COVID-19 put this seniors bridge club on hold for two years. A community centre’s broken elevator has dealt them another losing hand.
“The city has been extremely supportive and helped us with some of our structural issues,” says club chairperson and volunteer Barbara Kettmann. “But we got behind and made a commitment to move forward and meet our responsibilities.”
Kettmann and the other members who volunteered last weekend and put the finishing touches on the $17,000 renovation of the bridge club on the Danforth were in a place where they could turn to the city for support.
“We have a strong relationship with the city,” Kettmann says. “We met with them before we started construction a few times and they were completely behind us in the early stages.
“This is where we can connect with them, and share knowledge.”
The Danforth is a favourite park to seniors for many reasons.
It’s a favourite spot. They like the proximity to where most of their friends live and the easy access to the nearby shops, restaurants, hotels and theatres.
As the park’s senior citizen population has grown over the years they’ve also come to depend on the bridge club. It’s there for them if they need to access the neighbourhood, or to access the bridge club.
In fact, Kettmann says, most of the senior citizens who use the bridge club don’t even know they’re at that place.
“I remember my father walking to work from this location and he said, ‘Oh my God, I forgot I have to get to the bridge club.’”
Kettmann adds that the elderly have the same mindset, and as such they were always looking for their place to go and relax.
“They’re at the same age, they want the same things, they’ve just outgrown being in their own home,” she says. “The bridge club takes care of a lot of that.”
While the bridge club is close by, they’re also located just a 10-minute car ride away at the city’s Downtown Community Centre, where