As need for student support surges during the pandemic, the Peel Learning Foundation meets the demand

The collateral damage of COVID-19 can be measured in many ways. In 2020, the Peel Learning Foundation helped more than 1,400 students in need – twice as many as the year before. That trend continued in the first quarter of 2021. 

The Foundation offers two programs. The Student Emergency Needs Program (more than 1,100 students served in 2020) offers material support like food and clothing, medical supplies, eyeglasses, transportation, as well as financial support for families in crisis. The Student Backpack Program (more than 300 students served last year) provides backpacks filled with school supplies.

Even before the pandemic, the need was urgent. In Peel Region, 1 in 5 students face barriers related to poverty that prevent them from fully participating in school. COVID-19 only accentuated challenges. Job losses, housing insecurity and health issues have all created a more precarious situation for many students and their caregivers.

“We’re fortunate that the Peel community continues to be generous in supporting our work so that we can provide immediate assistance to students experiencing hardships during this incredibly challenging time,” says Brian Hobbs, executive officer of the Peel Learning Foundation. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Foundation staff continued to raise funds and respond to requests for students in need. Most support is provided via electronic gift cards that can be emailed directly to students and their caregivers. 

Over the past year, the Foundation also distributed over $80,000 in funds on behalf of other charitable organizations that couldn’t operate normally because of the pandemic. “Peel Learning Foundation was pleased to be able to support these other charitable organizations who are facing unprecedented demand for services,” says Hobbs.

This year, the Foundation has provided a new form of support thanks to funds to purchase and distribute 150 refurbished Chromebooks. These have gone to students who lack the technology to support their online learning.

“Technology has become an ever more important part of 21st-century learning,” says Marsha Forbes, vice-principal at McCrimmon Middle School and a Peel Learning Foundation director. “We felt it was important to look at providing these tools for as many students as we can.”

To apply for support from the Peel Learning Foundation, people can contact any staff at their local Peel board school. All requests are submitted confidentially through the school’s principal or vice-principal.

The Peel Learning Foundation is a community-based, registered charitable organization that raises funds to enable Peel District School Board students to achieve personal excellence by providing resources that help them overcome barriers. To learn more or donate, visit

Construction Season Begins in Mississauga to Keep Residents and Businesses Safe

Mississauga residents and commuters to the city can expect to see the City of Mississauga’s budget dollars hard at work as the City moves forward with its 2021 construction seasonand an investment of more than $76 million into Mississauga’s transportation and stormwater infrastructure. Construction projects within the City’s Roads and Stormwater Capital Programs involve repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure that helps keep all road users moving safely and manage stormwater to reduce the risk of flooding. This includes road resurfacing, sidewalk and multi-use trail construction, bridge repairs, creek and erosion control work and construction of new stormwater management facilities.

“As our city continues to grow and mature, we need to ensure that our infrastructure is kept in good repair through regular maintenance so that we can move people safely through our city and achieve our Vision Zero goals,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “As we continue to navigate COVID-19, it is so important that residents are able to get to their destinations safely, whether it’s by bike, public transit, car, on foot or using a mobility device. I want to thank residents for their patience as we move forward with this essential work that will make Mississauga safer and help boost the city’s economy.”

Construction projects are deemed essential under Ontario Regulation 82/20 – Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses. In total, there are 21 construction projects planned for 2021 with 11 projects from 2020 continuing into 2021. 

“We have a busy construction season planned for 2021, right on the heels of our very successful 2020 season, which saw the completion of 27 projects, despite the limitations and delays caused by the pandemic,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner, Transportation and Works. “While we continue to do the essential work that makes travelling safer and easier for all road users, we do so with the health and safety of residents, workers and contractors as a top priority. We will continue to work closely with our contractors to ensure that the Occupational Health and Safety Act is upheld and that all on-site best practices are followed as recommended by public health officials.”

