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Happy Hearts
Happy Hearts
Partners for Planning


Community Living Newmarket /Aurora District is a non-profit, charitable organization which provides support to people who have an intellectual disability.

We do this with a dedicated group of staff, volunteers and family members.

We offer a wide range of supports and services that enable people to reach their fullest potential.

Please explore our website further to learn more about the services, supports and opportunities that we offer.

Annual Report
2015-2016 Annual Report
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Quarterly Newsletter
November 2016

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We're Hiring, View Job Postings

The Caring Experience: an outreach project to better understand, and ultimately improve, the experiences of people who provide care or support to someone with a health issue. Please click on icon to access newly formed resource.

What's New at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District?

Jelly Bean 5K Walk/Run Raises $6,680. for our Organization! Wow!

Thank you to the Newmarket Road Runners, Marlene and Mark Sykes, Adam Horton, a very generous donor who participated in the Jelly Bean 5K Run, John Marinucci, and to all the volunteers and participants!

On December 22, 2016, Marlene Sykes, Andy Horton, from the Newmarket Road Runners, who organized the 5K Jelly Bean Walk/Run, and John Marinucci, Marinucci Family Foundation, stopped by our Day Supports location to present a donation cheque for $6,680!

From left: John Marinucci, Daniel, Andy Horton, Marlene Sykes.

Smile Cookie Campaign Raises $33,500

Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie Campaign Raises $33,500 for our Organization!
Thank you Tim Hortons!
Thank you Jim Alexander!

Happy Holidays

Newmarket Roadrunners’ Jelly Bean 5K Run/Walk to Support Us!

On Saturday November 12th, the Newmarket Roadrunners held their first every 5k Jelly Bean Run/Walk at Fairy Lake Park in Newmarket.

Thank you to Andy Horton, Mark & Marlene Sykes, owners of Newmarket Road Runners, who organized this event in support of our Organization!

Basic Income Pilot consultation

Ministry_Logo.pngThe Ministry of Ontario is launching a pilot project to study different ways of delivering income support and reducing poverty in Ontario. They would like you to join the conversation.

They want to measure how giving people a basic income might impact individuals and families across the province.

Your input will be used by the government to design and implement this pilot project. We will share a final report on what we hear and introduce a plan for the pilot by April 2017.

Closing date: January 31, 2017

To participate and provide feedback that could help guide the project please visit:

Thank you Again, to the Ontario Trillium Foundation!

$75,000 Seed Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Just Announced!

On November 10, 2016, MPP Chris Ballard, and Loreta Pavese, Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s local Grant Review Team presented Colleen Zakoor, Executive Director of Community Living Newmarket Aurora District, with a Congratulatory Plaque to announce a Seed Grant for Community living in the amount of $75,000!

Mayor Geoffrey Dawe, Aurora, visits our Day Supports to Present a $10,000 Donation Cheque from the 2016 Aurora Mayors Charity Golf Tournament!

Colleen Zakoor and Catherine Callaghan were thrilled to accept a cheque for $10,000 from Mayor Geoffrey Dawe on behalf of the Aurora Mayor’s 2016 Charity Golf Committee.

"We are so proud and grateful to accept this donation from the 2016 Aurora Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament. This donation, and the support from everyone involved with the tournament means so very much to everyone at Community Living, including all of the families we work with on a daily basis. Together, we will reach our $5million capital campaign goal." – Colleen Zakoor, Executive Director, Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District.

Thank you to Aurora’s Mayor’s 2016 Charity Golf Tournament Committee!


Community Living Newmarket Aurora District at East Gwillimbury's 2016 Remembrance Day Ceremony

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Presenting Ontario Trillium Foundation grants to 10 York Region Recipients, congratulations!!!

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Ministry Letter of Compliance, Nov 4 2016

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2016 Business Excellence Awards Video


Running for Happy Hearts-
Saturday November 12th 9am

Fairy Lake Newmarket - The Jelly Bean Fun 5k Run/Walk

Andy Horton, Mark & Marlene Sykes, owners of Newmarket Road Runners, a local running and coaching club, decided to team up with Suzanne Conner , founder of the Annual Jelly Bean Ball and Community Living Board member, to raise funds for our Organization.

One hundred percent (100%) of the proceeds from the Jelly Bean Run/Walk are being donated

to our Capital Campaign!

