Justin Van Dette is a staple of community activism in East York. He’s been a behind-the-scenes political operative for several local politicians. He’s the omnipresent community relations manager for the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation (formerly the Toronto East General foundation). He’s a tireless advocate for East York, most recently rallying residents for better TTC service at a December protest and then advocating for an East York “Hall of Fame” at the February meeting of the Kinsmen club. Columnist Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun affectionately refers to him as “The Shaker,” for the way he likes to rattle cages.
Angie Gualtieri holds a book in her hands. Tales of Todmorden Veterans by Jack Aldred. It’s obvious this book means a lot to her.
Gualtieri recalls when the roof at her Royal Canadian Legion Todmorden, Branch 10, needed fixing. The branch couldn’t afford to fix it. Jack Aldred, a well-loved member of the branch, stepped up. Proceeds from Aldred’s helped raise money for the roof repairs.
“That’s who (Jack) was,” Gualtieri said. “A great man.”