Presenter information

Victor Willis

Executive Director, PARC

Victor Willis is the Executive Director of the Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre (PARC). His involvement in community initiatives spans thirty years, from the 519 Church Street Community Centre to Trinity Square Cafe Enterprises, followed by ten years at the Gerstein Crisis Centre before accepting his current position in 1999. In 2006 Victor led a community-based response to a proposed redevelopment of a derelict and notorious rooming house adjacent to PARC, resulting in the unprecedented decision by the City to expropriate the property and redirect it into an RFP for affordable housing. After PARC’s successful bid, the PARC Ambassador project was established to engage businesses and neighbours in dialogue about the proposed development, addressing opposition to the project in a variety of forums. These initiatives led to the development of 29 units of “People with Lived Experience” imagined supportive housing. Edmond Place opened its doors January 4, 2011. Victor is a trustee at CAMH, Chair of the Clinical Quality and a member of the Property Committee, a Daily Bread Food Bank board member and chair of the Program Support Committee, and a founding member of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust. Victor’s knowledge of mental health and addiction issues are rooted in both his professional as well as personal and family experience.