Members and families can participate in the walk, or run, for free – no registration fee required.

Over 75 people have already registered, and they are well on their way to achieving their goal of 100 participants... we have a feeling they will exceed this goal!

If you would like to participate or volunteer, please contact Ruth Groves, as indicated below.

People interested in coming out to simply cheer on the participants, are most welcome!

For more information or to volunteer, please contact:

Ruth Groves at 905-836-7115 x 228 or


You can visit:

Halloween Party 2016

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Our 62nd Annual General Meeting held on September 28, 2016

Letter from Helena Jaczek


$150,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation Capital Grant to Fund Day Support Facility Expansion and Renovation

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  • MPP Chris Ballard with Karen Richards, Board President and Colleen Zakoor , Executive Director at 62nd AGM - Community Living Newmarket Aurora
  • MPP Chris Ballard Presenting Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant of $150,000 with Karen Richards , Board Chair and Colleen Zakoor, Executive Director of Community Living Newmarket Aurora


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62nd Annual General Meeting

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We were selected to share the proceeds for Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie Campaign!

From Sept 12-18 purchase a Smile Cookie and your full $1 will help support Community Living Newmarket/ Aurora Happy Hearts Capital Campaign

During the campaign, Newmarket and Aurora residents can purchase a freshly baked chocolate chunk Smile Cookie for $1 plus applicable taxes, and their local Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner will donate the full $1 to Community Living Newmarket/Aurora!!

cookie.jpgWe’re encouraging you, your family, friends and co-workers to visit their local Tim Hortons to purchase a Smile Cookie to help support our Happy Hearts Capital Campaign to renovate and expand our building at 460 Oak St. in Newmarket.

Last year, the Smile Cookie campaign raised $6.3 million across Canada!

A big thank you to Jim Alexander, local owner of several Tim Horton restaurants in Newmarket for being our champion to secure this generous donation to Community Living.

Jim continues to be a true leader and ambassador for our organization!

Minister Helena Jaczek Visits Community Living Newmarket/Aurora to Announce Funding to Improve the Fire Safety for our Facilities and for Over 130 Service Agency Facilities across Ontario.


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News Release

Ontario Investing $6.5 Million in Fire Safety Upgrades for Community Service Agencies

August 18, 2016

Funding Will Help Organizations Serving Ontario’s Most Vulnerable

Ontario is providing $6.5 million to improve the fire safety of community service agency facilities where some of Ontario's most vulnerable people receive services.
The Minister of Community and Social Services Dr. Helena Jaczek made the announcement today at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District, which provides programs that support people with developmental disabilities in York Region.
Across Ontario, more than 130 facilities from over 40 agencies will receive funding to improve fire safety this year. Types of projects will include:

  • Fire alarm system upgrades
  • Installation of fire doors and separations
  • Sprinkler system installations.

This investment brings the total funding to improve fire safety in developmental and community service agency facilities to more than $15 million since 2014-15.
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history -- about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to
Investing in community service agency facilities is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

announcement4.jpg"We fund agencies like Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District because they provide services that are essential to some of the most vulnerable in our communities. We recognized that it is difficult for many of these organizations to afford the cost of bringing their facilities up to the Fire Code standards. This funding will help to ensure that these services can be provided in a safe facility where dedicated staff and volunteers can focus on caring for people."
-- Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services

"Fire safety measures like upgraded fire alarms, fire doors and sprinkler systems significantly reduce the risk of fire and help save lives. Now, even more buildings across the province that provide community services will have fire safety precautions in place to protect Ontario’s most vulnerable and bring peace of mind to their loved ones."
-- David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services


"Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District takes great pride in providing support for some of our community’s most vulnerable people. With this funding, families can rest easy knowing that the facilities at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District will continue to be a safe place for their loved ones for years to come."
-- Chris Ballard, M.P.P., Newmarket-Aurora

"The safety of Newmarket and Aurora residents is our top priority at Central York Fire Services. Ontario’s investment in crucial fire safety infrastructure and preventative measures will go a long way in keeping important community facilities like Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District safe and fire smart."
-- Ian Laing, Fire Chief of Central York Fire Services

"This funding will allow us to make the fire safety upgrades required to keep clients safe and secure. The fire safety funding is critical to ensure compliance with the regulatory changes of the Fire Code. This funding is a welcome relief, as we are now able to focus more on supports/services, and spend less time worrying about how to fund fire safety improvements."
 — Colleen Zakoor, Executive Director of Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District



The Winner of the Gift Basket from our Associate Family Evening at the Chapters Bookstore in Richmond Hill on the evening of July 14, 2016.

