Welcome to the CHFT 2023 Year in Review, as we present the most memorable moments and achievements in relation to the seven co-operative principles.
Over 90% of co-ops in the Durham, Toronto, and York regions are CHFT members. With 180+ co-ops in our voluntary membership, we have developed a strong community of partnership, inclusion, and co-operation.
CHFT recognizes co-op anniversaries in 5-year increments. In 2023, we celebrated the following 45th and 50th co-op anniversaries. The complete list of 2023 co-op anniversaries is available here.
CHFT promotes equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging by marking holidays, events, and dates of significance. Follow us on Facebook to see our posts.
Members voted on concepts for the 50th Anniversary logo to mark CHFT's half-century in 2024. Here is the winner!
Members also vote on our annual Garden Awards to select winners in categories such as Best Flower Garden, Best Rooftop Garden, and Best Vegetable Garden. The complete list of winners is available here.
CHFT held its Annual General Meeting in May and a General Members' Meeting in November. Engaging only online since 2020, 2024 will mark our move to hybrid meetings.
During our members meetings in 2023, we welcomed Nicole Waldron and Brian Iler as CHFT Honorary Lifetime Members. Watch their acceptance videos below.
CHFT celebrates outstanding member achievements with our annual Co-operative Housing Awards, including the Achievement of the Year award shown below. The complete list of winners is available here.
In 2023, the Co-op Cost Cutters group buying program celebrated its 25th anniversary. Co-ops save time and money through the buying power and support of the program. Find out what services are available, including the newest addition, Pest Protection Plus, at co-opcostcutters.coop.
As the flagship supplier of the Co-op Cost Cutters program and a long-time CHFT partner and supporter, Alterna Savings provides economic stability for our members. We thank them for sponsoring many 2023 member initiatives.
CHFT Executive Director, Tom Clement, spoke to the City of Toronto's Planning and Development Committee meeting in September, advocating for more co-ops as part of the solution to the housing crisis. In October, Council approved a partnership between CHFT and the City.
In November, CHFT's members approved a resolution urging the federal government to launch their much-anticipated Co-operative Housing Development Program. Learn more about the resolution and hear Tom's empassioned speech to the CHFT members.
Once again, CHFT (in partnership with Peel/Halton CHF) offered virtual educational sessions in both the Spring and Fall of 2023. The sessions are delivered by CHFT staff and other co-op sector experts.
Along with the virtual series in the Fall, CHFT also offered our first in-person education event since 2020. This full-day event with multiple topic tracks was well-attended. We look forward to more in-person and hybrid education in 2024.
CHFT offered a special summer online workshop on Board legal obligations. Attendees logged on for 90-minute evening sessions in July and August. CHFT Diversity Scholarship winners attended at no charge.
Stay tuned for information about the 2024 education line-up!
In 2023, CHFT delivered 35 half-day workshops and 3 full-day portable workshops (either virtual or in person).
As part of our annual Co-operative Housing Awards, we recognize member co-ops who provide valuable information and resources online through their website. In 2023, we presented one winner and two runner-up Best Co-op Website awards.
In 2023, the synergy between the 5 Ontario co-operative housing federations grew to new heights as each region advanced the co-operation and sharing of best practices.
2023 also brought new developments in co-operation among co-operatives at the national level. This new logo will be displayed on materials shared by co-ops across Canada.
CHF Canada held its Annual Meeting and Conference in Ottawa from June 15-17, 2023. Two CHFT directors and six CHFT staff attended. The conference theme was Co-op Housing For All.
CHFT has a long history of helping co-ops with expansion projects and developing new co-ops. In 2023, we worked with Riverdale Co-op on a redevelopment of one of its sites; the 26 new units will be ready for occupancy early in 2024.
CHFT staff are also working on several other possible co-op developments that will be candidates for funding from the national Co-operative Housing Development Program, once program details are announced.
CHFT supports the development of community and the co-op sector through its Diversity Scholarship Program. Former scholarship winners regularly sit on the CHFT Board. Four former winners have served as CHFT's president. In 2023, we awarded nearly 40 scholarships recognizing students' involvement in schools, co-ops, and community-based organizations.
2024 marks the 20th anniversary of CHFT's Diversity Scholarship Program. We will celebrate the anniversary and honour the 2024 scholarship recipients at a reception to be held in the summer.
As part of our annual Co-operative Housing Awards, we recognize member co-ops committed to sustainability and concern for the environment. In 2023, we presented these two Green Awards.
Pictured from top left to bottom right are Kathy Bontje (Treasurer), Labib Chowdhury (Vice-President), Marisa Edwards (Corporate Secretary), Namulinda Lester (President), Cherie Madden, William Molls, Christine Mounsteven, Skye Tulay (Vice-President), and Angela Watson.
In April 2023, Mary Ann Hannant celebrated 35 years with CHFT. Read the announcement here.
Nsiande Lema reached a CHFT milestone anniversary of 5 years in May 2023. Read the announcement here.
In March 2023, CHFT welcomed Celia Chandler to the team as the Deputy Executive Director. Read the announcement here.
Grace Galvez joined CHFT as the new Land Trusts Co-ordinator in August 2023. Read the announcement here.
In May 2023, Alterna Savings and Central 1 honoured Miriam Wohl with the Gary Gillam Award recognizing people who advocate for social responsibility within the credit union system.
Miriam (pictured centre below), a 34-year veteran of CHFT, is best known to member co-ops for her tireless efforts to create and develop the Co-op Cost Cutters program. Read the announcement here.
Pictured from top left to bottom right are Vaijomiy Anandarajah, Jackie Borges Briones, Celia Chandler, Naomi Cho, Tom Clement, Judith Collins, Nsiande Lema, Grace Galvez, Mary Ann Hannant, Emily Ramirez, and Miriam Wohl.