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Your Free Monthly Paper

Giving Voice to the Lakeside Communities of South Scarborough and Toronto East

(The Bluffs)

What Is The Voice?

The Voice (formerly known as The Bluffs Voice), published by Bluffs Community News, is  the Only Local Paper  covering the entire length of Toronto's Kingston Road!

First publishyed in December 2017 asSouth Scarborough’s newest community newspaper,  founded on the principles of solutions journalism and community engagement for positive impact. Published 12 times a year, distributed for free by volunteers  and  paid for by our advertisers.

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Toronto's Kingston Road - End to EndToronto's Kingston Road - End to End

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Creative Writing Prompts

Posted 5/17/2018

Prompt: He looked back at the trees

By Cindy Elkerton

“Hey doc, how are you today?” This is how Bonnie started every session. I used to tell her that I was not actually a doctor but rather a registered psychotherapist, she would say that she knew that. But despite her assurance that she knew I wasn’t a doctor, the next session would always start with “Hey doc, how are you today?” When I reflect on it now, I think it was important for her to relate to me in that way, as her “doc” one that was responsible for her care and well-being.

She had had what most would think of as an idyllic childhood. Two loving parents, financial stability, good neighbourhood and school, plenty of friends, and close family. She went off to college and did well, studied a field she was genuinely interested in and happy about. Met the love of her life, got married, and lived a good life.

So why had she been coming in to see me every Tuesday afternoon for twenty-six weeks now? I had asked her that many times, trying to get her to focus in on her hopes for these sessions. Trying to get her to name her therapy goals. She couldn’t do it. She always said, I don’t have any goals. Life is good as is. So I let her go on like that; simply coming in and talking about her week. This happened with some clients, they just needed a trusted listener and a safe place to tell their story. She did; tell stories that is — she told story after story about herself, her love, her parents, her friends, her family, her neighbours, her work, everything in her life.

One day she came in and it went as it normally did; “Hey doc, how are you today?” I replied with my typical; “I’m well Bonnie, what’s up this week?”

“Well, I was walking home from work yesterday and I decided to walk through the park. Something so strange happened to me,” she began. I gave her that ‘interesting, tell me more’ look and she went on.

“I thought I saw my dad in the park. So I walked toward him. As I got closer I could see it was him, he was looking up at the highest branches of the red maple in front of him. He must have heard my footsteps because as I approached her looked over at me. We locked eyes and I smiled. I was about to ask him why he was there but before I could speak, he looked back at the tree. It was so strange, it was as if he had not recognized me. I froze for a moment, I didn’t know what to do. Maybe he wasn’t my dad, maybe he was a doppelganger? Or a clone? Or an alien being that had taken over my dad’s body? I was starting to freak out so I decided to confront him. I walked right up to him and touched his shoulder. Excuse me I said. He looked at me again and as if the previous five minutes hadn’t happened at all, he said ‘oh, hi honey, you look pretty, want to go grab a bite to eat?’ Doc, I knew in that moment my life was about to change in ways I could not imagine…”

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Haven or Hole in the Wall - Where is Home?

Posted 4/26/2018

by Teresa Wright
Dorothy knew the truth: "There's no place like home." But, what is that place? For the star of The Wizard of Oz, Home is Kansas. Yet, the longer she stays stuck in Oz, and the more challenging experiences she faces, the more she realizes that Home is far more precise than a city, a town or even a house. Dorothy learns that Home, in fact, is that Place where you feel utterly comfortable, safe, connected to your surroundings.

Home, for most of us is the place we rest our heads at night. Home: is it a dwelling, an abode, or a hideout? Or does sanctuary give clearer voice to its meaning?

This month the idea of Home is fresh, and heavy on my mind. About to make a big change to my own homefront, I struggle with the expectations from others, and the world of humans around me.
You see, for me, Home is first the universe, then this delightful planet we call Earth. And, no matter anyone's judgement or 'well-wishing', my beliefs won't be swayed. My Home is comfort. I am that I am - nothing more special than, and as incredible as, a firmly rooted tree. I offer branches to the birds, and bugs. I am happy with or without dirt on the floor. I will not sacrifice my Home, for anyone's misguided notion of a 'good' or 'perfect' home.

