread bakery, but there was one person who was absent – Mayor Rob Ford.

Ford was scheduled to be at St. James at noon Friday but did not attend.

“He’s not coming today,” John Stevenson Jr., co-ordinator for Take This Bread, told Humber News. “He informed me earlier that he won’t be coming.”

Despite Ford’s absence, the show went on.

Funded by All Saints Church, Take This Bread will involve some of the residents from the Dan Harrison Community Complex, which belongs to the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

“Dan Harrison is a Toronto Community Housing building and we decided to have a drop-in there since it’s a marginalized population with 700 people living there,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson wants to change the narrative at Dan Harrison from an oppressed, marginalized population to an active community baking bread for their neighbours.

“We’re going to be baking bread one day a week and selling bread to local restaurants, churches and individuals from the church site,” said Stevenson. “All the participants are from Dan Harrison so they need to be receiving Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program and living in Toronto Housing to be eligible to work with the bakery.”

Take This Bread is an 11-month training baking program for the Dan Harrison residents. Here they can receive their food handler certificate, which means they’ll be able to work in any kitchen.

Archbishop Colin Johnson of the Anglican Church of Canada, came to the opening. Johnson has a general oversight of what events take place within the diocese.

“One of the nice things is that I didn’t have to initiate this,” said Johnson. “My role is cheerleader so I’m here for support and to encourage people to continue this type of ministry.”

“It’s a terrific opportunity to employ people so they can get new skills and to produce something useful,” Johnson said, adding that the program can make a difference and will encourage people to make a connection with the community.

“That’s one of the things All Saints does all the time,” said Johnson. “It’s a really terrific ministry.”

Take This Bread Bakery is located at the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne Street.