Our 2019 Scotch Nosing not only sold out, it was a fun and successful event.  Take a look at the short video below, and you'll see why.
Recent Stories

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Helps Indigenous Youth Claim Their Place

Toronto has an indigenous population estimated to be approximately 69,000 people.  Within this substantial group are vulnerable youth (up to 30 years of age), who need culturally sensitive assistance to find their place in metropolitan Toronto.  Darren Wilson, Manager for Youth Services, told us how Native Child and Family Services of Toronto works to bridge gaps.

7070 District Governor Mark Chipman Celebrates RTW's "Superheroes"

The Rotary Clubs of Toronto West, Ajax and Uxbridge spent an enjoyable time together learning about the clubs' activities and contributions to their communities.  District Governor Mark Chipman joined in to share a motivational vision for the unusual times in which we find ourselves:
What if 2020 wasn't cancelled?
What if 2020 became Rotary's most important year yet?
What if 2020 becomes the year when Rotary evolves into an organization that is more accessible, recognized and community-involved than ever before?
What if the District's strategy and the Clubs' efforts prove to be exactly what is needed now?

2020 Heralds New Approaches to Online Events

Zoom.  Skype.  Webex.
Most of us have had a chance to experience the new version of face-to-face interactions, pandemic-style.  The requirements for social distancing have created a whole new landscape for event planners, as technology now enables them to create virtual spaces that can be as fun and stimulating as physical ones.  
Courtney McNamara from King Events explained how this works in the presentation featured here.

Pottery Making Sets the Focus on New Futures for Women

For more than 20 years, Inspirations Studio has been assisting women in need of a transition to a more satisfying and secure life by teaching them the skills and art of making pottery.  Women also learn to be teachers themselves as well as entrepreneurs.  Gudrun Olafsdottir and Isabella Tatar (in picture on the left) shared the vision of the organization with us.

RTW Helps Protect and Support Our Community

From masks and other types of personal protective equipment to spreading cheer with cookies, RTW's Covid-19 Committee has been taking on projects to support and protect people in our community during the pandemic.  We've accomplished a lot in a short time - read on to see what we've done, or click to make a donation.  We could use your support.

“We will not leave you. We will watch with you. We will be there.”  ~ Dr. Dorothy Ley

Dorothy Ley was an oncologist with a vision for the care of people with terminal conditions.  She wanted to create a comfortable, comforting space in which people could experience the end of life with dignity and compassion.  This led to her pioneering efforts in hospice care in Ontario, and the eventual construction of the hospice facility which bears her name and stands as a tribute to her legacy.  Julie Brown shared this inspiring story with us.

RTW Just Keeps Zooming Along!

Like many others doing Covid-19 huddles, RTW is continuing its tradition of weekly meetings - virtually! We are still here doing the work needed to provide support and comfort in trying times. Speakers are still making honoured appearances as able - check out our stories to learn more.

ECI Interact Supports Days For Girls

Maria Pollieri, Toronto team leader for the Toronto Chapter of Days for Girls, provides an introduction of how today's sewing party will help girls stay in school and live a better life.

Water for Fruit Trees Transformed a Town in Uganda

Ongutoi is a village in central east Uganda that had a languishing local economy and poor access to healthcare until Rotary-sponsored projects created a medical centre and transformed barren ground into a grove of Valencia orange trees.  Richard Mewhinney from the Rotary Club of Newmarket, who has led this project for several years, explained how this near-miracle unfolded.

Hockey Girls: Gender Equality in Afghanistan and Beyond

Petite, courageous and focussed, Zarmina Nekzai has made it her life's work to advance gender equality in Afghanistan and internationally by promoting education for girls and women.  As an embodiment of the spirit of Rotary, Zarmina's personal story is a triumphant illustration of what can happen when people take action.

Changing Young Lives in Ukraine

Rivne, Ukraine is not what you might think.  The bustling city seems to be thriving and yet healthcare and other forms of support for children with disabilities are sadly lacking.  Being handicapped is the 4th leading cause of death in Ukraine and children with disabilities are often abandoned by their families.  Over the past four years, RTW has sponsored several projects directed to supporting these kids and Patti Wright visited in September to see first hand the difference they've made.

RTW Hosts Sold Out Scotch Nosing Event
The Rotary Club of Toronto West held it's annual Scotch Nosing fundraiser at the Lambton Golf and Country Club on the evening of November 14th. The event had sold-out quickly and lived up to its own superlative standards, featuring a five course gourmet meal, each course paired with a premium scotch whiskey. What was on the menu? Read more to find out!

Three Years in Nepal Changed His Life

At 22, Willis Rudy felt adrift: his career in music seemed at a dead-end, he was struggling financially and wasn't sure what to do next.  So, of course, he went to Nepal.  Willis shared some of the highlights of his new book, My Life in Nepal, 1958 - 1961 with us.
Rotary Toronto West was privileged to welcome professional engineer Sean Cragg to speak to us about the history of the Avro Arrow, one of Canada's greatest aeronautics achievements. Sean described the Arrow as setting the gold medal standard for its era.   Initially designed in 1953 by A.V. Roe Canada, it took 4 years of work to bring it to roll-out status, which occurred on October 4, 1957.  The period during which the Arrow was being designed, built, tested and launched constituted a "perfect storm" of design issues and politics.  The original Rolls Royce engine proved to have problems so a new engine was designed by Orenda, with a 5:1 thrust ratio.  This made it one of the most powerful engines for its time and enabled the plane to fly at speeds exceeding Mach 1.98.