If you’re struggling to grasp the big picture maybe you could watch the National Geographic channel’s ( One Strange Rock. Hosted by Will Smith, it gives viewers a very different perspective of our home planet. Earth, after all, is our only Home. And, how we treat it matters!

I don’t believe that anyone holds to the thought that we are mere sojourners passing through – without consequence. But, our choices – our Every-Day choices, affect our lives, our children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Everything we do affects our home. Everyone together, across generational, social, cultural and economic lines, living with integrity, is the only path Home! I urge you to be the best steward of the earth you can be!

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BEER - It's a Social Thing!

Posted 4/26/2018

by Matthew Medland

Scarborough has its own Brewery! A real Brewery. Not a brew pub and Not a place that gets its beer brewed elsewhere under license. A real brewery. In fact, Common Good, usually have ten or more taps of their own brews going at the same time, with a wide variety of beer. Any beer, currently on tap, can be put into one of two sizes of growlers, 32 or 64 ounces.

It’s been four years since Common Good started brewing and selling their own brews, but it wasn’t until 2016, that they opened the brewery on Ellesmere. Under their own name, they make and sell superb beer. Although eighty percent of their brews now are made for other South Ontario brewers, under license. They already have both the talent and a fantastic facility, so it was a natural fit to expand by producing
unique recipes for pubs and other small businesses. The team at Common Good are proud of the relationships they have with their clients, who appreciate the quality and expertise that comes along with working with them.

I sat down with Jamie Mistry, their Master Brewer, a few weeks back. Sharing a glass of their spring Bock #13, we talked about brewing beer, what they do best. Jamie, a Master Brewer, originally studied in Edinborough, but has been working his magic here in Ontario for more than twenty-five years. Honestly, I made the trek to taste what they make. In other words, I wanted to see what Scarborough has to offer
in this age of craft and micro breweries.

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Your New(s)Paper

by Teresa Wright
    We are thrilled to present the inaugural issue of The Bluffs Voice, published by Bluffs Community News. Your new monthly community newspaper serves lakefront communities from Main Street to the Rouge. We hope you find it a delight to read.
    The Bluffs Voice will be both a sounding board and a report card, as much a chronicle as a herald. We want you to engage with us, to question us, keep us on our toes, hold us to our commitment, and collaborate with us on building this, the voice of our community.
    To illustrate our intentions, I planned to write an expose on Solutions Journalism. I researched genres of journalism and how they’ve evolved through history, and why this new style is taking hold. It was shaping up to be a pretty boring piece! Make no mistake - I love to talk about the solutions angle, which I believe is the future of news, at least the news that makes a difference.
    Then, I realized that you’d have no interest in dry edification. So, why not just follow my passion and simply write news in this solutions-driven style? I can let it become self-explanatory. I don’t need to spoon feed you the proof, I just need to deliver it! In the meantime, allow me to paint a picture of where we hope to go.
    Imagine that we stopped writing the stories meant only to hook readers. Rather than taking advantage of anyone’s gawk-and-stare reflex, we’d focus on enriching the growth within our communities. 
    Picture a vehicle, a voice. that refuses to carry on ‘business as usual’. What if, instead, that voice bridled the status quo and asked original questions, looked at things from various angles, and discussed possible solutions? Expect us to inform you, without saddling you with stress. Envision reading about tough issues without feeling overwhelmed. We could forge relationships throughout our community and invest in cooperative conversations with friends and neighbours.
    Flourishing small business is an indicator of a strong community. We can elect to fill our ad spaces with local businesses. We know you want and need their products and services, so we could make it easier for you to find and support them.
    The Bluffs Voice is both a vehicle and a venue. It is a mode by which to connect with unique talent, to map out the positive across our communities. It’s also a place to stand up and be counted, to be constituent, to have your voice valued, respected, welcomed and encouraged. I believe you deserve that.