Leadership, Civic Engagement, and Belonging

collage-leadershipWhy is this important?

Vibrant cities are those where residents are engaged and feel that they belong, where civic institutions reflect the diversity of the population, and where strong social connections unite people to one another and to their neighbourhoods. Tracking these indicators helps us to see how well we are doing at building an inclusive city, and where some residents are being left on the margins.

 

What are the trends?

Torontonians overall, and youth ages 12-19 continue to feel a strong sense of belonging to their community, but only half of young adults feel the same. The number of people who make charitable donations in the Region has been slowly declining for a number of years and dropped to under 22% in 2013, and but the median donation has increased. Representation on City Council still does not reflect the population: despite comprising more than 40% of the population, visible minorities made up just over 13% of Council in 2013, the same as they did prior to the 2014 municipal election.

 

Data refer to the city of Toronto unless otherwise noted 2012 2013 2014
1.    Percentage of women on Toronto City Council 34%

(2010)

34%

 

32%[1]

 

2.    Charitable donors as a proportion of tax filers (Toronto Region) 22.7%

(2011)

22.1%

(2012)

21.6%

(2013)[2]

3.    Median annual charitable donation (Toronto Region) $350

(2011)

$360

(2012)

$370

(2013)[3]

4.    Percentage who report a strong sense of belonging to their local community 69.1% 66.8% 68.9%[4]
5.    Percentage of youth (12-19 year-olds) who report a strong sense of belonging to their local community 85.5% 78.7% 80.5%[5]

 

What’s new?

Torontonians have the lowest average life satisfaction amongst Canada’s cities, workers who earn less and are precariously employed are less likely to always vote than those who earn more and are more secure, and black children are over-represented in Toronto’s child protection system. But City investments in the community services delivered by hundreds of non-profit organizations across Toronto are supporting the non-profit sector in building the city and improving communities.

 

 

Do Torontonians feel connected to their communities, and are they satisfied in life?

 

Almost seven in 10 Torontonians and 8 in 10 youth feel a strong sense of belonging to their local community—but only half of young adults feel the same:

  • The percentage of city youth (12–19 years old) who report a strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging on the Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey rose to 5% in 2014 (after an 8% dip from 85.5% to 78.7% between 2012 and 2013). [6]
  • 68.9% of Torontonians aged 12 and over reported feeling a strong or somewhat strong sense of belonging, a big improvement from 55.9% in 2003 and higher than the national (66.4%), and provincial (68.2%) averages.[7]
  • Only 56.6% of young adults age 20 to 34, on the other hand, feel a sense of belonging.[8]
  • Research shows a high correlation of sense of community belonging with physical and mental health.[9]

 


snapshot

 

Of all 140 Toronto neighbourhoods, Moss Park has the most community meeting places within a 10-minute walk, such as community centres and places of worship, out of all 140 neighbourhoods in the city.[10]

 


Ideas-and-Innovations
In an effort to increase the supply of donated blood, and to help donors feel more connected to the community of people they are helping, blood donors in Sweden are now being thanked for and informed of the personal impact of their efforts:

  • Donors receive a “thank you” text from the national blood services agency when they give blood. When their blood has actually been used and makes it into somebody else’s body, they get another message.[11]

twitter

Source: https://twitter.com/robertlenne/status/607901970733658112/photo/1

 

Torontonians have low average life satisfaction compared to other Canadian cities:

  • After several years of asking about life satisfaction on the Canadian Community Health Survey and the General Social Survey, Statistics Canada has almost 340,000 individual responses—enough to allow, for the first time, comparable community-level measures of life satisfaction for 33 CMAs and 58 economic regions (ERs) across the country.
  • While average life satisfaction was 8.0 out of 10 across Canada, in Toronto it was lower at 7.8 out of 10, placing the city last (tied with Vancouver and Windsor).
  • The people of St. Johns, Saguenay, Trois-Rivieres, and Greater Sudbury are most satisfied; average life satisfaction in these communities was 8.2 out of 10.
  • When considering only people who rank their life satisfaction as a 9 or 10, Toronto again falls near the bottom, with 34.3% ranking their satisfaction this highly. Only Vancouver fares worse, at 33.6%.
    • In this ranking, Greater Sudbury tops the list with 44.9%, followed by Thunder Bay with 43.9%.
  • When considering only people who rank their life satisfaction as a 6 or less, Toronto, Windsor, and Abbotsford-Mission tie for first place with 17.1% of people in each of these communities ranking their satisfaction this low.
    • In Saguenay, Quebec City, and Trois-Rivieres only 8.6%, 9.3% and 9.8% respectively ranked their satisfaction this low. In all other regions, 10% or more ranked their satisfaction this low.[12]

 

What are some of the barriers to civic participation and sense of belonging in the community?

