Client Profiles

Client Profile: How the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto is navigating COVID‑19

July 9th, 2020 by Iler Campbell

Audrey King, a Direct Funding program participant since 1995, and her attendant, Louis George wearing face shields as part of the personal protective equipment used to keep each other safe.

Through the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, information about where to find precious commodities like masks and gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) items was shared and traded by many, particularly by individuals with disabilities who need regular physical assistance with activities of daily living like showering and dressing. Many people checked with traditional sources like medical supply stores, online retailers and big box stores, but not everyone would think to order surgical masks from their local convenience store to be delivered the same day, no less, via a food delivery and takeout app.

This unique suggestion came from one Toronto man in a Zoom call with a few dozen other participants of the Direct Funding program, which is administered by the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT). The participants are funded by the program to hire and manage the workers who assist them through the day; since it is impossible to maintain physical distance when one person is helping another to take a shower, PPE is critical for the health and safety of both individuals.

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Client Profile: Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

July 2nd, 2020 by Iler Campbell
PNLT members and supporters celebrate the purchase of a 15-unit rooming house in Parkdale, the first affordable housing project of the land trust.

PNLT members and supporters celebrate the purchase of a 15-unit rooming house in Parkdale, the first affordable housing project of the land trust.

Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) was forged from the collective vision of community members and non‑profit organizations active in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto: to create an organization focused on preserving affordability, diversity and community‑owned assets.

As a result of steep increases in land values in Toronto, the neighbourhood has seen significant changes. Parkdale is home to a high concentration of affordable housing, including rental, social and supportive housing, and rooming houses. As rising prices see progressively more affluent residents moving in, PNLT’s goal is to ensure that everyone, particularly those with fewer resources and lower incomes, can also benefit from the changes in the neighbourhood.

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Client Profile: rabble.ca

November 13th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

A table with a rabble.ca banner, covered in pamphlets with a large hand-painted sign behind which reads 'Beautiful CHAOS'.

Founded by Judy Rebick in 2001, rabble.ca is an on‑line magazine for the Canadian progressive community. It was built on the efforts of journalists, writers, artists and activists across the country and has a unique role of reporting on stories from civil society, providing a counterbalance to corporate-owned media. For over 18 years, rabble has amplified the voice of social movements and grassroots activism across the country. rabble.ca is proud to say that, despite the crowded landscape of progressive on‑line news sources, it gets up to 450,000 visitors monthly – numbers that continue to grow. It attracts these numbers by featuring some of the best new and emerging progressive voices in Canada.

Iler Campbell and rabble.ca have a relationship dating back to its inception when they consulted us on the inevitable legal issues that arise for any new non‑profit, and definitely for a progressive news organization that occasionally dips its toe into controversial waters. We remain on standby to provide what we hope is quick and useful advice on legal issues faced by rabble.ca as a mature organization.

Beginning in March 2012, we were proud to say “yes” to rabble.ca’s offer for Iler Campbell to contribute a monthly column, “pro bono”. Former Iler Campbell lawyer, Paula Boutis, kicked things off with an article on election law. Since then, we’ve written on topics as wide ranging as: environmental issues, housing, international labour standards, medically assisted death, impact investing, the legal profession, cannabis, non‑profit governance, Canada’ prison system, and human rights.

As well as providing content for rabble’s website, these articles also feature on our firm blog where we hope that they contribute to much‑needed debates on all of these topics. To see them all as they appear on the Iler Campbell blog, click here.

September 2019 marked our 90th column from 17 different lawyers and articling students who have been at the firm, including the eight who currently comprise Iler Campbell LLP. We couldn’t be prouder!

Client Profile: Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

October 16th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

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Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) is a Toronto‑based not-for profit that was originally founded in 2011 with its signature project, Christie Pits Film Festival (CPFF), a summer-long festival of free outdoor film screenings in the natural amphitheatre of Toronto’s Christie Pits Park.

CPFF is now Toronto’s largest public outdoor film festival and the epitome of magical summer evenings for many local residents. In 2015, the organization officially incorporated and adopted TOPS as its umbrella name. Since then, it has since expanded its programming and offers a summer‑long season across other areas of the city – from North York to Fort York, Toronto’s east side to Etobicoke – and has reached an audience of over 60,000 people over its 9-summer history. Each summer, the organization programs a combination of popular and critically-acclaimed feature films alongside local and Canadian short and feature films that celebrate excellent homegrown talent. Continue reading “Client Profile: Toronto Outdoor Picture Show”

Client Profile: Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op

September 10th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Urbane Cyclists worker owners

Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op is more than your average bike shop. Since opening in 1997, this shop has been part of a movement towards human-powered transportation that promotes, in their words, “the awesomeness of bicycles.” Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op began as a repair shop geared (get it?!) towards commuters that were seeking an affordable and reliable way to get from Point A to Point B. Urbane recognized that the needs of a commuter are often very different from those of a recreational cyclist. Commuters are interested first and foremost in being as functional and efficient as possible on the bike, without any need for the flashy (and often expensive) bells and whistles that interest the recreational road cyclist. Since then, Urbane has branched out to adventure cycling and is the only shop in the city that specializes in recumbent bicycles.

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Client Profile: Women’s Community Co-operative Inc.

July 23rd, 2019 by Iler Campbell

A photo of Women’s Community Co-operative

Women’s Community Co-operative Inc. is a 46 unit mid-rise building in Hamilton. The co-op houses a diverse group of women, some of whom have lived there since the beginning, choosing to age in place and others who have joined more recently. They come from all walks of life and many corners of the world – in short, they are like every other housing co-op in 2019. Despite difference, they have all chosen co-operative living.

Managed by Niagara Peninsula Homes, Women’s came to our firm a couple of years ago to help resolve some interpersonal issues among its members. Like many of our clients, it seemed to the Women’s board that the co-op world had shifted from one where their by-laws were paramount and they could largely operate in isolation from the bigger world. Now there were obligations imposed on them from the outside that they didn’t understand. At the same time, their members were using language of human rights and harassment that made the board uneasy, afraid to ignore for fear of legal implications, but not sure how to respond. The Women’s Board and the co-op staff were routinely drawn into disputes and away from broader community concerns. Their meetings were filled with lengthy discussions about members’ complaints leaving little time for discussing building related issues, City relations, upcoming federation events, and so-on.

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