A Toronto Prep School recent graduate made news on CTV News in Toronto for creating an historical neighbourhood walking app to raise funds for the local food bank.  Jadyn Daniels, who graduated school with no plans for summer due to COVID-19, created the “Toronto Neighbourhood Walks” app after deciding he wanted to make a difference with the spare time he had. He has encouraged users to donate to the New York Harvest Food Bank, and contributions are mounting already.

“At the beginning of quarantine especially, I was just going for a lot of walks because it was the only thing you could really do,” Jayden Daniels, 19, told CTV News Toronto. “I realised that I was bored of walking by the same places every day and I thought it would be more interesting if you knew a little about the place that you live.” That’s what sparked Jadyn´s idea for a walking app.

Toronto Prep School Principal Steve Tsimikalis: “As Jayden’s Principal and teacher for five years, I watched him develop both academically and personally into an extraordinary student and person.  He has honed his analytical skills and exhibited a dedication second to none. He has always led by example, using both his actions as well as his ability to empathise with others. In addition, he has always excelled at identifying areas in need of improvement, and affecting positive change. Jayden’s app exemplifies these qualities, and we could not be more proud of our 2019 valedictorian. Queen’s University is lucky to have Jayden!”

Jadyn went on to explain, “There are choices of neighbourhoods; It has pictures, and I just do a voiceover narrative taking you to place to place, teaching about the history, architecture and stories.”  So far, there are three walking tours and a fourth under development.”

“We live in this neighbourhood, and it’s a really great way for us to explore our backyard,” says Lauren Grammer, who has used the app. “It’s a really great way to learn about the history of where you live and we’ve been loving it so far.” The app is free to download, but Jadyn hopes that those using it will make a donation to the North York Harvest Food Bank.

“It´s a fun activity while social distancing, but also a lot of people are struggling because of the current crisis,” Jadyn said. “I thought it would be a good way to help those people.” summer.

“I know for a fact that we’ve been getting donations coming in because of this app,” says Henry Chiu, the director of development and marketing at the North York Harvest Food Bank. “What a wonderful gesture for a student helping us getting his app going and raising money for us during this especially challenging times.”

Jadyn says he’s been really happy with the response to his app, and hopes that more locals will use his app as a way to get outside and give back to the community.

“I think it’s really inspiring seeing young people getting creative and being curious about the areas they live in,” Kellie Grammer, another app user, said.

“I chose the neighbourhoods that I did for the app because they’re residential neighbourhoods and people don’t think of them having a lot of history,” Jadyn added. “But really they do. History is everywhere, you just need to know where to look.”

To read the full article click here for CTV News.

30 / 07 / 20