OTTAWA, ON – Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) is excited to announce the opening of a dedicated Toronto location. The beautiful 2000 square foot open space at Suite 203 – 145 Front Street East is available for Inuit to access cultural programming, support services and community. Programming teams will offer a sewing and culture room, Family Well-Being and Youth workers, and freezers stocked with traditional country food. The central location is a short 15-minute walk from Union Station, and 2 blocks east of the historic St. Lawrence Market.
TI Regional Operations Manager Paige Kreps stated, “This is a very special day. We are opening this location just a few days after International Inuit Day and this grand opening is special for the urban Inuit community in the GTA. This is a safe space open to one and all in our community and we will be working very hard to expand our Inuit-specific supports and programs.”
Since 1987, TI has served the growing Inuit population in Ottawa and recently, expanded with an Ontario-wide mandate. As the urban Inuit population continues to grow in Ontario, TI is working to try and keep up with demand. The Toronto location is a response to the need in the urban Inuit community. Kreps added, “This location will mirror some of the services offered in Ottawa and provide access for Inuit to be Inuit. So that we may practice our culture, speak our language and be around community.” The new location builds a stronger presence for Tungasuvvingat Inuit in Ontario and allows for the opportunity to expand services.
Over the next year, TI Toronto will expand to include more cultural programming, system navigators, and an employment and education workspace. Inuit in Toronto will also have virtual access to TI services such as the Child First Initiative, Alluriarniq, and Employment and Education from Ottawa.
The grand opening celebration took place on Thursday, November 10, 2022, and was ‘sold out’. Toronto Inuit were in attendance for speeches, country food, tours, the unveiling of a custom piece of artwork and much more. On-site activities will begin November 17th with sewing and a drop-in tea every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm, a community Christmas Feast will be held in mid-December and with more programming coming soon.
TI Executive Director (Acting) Judy Anilniliak shared, “Toronto is an incredibly diverse community with many opportunities for urban Inuit and Indigenous peoples. We are grateful to be guests on Mississauga’s of the Credit, Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee and Wendat territory covered under the Dish with One Spoon Treaty. The Inuit population here continues to grow, with many coming for economic opportunities, education, healthcare, or family. Therefore, it is imperative that Inuit access culturally specific programs and services. Tungasuvvingat Inuit is proud to be able to offer these to serve the needs of Torontomiut.”