Barry Swadron Receives Reena Foundation Award

TORONTO – October 17, 2004 – Reena Foundation has selected Barry Swadron to receive the Councillor Irving Chapley Award for Community Acceptance. The award recognizes Barry’s many years of advocacy for community integration of persons with special needs, fighting municipal bylaws and restrictive covenants that stood in the way of community living for former psychiatric patients and persons with developmental disabilities.

The fight went as far as the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Bell v. The Queen, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 212, a case that struck down North York’s single family dwelling by-law. A subsequent case argued by Barry before the Ontario Human Rights Board of Inquiry opened condominium units to supportive housing. Eventually, in the midst of a further challenge against North York relying upon the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario amended the Planning Act to declare invalid bylaws that limited residential use based on whether the occupants were related.

Reena Foundation is a provider of supportive housing and community services in the Toronto area. Its mandate is to enable people with developmental disabilities to realize their full potential by forming lifelong partnerships with individuals and their families within a framework of Jewish culture and values. Councillor Irving Chapley was a strong supporter of Reena Foundation. When he passed away in 1992 at the age of 68, he was North York's longest-serving city councillor.