President's Message

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication so far. I am constantly encouraged by the passion, grace, enthusiasm and commitment shown by all the women of the Junior League of Toronto. Our great members are the reason we are still here after 91 years.


The League year is now well under way, and I am so excited for all the initiatives that are currently in progress. As was done last year, the Board of Directors continues to focus on community and membership with Directors-at-Large dedicated to these areas. The management team has laid out an ambitious annual plan and I know they will achieve their goals with great success. 


Much has already happened since June. At the Annual General Meeting in September, we were fortunate to hear Jim Hayhurst share the founding story of our community partner ‘Trails Youth Initiatives’. As founder and board chair, his drive to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth was engaging and inspiring. In attendance at the AGM were many of our first-year actives, and even some new members! In October, the sustainers once again held the Honour Tea to celebrate long-time members and commemorate those we have lost.


Melissa Ostrosser (President-Elect) and I were fortunate to be able to attend the Fall Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Canadian Federation of Junior Legaues will be working hard this year to develop a new strategic plan emphasizing advocacy on national issues and shared initiatives. The new Global Perspectives group met for the second time in its work to advocate for the international Leagues to the Association of Junior Leagues International and ensure that the voices of all our members are heard, regardless of national origin.


Upcoming this fall, we are planning three fundraisers. We are once again a charity partner of the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon and the 2nd Little Black Dress Initiative will take place in November, leading up to Giving Tuesday. Finally, the 13th Annueal Tea to Help Teens will be held on November 18th to continue supporting teens in shelters during the holidays.


Last year, the JLT piloted its ‘Cultural Connections’ program in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Now in its second year, this program for CAMH clients delivers activities that promote personal growth and improved self-esteem through art, dance and yoga. In addition to the CAMH program, the Done-in-a-Day committee has gone above and beyond by providing a full calendar of hands-on volunteering for all members.


This year is off to a great start. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings!


Emily Beckett Sward, JLT President 2017-2018