Residents are encouraged to use the City’s construction map to see where projects are happening in Mississauga. Using the interactive map, residents can view the types of projects that are happening in the city and who to contact if they have any questions related to the project.

Continue reading Construction Season Begins in Mississauga to Keep Residents and Businesses Safe

Mississauga’s Third Youth Poet Laureate to Inspire Young Writers in the Community

The City of Mississauga – through its Culture division – recently announced that Qurat Dar will be its third Youth Poet Laureate for 2021-2023. Qurat Dar will serve as a literary ambassador for youth in the city, as well as help elevate the status of poetry, literary arts and young writers through community poetry events and projects.

This honorary position recognizes a young poet who writes excellent poetry or spoken word, and has written on themes that are relevant to the citizens of Mississauga.

Meet Qurat Dar

Qurat Dar is a spoken word artist, organizer, multi-genre writer and the 2020 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) National Champion. She was also a 2019 recipient of the Ron Lenyk Inspiring Youth Arts Award and a 2018 Best of the Net finalist.

Her work has appeared in Canthius, Augur Magazine, Art Gallery of Mississauga and other places. She also has a poetry chapbook (a short collection of poems) in the works with Coven Editions. When not dabbling in poetry, Qurat is busy studying environmental engineering at the University of Guelph. She is deeply interested in the intersections between the sciences and the arts, especially in the context of the climate crisis.

Continue reading Mississauga’s Third Youth Poet Laureate to Inspire Young Writers in the Community

Calling all photographers and storytellers! Are you resilient?

How has your neighbourhood grown in the past 10 or 50 years? What are you doing right now to take climate action? What does a resilient city of the future look like to you?

The effects of our changing climate are real and happening at a rapid pace.

Climate change is an issue that impacts everyone, whether it is evident or not. We want to hear from you and need your help! Because we know that together, We Are Resilient.

We Are Resilient is a new project that aims to connect individuals through stories and experiences about climate change. This project will help reveal the local and personal impacts of a changing climate through photography and stories, and how sharing personal reflections can help to shape the community’s collective perspective on climate action.

You’re invited to enter our contest! 

Are you a community photographer or storyteller? Then we’ve got the challenge for you! Inspired by the City’s Climate Change Action Plan, the contest aims to connect and share the energy, passion and creativity expressed by our community to create a more resilient future for Mississauga. 

Get creative! Submit your photos and stories portraying your experience with our changing climate in Mississauga. Capture actions, events, people and places. You’ll be entered into a contest to win prizes and be featured in an upcoming exhibition in summer 2022!

Together, we will demonstrate the relevance of climate change to our daily lives and some of the ways we can and are currently taking climate action in Mississauga.

Share your climate story today. 

Learn more or enter the contest at

City of Mississauga to Hold Live COVID-19 Tele Town Hall May 5, 2021

Join us for a live Tele Town Hall on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6 p.m. for updates on COVID-19 as the City remains under the Government of Ontario’s Stay-at-Home-Order.

You can listen and ask questions to an expert group of panelists from the City, Peel Public Health, and public health and safety community partners.

Panelists will include:

  • Mayor Bonnie Crombie, City of Mississauga
  • Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel – Public Health
  • Brian Laundry, Director Strategic Policy and Performance Health Services, Region of Peel

Residents who wish to participate in the Tele Town Hall can do so in one of the following two ways:

  1. Join by Telephone: A random selection of residents will receive a telephone call to participate based on a list provided by an online town hall service. If you don’t receive a call and would like to participate, dial 1-877-229-8493 and enter ID number: 115911 followed by the # key. To ensure you receive a telephone call to participate you can pre-register your telephone number in advance:
  2. Participate Online: To listen to and ask questions at the Tele Town Hall you can join online on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

As many residents as possible are reached out to by a telephone call to participate in the Tele Town Hall in advance, based on a list provided by an online town hall service. The callout is done to make sure as many residents as possible have an opportunity to participate. If you don’t wish to participate, simply hang up or press the number 9 on your keypad.