Thank you to all the people who stopped by to learn about our Associate Family/Foster Family Program.



Please join us at Chapters in Markham for an Associate Family Information Night on Wednesday June 29th, 2016.

Twenty percent (20%) of every purchase of regularly priced items will be donated directly to our Organization! There will be activities and prizes too!

We hope to see you there!

Please click on image to view details.


The Winner of the Gift Basket from our Associate Family Evening at the Chapters Bookstore in Newmarket on May 25, 2016 is Jessica Rennie!

Thank you to all the people who stopped by to learn about our Associate Family/Foster Family Program.

Congratulations Jessica!

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RFP: Strategic Planning Consultant

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Community Living Ontario Day at Legislature – May 12, 2016

Representatives from nearly 30 member associations and friends of Community Living traveled from across the province earlier today to join Community Living at Queen’s Park to recognize the many collaborations with Members of Provincial Parliament.

We were among the members, along with our MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, Chris Ballard.

Here are some photographs of Andrea and Emily. They even were photographed with Minister Helena Jaczek!

Suzanne Conner has done it again, and raised another $12,000 for our Organization at her 3rd Annual Jellybean Ball on April 16, 2016.

To date, Suzanne has raised a total of $32,000 for our Organization from her last three Jellybean Balls.

Not only has Suzanne raised money, which provided much needed equipment and supplies for our Day Programs, she also champions the needs of people who have intellectual disabilities at each of her events.

Suzanne's impact, talent and resourcefulness continues to amaze us, and we feel honoured to be represented for the third year in a row!


CN_Tower.jpgIt has been a remarkable and inspiring week for Community Living! We saw the CN Tower lit up in Blue and Green on the evening of May 11th, 2016, to celebrate Community Living Day, and the inclusion of people who have developmental disabilities.

It was great to see so many municipalities involved, particularly our own Newmarket and Aurora municipalities proclaiming May as Community Living month and celebrating Community Living Day on May 11th, by lighting up the Riverwalk Commons in Green and Blue!

Together, we can, and we are, building inclusive communities where everyone belongs!



Aurora and Newmarket proclaim that May 2016 is Community Living month.

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Spring Fling 2016


2016 Associate Family Appreciation Party

On Thursday, March 17th, we held our yearly Associate Family Appreciation Party for everyone involved in our Associate Family Program.

We had a great time and are truly thankful for everyone’s hard work and dedication towards enhancing the lives of the wonderful people who receive support.

Congratulations to our Board member Beverley Varcoe for receiving the Leading Woman, Leading Girls, Building Communities of York Region award on Monday March 7, 2016!

Beverley Varcoe receiving her Leading Women Building Communities Award with Chris Ballard MPP, Newmarket, Ontario.

Community Living Day at the Legislature 2016 - Save the Date

Community Living Ontario, along with the Government Relations and Communications Committees and Community Living Toronto, are pleased to announce that Day at the Legislature will take place on Thursday, May 12th.

As always, we’ll be bringing a message of inclusion and citizenship to Queen’s Park, and we encourage local associations from across the province and friends of the Community Living movement to join us in the celebration. This is also an excellent opportunity for associations to make arrangements to meet with their respective MPPs in order to share the many success stories taking place in local communities across Ontario.

Additional details will be made available in the coming months.

We hope to see you there.


If you, or anyone you know who has a developmental disability has stayed at the listed Centres during the dates specified below, you are entitled to a settlement.

Additional settlements about abuse of the developmentally disabled at our Centres and Institutions are being negotiated and finalized. The deadline to contact lawyers to report your complaint is  April 26, 2016 .

Did you live somewhere on the list below?
There is a lawsuit about these places. If you lived somewhere on the list, check the dates beside the name of the place where you lived.  If you lived there between those dates, then you may be part of the lawsuit.