Restoring Connections In Vulnerable Families

Jessica Reid understands a child's heartbreak when a parent is absent.  Her own experience with this and her subsequent joy at being reunited with her dad, Derek Reid, is what led them to found FEAT in 2011, now a registered charity with a challenging mandate, as encapsulated by the acronym in their name.  Derek was visibly moved as he told us about how FEAT for Children of Incarcerated Parents was founded and why it is committed to tackling these challenges day by day.

Building Connections To Prevent Gun Violence

Gun violence exists in a complex social context that draws on other determinants of health such as poverty, hunger and lack of access to Toronto's civic resources.  Toronto Police Services representative Isabelle Cotton and entertainment mogul Farley Flex spoke about a project to create a cell phone app in connection with the iIMPACT Wraparound initiative to help families and youth who are vulnerable to gun violence find support.  

Using hemp to fight climate change

Green house gas emissions contribute to global warming and climate change.  The air pollution they cause is associated with increases in dementia and respiratory problems.  The issues connected with green house gases are costing the economy billions of dollars.
Imagine being so moved to act on these issues that you would put your career in law on hold to devote yourself fully to this cause - using hemp as the medium for change.  That's what Akeem Gardner did, and he told us why.
Steve Rutledge, a Rotarian who knows how to make a difference visited us this month to give us an update on the work of bringing clean water to villages in Laos. One of Rotary Foundation’s Areas of Focus is Providing Clean Water and Steve works energetically towards this goal.
2019 Update:  In the past year, AAVIL has aided more than 2,700 people living in remote areas in Laos with improved access to clean water and sanitary facilities.  The provision of items to support feminine hygiene during menstruation is an additional outreach initiative in this area that is having a tremendous impact.  Read on to learn more about this vitally important project.

Changing Lives with Kindness and Spiritual Wholeness

The Scott Mission has been a fixture in Toronto for over 78 years, providing practical and spiritual support to vulnerable people.  Alex Ng told us about how he became involved with the Scott Mission, and what their efforts have accomplished.

Rotary HIP Supports Indigenous Youth Through Education

Canada's First Nations peoples are a special resource who have faced many challenges.  When Rotarians asked how we could help, the clear and compelling response was "through education."  John Currie told his story of a personal awakening to the needs of the indigenous people his community, and how this led to the formation of Rotary HIP.

Rotary and The Toronto Argonauts On Board for Youth Leadership

Rotary Clubs in the GTA are partnering with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) and the Toronto Argonauts to provide youth leadership training combined with the enjoyment of professional football.

Bringing Fresh Water to Al'Qaa, Lebanon

Water and sanitation projects are central to Rotary International's mission.  For landlocked areas in the middle east, such as Al'Qaa (Elkaa, El Kaa), Lebanon, accessing fresh water for drinking and other everyday needs can be a huge challenge.  Wasim Jarrah, from the Rotary Club of Newmarket, told us about the club's ongoing project to provide assistance.

The War Amps Put the Future in Focus for Young and Old 

2018 was the 100th anniversary of the War Amps organization and its efforts to have amputees help amputees to adapt to the challenges associated with amputation.  The War Amps programs have expanded and changed during its tenure, and it looks forward to continuing its mission in a country the founding World War I veterans would scarcely recognize.

Solar Lights Shine in the Night for the Displaced 

The Etobicoke branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women was looking for a project to mark their 100th anniversary and chose to bring light to displaced people living in primitive camps in Ethiopia through their connections with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.  

"Teach a mother, change the world"

The Amarok Society educates about 3,000 students in Bangladesh by teaching mothers how to teach children. Amarok Society's programs target the poorest women in the slums of Bangladesh, women for whom a job paying $1 per day would be prized. Educating them to teach Bangladeshi, English and mathematics to children raises the literacy and numeracy levels of the entire community.  We recently received a letter from the mother we sponsor, Sathi, updating us on her progress.

Bridging Gaps and Building Awareness Through Community Policing

Advocating for a heightened police presence in afflicted neighbourhoods.  Educating the public about trends in crimes that could affect them.  Promoting awareness of the Community Police Liaison Committee.  Sex trafficking in Etobicoke.  Sylvia Kwan tolds us about all this and much more.

Ensuring Food Security For Growing Populations

Harold Rudy is an expert on various aspects of agribusiness and conservation.  He dished the dirt about the importance of soil health/conservation, science and technology, and people's habits related to diet and food management to highlight the challenges in global food security.
Harold spent his formative years on a Mennonite family farm in Waterloo County as one of ten siblings, including RTW member Willis Rudy, who taught Harold how to drive a tractor at the early age of about 6 years.  So began Harold's fascination with agriculture.
Harold attended the University of Guelph, where he earned a B. Sc. (Agriculture) and a M. Sc. (Rural Planning and Development) as the foundation for a thirty year career devoted to promoting the environmental stewardship programs of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).  He has authored a book called The Soil Fixers which covers some of his experiences working with farmers and agricultural specialists on issues related to soil protection, conservation, and sustainability.
Harold continues to live on the family farm that was originally established in 1929.  Even after 90 years of production, it continues to be actively farmed by one of Harold's neighbours.

ECI Interact Club improves the lives of girls internationally through Days For Girls

RTW sponsors the ECI Interact Club and provides financial and practical support to Days For Girls.
Over 30 Interact students of ECI volunteered to stay after classes to fabricate kits for the local Toronto chapter of the international Days for Girls organization. Thousands of kits are sent to schools in SE Asia and Africa where it is common for young girls to miss out on several days of important schooling each month due to menstruation.
Photo credits: John Stevenson