 

Research of GTHA workers has found that rising precarious, or insecure, employment affects health and mental health. But it also affects civic engagement and belonging:

  • The Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research group surveyed and interviewed workers aged 25-65 in 2014. Its report documents relationships between employment security and income and volunteering, voting patterns, and social interaction. It found that:
    • Volunteering is more common among less securely employed workers. These workers’ motives for volunteering differ, however. They are more likely to volunteer for networking opportunities than for a community’s good.
    • Workers who are low income/less secure are less likely to report that they always vote than those who are high income/more secure (56.5% versus 87.6%).[13]

 

leadership-alwaysvotesbyemploymentsecurityandhouseholdincome

Always Votes, by Employment Security and Household Income (Percentage), GTHA, 2014[14]

  • Less secure employment also has an impact on whether workers report having a close friend to talk to. Low income/less secure workers are most likely to report that they do not have such a friend.[15]

 

leadership-doesnothaveaclosefriendtotalkto

Does Not Have a Close Friend to Talk to, by Employment Security and Household Income (Percentage), GTHA, 2014[16]

 

Although Canada is ranked second amongst all nations for its tolerance and inclusion in the Social Progress Index, a Maclean’s Magazine article negatively compares Aboriginal living conditions in Canada to those of African-Americans, pointing out that Canada also has a “race problem”:

  • Prompted by events in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black teenager was killed by police, sparking worldwide demonstrations against racism, Maclean’s analysed several indicators and compared Canada’s Aboriginal populationwith the African-American population.
  • Maclean’s cites the remoteness of the Aboriginal population as the reason for Canada’s “hidden” racial problem. 49% of First Nations members live on remote reserves rather than in urban centres.[17]
  • While the methodologies of the Maclean’s study have been questioned, and the pitting of two racialized communities against each other is problematic, the article prompted much attention in Canada regarding the way racialized people and communities experience life in Canada.

 

Black children are over-represented in the child protection system, and the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) has launched a pilot project to address the issue by connecting black families at risk with counselling services:

  • A Toronto Star investigation analysed data collected by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and found that:
    • While only 8.2% of Toronto’s population under the age of 18 is black, black children and youth comprise 41% of those in the care of CAS.
    • By contrast, more than half of the city’s population under the age of 18 is white but only 37% of the children in care are white.
    • 31% of children in care in Toronto had black parents and another 9.8% had one black parent.
    • Misunderstanding and cultural divides can often land children in care, especially where young and inexperienced front-line CAS workers are involved.
      • While spanking is more commonly used and more socially acceptable as discipline for children in Africa and the Caribbean, for example, Toronto parents who use it may find themselves charged with assault.
      • Parents who question care intervention by a CAS worker may be branded as uncooperative.
  • Toronto CAS has launched a pilot program that teaches parenting skills and anger management, and connects black families to culturally specific community services for mental health and addiction issues. Less than 10% of the 100 families counselled through this program have had a child taken into care.
  • Figures obtained by The Star indicate that over-representation of black children in care is province-wide.
    • There are roughly 23,300 Ontario children and youth in care. Those who aren’t returned to their parents within a year become Crown wards, of which there were 7,000 in Ontario in 2013-14.[18]
  • Although most CASs in the province do not collect race-based data on children in care, the Province is considering it, along with a new CAS exclusively for black children, which community leaders have argued might be the only way to overcome systemic biases.[19]

Ideas-and-InnovationsCity leaders across sectors, including the vice-principal from Regent Park’s Nelson Mandela Park Public School, are delivering an initiative aimed at connecting positive black role models with boys who come from areas where there may be few:

  • In April 2015, more than 200 Grade 8 boys from across Toronto came together for the 6th annual Young Men’s Stand Up conference. More than 50 “men at the top of their game,”       including Toronto’s new police chief, participated in the conference to offer positive influence.[20]

 

Ideas-and-InnovationsCanadian Roots Exchange builds bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth by facilitating dialogue and strengthening relationships through leadership programming:

  • Piloted in 2012, the Youth Reconciliation Initiative is a youth-led program that engages young leaders (ages 18-30) from across the country, to be trained to lead programming in their own communities, while being supported by Canadian Roots Exchange staff.
  • Youth leaders then act as mentors, engaging younger Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth (aged 12-18) in an eight-month leadership program.

 

 

How can we turn the tide of voter apathy, especially among our youth, immigrants, and visible minorities?