  • St. Lawrence Regional Centre in Brockville between April 1, 1975 and June 30, 1983
  • D’Arcy Place in Cobourg between September 1, 1963 and December 31, 1996
  • Adult Occupational Centre in Edgar between January 1, 1966 and March 31, 1999
  • Pine Ridge in Aurora between September 1, 1963 and August 31, 1984
  • Muskoka Centre in Gravenhurst between August 28, 1973 and June 30, 1993
  • Oxford Regional Centre in Woodstock between April 1, 1974 and March 31, 1996 or in the “Mental Retardation Unit” or “MR Unit” of the Oxford Mental Health Centre between January 1, 1969 and March 31, 1974
  • Midwestern Regional Centre in Palmerston between September 1, 1963 and March 31, 1998
  • L.S. Penrose Centre in Kingston between April 1, 1974 and March 31, 1977
  • Bluewater Centre in Goderich between April 1, 1976 and December 20, 1983
  • Durham Centre for Developmentally Handicapped in Whitby between April 1, 1974 and September 28, 1986
  • Prince Edward Heights in Picton between January 1, 1971 and December 31, 1999
  • Northwestern Regional Centre in Thunder Bay between April 1, 1974 and March 31, 1994 

What is the lawsuit about?
Many people labeled with intellectual disabilities were harmed or hurt at places on the list. One of those people started this lawsuit for everyone who lived at these places. 
The government of Ontario was in charge of all the places on the list. The lawsuit says the government did not protect people who lived at these places. 

Koskie Minsky LLP is a law firm in Toronto. Lawyers at this firm are working on the lawsuit for people who lived at these places.

The lawyers have talked to the government. They made an agreement to end the lawsuit without a trial. The agreement is called a settlement.

But the lawsuit is not over. Next, the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto needs to decide if the settlement is fair and reasonable. On April 25, 2016, the lawyers will ask the Court to make this decision.

What does the settlement say?
The settlement says:

  • The government must hold 35.9 million dollars for people who lived at these places.  If you are part of the lawsuit, you could get up to $2000 if you were harmed or hurt at a place on the list. You could get up to $42,000 if you write how you were harmed or hurt.
  • There will be a form to ask for this money. You will need to fill in the form and send it to a claims office. The claims office decides if you get money.
  • This money will not change any social assistance or developmental services and supports that you get from the government of Ontario.
  • The settlement money also pays the lawyers.  The lawyers at Koskie Minsky are asking for 3.7 million dollars from the settlement for their work on this lawsuit.
  • There may be money left over after everyone is paid. That money will go back to the government.

The settlement does not say that the government broke the law or did anything wrong.   The Court will not make a decision about that.

These are just the main points. There is more information in the settlement. You can get a copy from

What if I do not agree with the settlement?
You can send a letter to the Court.  Your letter should explain why the settlement is not fair. 
Write your name, address and telephone number and the name of the settlement in your letter. The name is Schedule 1 Class Action Settlement, Court File No. CV-14-50642300CP
Send your letter to:
Schedule 1 Settlement
3-505, 133 Weber Street North
Waterloo, Ontario
N2J 3G9

The Post Office must stamp your letter by April 4, 2016. Keep a copy of the letter and write down the date you put it in the mail. Keep that date with your copy. 

If you want to talk to the Judge, you should write that in your letter, too.  Then go to the Court on April 25, 2016.  Check that this date does not change.

To get the Court’s address and check the date and time:

You can be part of the lawsuit even if you tell the Court that you are against the settlement. 

How can I get out of the lawsuit?
You can get out of the lawsuit by signing and sending a letter or form. This is called opting out.  If you opt out of the lawsuit, then you will not get any money from the lawsuit or settlement.

You can find the form at  The name of the form is Opt Out Coupon.

Please read the Opt Out Coupon carefully or ask for help from someone you trust. Even if you send a letter, make sure you understand the Opt Out Coupon.

Write your name, address and telephone number in the letter or Opt Out Coupon. You must also write the name of the lawsuit in the letter. The lawsuit is called Clegg v. Province of Ontario.

The Post Office must stamp the envelope with your letter or Opt Out Coupon by April 15, 2016.  Send the envelope to: 
Schedule 1 Settlement
3-505, 133 Weber Street North
Waterloo, Ontario
N2J 3G9 

Keep a copy of the letter or Opt Out Coupon and write down the date you put it in the mail. Keep that date with your copy.

