Anniversary, Workshop, and Estore

On April 1, the Estonian House celebrated its 55th anniversary! We did this by discussing the future of Esto House and raised a glass in its honour. The Board had convened with invited expert members and specialists from the Toronto Estonian community for a workshop.

As was reported earlier, this winter the shareholders of the Toronto Estonian House voted to approve the signed Letter of Intent to partner in a Joint Venture with a builder, Tribute. The agreement with Tribute will be signed following their due diligence, which is almost complete. The Estonian House and the Estonian community still have lots of unanswered questions. In order to begin to formulate these questions so that they can be addressed, Estonian House conducted a workshop on April 1.

The workshop was organized by Kia Puhm, board member and Esto House 2 committee member, and led by Toronto Estonian author Urve Tamberg. The first task was for all attendees to write down all questions that they could think of onto sticky notes. These sticky notes were then placed randomly on the wall of the gallery hall, in which the meeting took place. Next, attendees were to group them, and eventually major themes came together: A) Financial B) Square footage of the new Esto House and transition plans C) Project manager job description. The participants were divided into three groups to discuss these topics in more depth. The intent was not to answer the questions, but to understand the scope of the problem, and begin to formulate an approach to determine answers. The evening lasted several hours, and ended with a summary from each group. The work has just begun, and we hope to find many interested volunteers to participate in the project.

News for the AGM

The Estonian House Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday April 22. The board has approved expanding the size of the board to 11 members. Of the existing board members, Katrin Lepik has indicated that she will not continue to run for another term. We thank her for her contributions! So far, we have identified 5 new candidates as follows in alphabetical order: Nick Kazakoff, Rein Kuris, Veiko Parming, Eric Sehr, Linda Veltmann. Thank you to these willing volunteers!

News from Estore

Avo Kittask, who has managed the Estore for years, is retiring, so that he can focus on his other interests. We thank Avo for his passion and commitment, and wish him all the best in his new ventures! He has created beautiful displays in the store, and imported valued and interesting Esto merchandise, and fostered an opportunity for local artists to sell their works.

We advertised in the Estonian Life March 27 issue, that we are looking for a new Estore manager. Please check out the ad, and reply! If you have any questions, please call : 416-461-5799 (Estore) or 416-461-7963 (Estonian House office ), or by email:

For now, the Estore is still open. Tõnu Orav will serve you, so please ring the bell if the door is not open. We ask that you understand if he is elsewhere in the building attending to other matters.

Estore hours for the time being will be: Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00 and 7:00-9:00; Wednesdays, 11:00-3:00; Thursdays, 1:00-3:00; Fridays, 11:00-3:00; Saturdays; 10:00-12:00.