Villa Charities Architectural Studies Scholarships at George Brown College
Honour Renzo Pillon
Last summer, our community was incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of former Columbus Centre Board Chair and long-time volunteer and community member, Renzo Pillon.
Renzo was the Principal Architect at his firm, Pillon Architect Inc. He was a caring man who dedicated so much of his time to charitable causes that made an impact in the Italian Canadian community.
In honour of Renzo, we are pleased to announce that the Villa Charities Architectural Studies Scholarships at George Brown College will be renamed to The Villa Charities Renzo Pillon Memorial Scholarships at George Brown College.
These scholarships embody much of what Renzo stood for – passion for Italian culture and heritage, love of architecture, and the importance of education.
Villa Charities Foundation has also established the Renzo Pillon Memorial Fund. Donations made to this fund will directly support the Villa Charities Renzo Pillon Memorial Scholarships at George Brown College.
Donations in memory of Renzo and in support of the memorial scholarships can be made here.
Villa Charities Celebrates 50 Years with Social Media Campaign #ThrowbackThursday
In celebration of our 50th anniversary this year, we’re launching lots of fun and interactive social media content for the Villa Charities community. Check out this #ThrowbackThursday image from May 1987 and the official opening of the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery at the Columbus Centre, with Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities Gregory Sorbara, Federal Minister of Communications Flora MacDonald and Joseph Carrier unveiling a dedication plaque (left to right).

Master the Italian Language Each Week with our Art & Aperitivo Workshops
Join us virtually, enjoy a drink, and master the Italian language with the “Art & Aperitivo” classes! This workshop is an opportunity to talk about art in a relaxed environment while enjoying your favourite drink together. In this free online interactive workshop, we will discuss the most significant art news and events from around the world, using Italian magazines and newspapers. We invite you to practice your Italian while expressing your views. We hope to see you for our next workshop tonight at 7:00pm!
Register for our Newest Class Racconti In Italiano – Short Stories in Italian
These monthly classes will offer students of Italian at all levels the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of contemporary literature in both Italian and English translations. The selection of short stories covers a rich variety of themes and styles. It includes stories by established literary figures such as Italo Calvino and Primo Levi, as well as the new generation of writers. Aspects of Sicilian and Italian life are explored by Leonardo Sciascia and Goffredo Parise. The focus of the class will be on learning new vocabulary and Italian words. An electronic copy of the story will be provided in advance upon registering. The next workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00pm.
Join us for February’s Club del Libro Book “Le Assaggiatrici”
Our online book club is an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary Italian literature while learning Italian. Join us for the winter 2021 sessions, where we will embark on literary adventures with extraordinary works by acclaimed prize-winning authors. Join us on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00pm as we read “Le Assaggiatrici/At the Wolf’s Table” by Rosella Postorino.
Enroll into our [Re]Connected Seniors Virtual Workshops for Tech Training Courses
[Re]Connected Seniors is a digital learning project by Villa Charities, funded in part by the Government of Canada and United Way of Greater Toronto. [Re]Connected Seniors has initialized an iPad lending library within Villa Charities’ apartments for seniors (Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto, Casa Abruzzo) and has also launched a series of virtual workshops to improve the digital literacy of seniors throughout the GTA! To book a place in one of the workshops, contact Matteo Brera at or by phone at 416-789-7011 ext. 333.
Book Your Virtual One-on-One Meeting for Friday Chats with the CEO
You can have a virtual meeting with Anthony DiCaita, President and CEO of Villa Charities Inc., for a one-on-one conversation to answer any questions or to share your thoughts on our programs and services. These informal chats with Anthony will be held using GoToMeeting on the 2nd Friday of every month, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Appointments are 20 minutes each and must be scheduled in advance. The next Friday Chats are scheduled for Friday, February 12 and Friday, March 12. Contact us today to schedule your virtual meeting – call 416-789-7011 ext. 240 or email
On-Site Operations for Villa Charities and Columbus Centre Remain Suspended
Please be advised that following the most recent direction from the Ontario government and public health authorities, on-site operations at Villa Charities and the Columbus Centre remain suspended. Online programs and services continue to be offered. For full details, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.
Apply Now for the 2021 Villa Charities Scholarship Program
Villa Charities is excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Villa Charities Scholarship Program. This opportunity is available to students of any heritage who help further Villa Charities’ mission of enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. Four awards of $2,500 are available to Undergraduate students and four awards of $5,000 are available to Graduate level students. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021.
Spaces Still Available for Online Recreational Dance Programs at DanzArts Toronto
There is still time to register for classes at DanzArts Toronto at the Columbus Centre for dancers ages two and up! The Recreational program is designed to develop technical skills and foster artistic expression. Students may choose to enroll in one or several classes of any style including tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, acrobatics, musical theatre and more. Never miss the chance to dance!
Learn to Play a New Instrument with our Online Music Programs
There has never been a better time to pick up a new musical skill! The Columbus Centre School of Music offers a wide variety of music lessons that are open to anyone of any skill level. Our seasonal one-on-one private lessons in vocals, guitar, piano, violin, flute, clarinet, or drums are taught by our professional instructors virtually via apps such as ZOOM, Facetime or Skype. For scheduling and availability, visit our website today!
Take a Break Your Daily Routine and Join our Virtual Fitness Classes
The Columbus Centre Athletic Club’s Virtual Group Fitness classes are the perfect workout from home. Our certified instructors are offering courses six days a week. From Gentle Fitness on Mondays to Total Body Challenge on Wednesdays, let’s achieve your fitness goals together. Monthly membership fees are only $24.99 + HST and includes access to our full fitness class video library. For more information, visit our website and register today.
Landscape Painting Classes Continue Online
Don’t miss the opportunity to hone your painting prowess! With a focus on landscape studies, these classes will explore principles such as tone, colour, form, texture, brush techniques, mixing, contrast and composition. Virtual classes are offered at limited capacity, which provides for enhanced one-on-one instruction. Suitable for adults of all levels and experience. To learn more, visit our website today!

Register for ICCO’s Three-Part Masterclass Series
Join ICCO for their masterclass series: “Great Italian Wines – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties.” In these workshops, attendees will discover some of the amazing wines that Italy has to offer and learn about various indigenous grapes from different parts of the country. This wine masterclass and tasting series will take place on three separate dates and each class will focus on two excellent Italian wines. The first class is on February 11 and will focus on the “Noble” Nebbiolo & Valpolicella Varieties.