How can I find out more about the lawsuit and the settlement?
You can read the short form notice and long form notice for more information.  To read the notices in PDF or Word formats, copy and paste or use the links directly below:

Short Form Notice (PDF): Form Notice.pdf

Long Form Notice (PDF):

Short Form Notice (WORD): Notice_0.doc

Long Form Notice (WORD): Form_1.doc

You can also ask questions by:

Are family members part of the lawsuit?
No. But estates of people who lived somewhere on the list may be part of the lawsuit if the person died after June 16, 2012.

D o you know someone who lived at a place on the list?
Please share this information with them or their support person.

York Region Lifetime Independent Facilitation (YRLIF)
an information meeting with John Lord
inviting families, individuals, people interested in becoming facilitators, social workers, DSWs

Learn how to build & maintain a
 network of support and friendship

what is independent facilitation?

What is the New Story?
How can we build a good life for our children?

Wed Feb 17th, 7:30pm 
Aurora Cultural Centre,
22 Church St, Aurora, Ont

see attached flyer

Polar Bear Plunge: please support our Special Olympics, Saturday, February 6, 2016!

Special-Olympics.jpgKaren Richards, our Board President, will be participating in the Polar Bear Plunge for her third year in a row. She has braved the VERY chilly waters of Georgina in Support of Special Olympics Ontario.

The money raised through this plunge stays in the community to help fund programs like basketball, softball, bocce, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer and swimming, as well as providing incredible athletes with an intellectual disability the opportunity to travel to competition, meet new friends and take part in the sports they love.

According to Karen, "Jumping into sub-zero temperatures is a small price to pay to see the smiles on the athletes face when they get the chance to compete in a sport they love."

Please click on the link below to make a donation.

A special Thank you to Mellissa Haggart and Shannon Coates for raising $582.50 for our Organization at their Holiday Recital on December 14, 2015 featuring the students from their Voices Studio including one of the people we support.

We are in need of Foster Families.
Please contact Kate at 905-898-3000 Ext.252


Holiday Recital Donating Proceeds from their concert to Community Living Newmarket/Aurora Association.

Don't miss the Holiday Recital featuring the students from the voice studios of Melissa Haggart and Shannon Coates on Monday December 14th, 2015.

All donations collected at the Holiday Recital will be donated to our Association.


Proceeds from the Holiday Recital being donated to our Organization! What a wonderful Gift!

Voices of Joy Community Choir

Voices of Joy Community Choir will be performing "The Fourth Wise Man" Christmas concert on Sunday, November, 29, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bethel Community Church.

Please view flyer for details.

Annual United Way Campaign Kick Off Pancake Breakfast

Our Annual United Way Campaign Kick Off Pancake Breakfast at our Day Supports Location.

Thank you to all of our guests and to the United Way Toronto and York Region.

2014-2015 Annual General Meeting Photos

Our Visit to Queen's Park on May 11, 2015 for Community Living Ontario's Day at Legislature

Emily with MPP, Chris Ballard
Elaine, Emily, Chris Ballard, MPP and Kathy

Host Home Respite Providers Needed for our Associate Family Program

Our Associate Family/Foster Program is recruiting Host Home Respite Providers to help enhance the lives of children and adults who have an intellectual disability. The goal for the Host Home Respite Provider is to provide a safe and caring home for the person to visit for short term stays to assist in providing relief to the Associate/ Foster Family.

Currently, we have a need for providers who are available, at least one weekend per month. Host Home Respite Providers are expected to include the person supported in family entertainment and leisure activities such as, shopping, dinners, movies, and attending events.

If you are interested, please contact Kate Sisopha for additional information and compensation details 898-3000 ext.252, or you can email her at

Suzanne Conner did it Again - $10,000 raised at her Second Annual Jelly Bean Ball

On Saturday March 28, 2015, Suzanne Conner held her second Annual Jelly Bean Ball in support of our Organization. In attendance were Suzanne Conner’s family and friends, including some of her friends here at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District.

The Jelly Bean Ball was an incredible success - raising another $10,000 for our Organization.

Suzanne Conner is an inspiring woman who decided to make a difference in the Community and threw her first Jelly Bean Ball Fundraiser in 2014 raising $10,000 for our Association..  To date, Suzanne has raised $20,000 for Community Living Newmarket/Aurora District.

We cannot thank you enough Suzanne!

Respite Information