This weekend, neighbours of Leonard Street in James Bay will be celebrating the newest addition to their block: a shared emergency supply bench.
The bench was envisioned months ago by the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative and local neighbours as a gathering spot to interact and connect, while enhancing emergency preparedness by storing shared emergency supplies.
Within the bench is an internal storage compartment accessible only by neighbours, which contains supplies such as a first aid kit and water purification equipment. The bench also provides residents with solar powered outlets to charge their phones off the grid and a community bulletin board to share information. Both are accessible on a day-to-day basis and in the case of an emergency such as a power outage.
The bench is multifunctional, acting as a spot to hang out but also showcasing emergency resources for natural disasters.