Recent federal elections have seen dismal voter turnout rates, particularly among first-time voters and 18- to 24-year-olds:

  • Voter turnout in the 2011 federal election was a near-record low of 61.1% (and turnout from Toronto’s voters, at 60.3%, was even lower than the national average and the provincial average of 61.5%).[21]
  • The most common reason Canadians gave for not voting in the election was that they were not interested (27.7%). Another 22.9% said that they were too busy. 3.8% said they forgot.
  • Only one-third of first-time eligible voters in Canada actually voted—half as many as a generation ago.[22]
    • A 2011 study for Elections Canada found that each new cohort of first-time voters participates in fewer numbers than the one before.[23]
  • Only 39% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the 2011 federal election,[24] a startling contrast to the trends from the 1970s and 80s when the vast majority (70-80% and higher) of young people that same age voted.[25]
    • A People for Education report posits that one of the reasons for the dismal state of civic engagement and our lacklustre political representativeness in terms of diversity is the “weak and fragmented” state of citizenship education in our schools.
    • Citizenship education matters if we are going to turn around growing youth disengagement. Developing clearer goals and success measures for citizenship education would help, the report argues.[26]

 

Voter turnout was up for the first time in almost two-and-a-half decades in the Ontario 2014 election, but a record number of people chose to decline their ballots:

  • 52.1% of voters cast a ballot (unofficial count), up a bit from the province’s 2011 historic low of 48.2%.[27]
  • While some other provinces’ voter turnout rates are falling, many are still higher than those of Ontario:
    • 71.4% in Québec in April 2014,
    • 59% in Nova Scotia in 2013, and
    • 57% in Alberta in 2012.[28]
  • In Prince Edward Island, 76.2% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2011 election, and a whopping 85.9% did in 2015.[29]
  • Voter turnout in Ontario elections has gone down steadily since 1990, when 64% of voters went to the polls.[30]
  • 2014 saw the highest total ever of declined ballots, up from 2,335 in 2011 to 31,399 (or 0.64% of total ballots cast)—an increase of 1,245%.[31]

 

Toronto’s municipal voter turnout has been slowly improving over the past several years, and the 2014 municipal election attracted a record turnout:

  • 54.7% of eligible voters (991,754 of 1,813,915) cast a ballot in the 2014 municipal election—a record since amalgamation.
  • This marks a big improvement (59.2%) over the approximately 36% who voted in the 2000 election. In 2003, voter turnout was 38.3%, in 2006 39.3%, and in 2010, it jumped to 50.55% of eligible voters.[32]

 

Ideas-and-InnovationsThe Ranked Ballot Initiative (or RaBit) is a Toronto-based, non-partisan advocacy project seeking to transform local elections into a more relevant and inclusive experience for voters:

  • Ranked ballot, or runoff voting is a small and simple change that would require no amendments to the current ward boundaries or structures of City Council. Using this method, voters mark their choices on the ballot, ranking the candidates in order of preference.
  • This voting system ensures that no one can win with less than a majority of the vote and, as a result, eliminates the risk of “vote splitting,” where two or more candidates “split” the votes of a certain group. It also means that candidates are not pressured to drop out of a race to prevent vote splitting, and encourages more potential candidates to run.
  • In June 2013, Toronto City Council passed a motion to ask the Province for permission to use ranked ballots for local elections. In spring 2014, a bill to introduce ranked ballots in Ontario passed second reading. The bill died when the fall 2014 provincial election was called, but the Province has pledged to put ranked ballots into place across Ontario.[33]

 

Ideas-and-InnovationsA local barber in Philadelphia is working with media partners and 50 other local barbers to create an initiative that uses the hours black men spend in their local barbershops to increase voter turnout among the city’s black community, particularly among young men.

  • The plan calls for barbers to be trained through Philadelphia’s Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Awareness Program (YOACAP), which will provide information and training about how to answer questions about who is eligible to vote, as well as to provide facts about upcoming elections.
  • Barbers are considered leaders in many communities, and their barber chairs are frequently the location of many long discussions among local residents about social issues.
  • The program’s goal is help build trust and understanding of the system, and increase voter participation.[34]

Ideas-and-Innovations100In1Day, co-presented by Evergreen and United Way Toronto and York Region, is a festival of civic engagement that encourages community groups, organizations and individuals to share their vision for a better city. The annual event unites people across the city to make Toronto a better place by creating acts of urban change. Residents lead “interventions” that help raise awareness of urban and social issues, motivate new approaches to old problems, and inspire leaders and their fellow citizens.

  • In 2015, Toronto Foundation provided funding to Evergreen for three Vital Innovation awards of $10,000 each to support organizations in scaling up their interventions:
    • The Bowery Project: Milk Crate Farms creates mobile urban farms in downtown Toronto through the temporary use of vacant lots;
    • Homegrown National Park Project: Rain Gardens of Danforth East Village beautifies front yards throughout the neighbourhood while helping to build local resilience to better cope with the effects of climate change; and
    • Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre: Positive Messaging combats social isolation and the need for more neighbourliness by engaging the community in writing and delivering handwritten notes to neighbours, installing positive messages in public spaces, and building community programming.

 

Ideas-and-InnovationsSamara Canada’s Everyday Political Citizen project celebrates positive political role models and is building a culture of positive politics in Canada.

  • Conducted coast to coast to coast, the EPCitizen project aims to recognize the diversity of politics and democracy in Canada, crowdsourcing hundreds of nominations for political citizens and celebrating some of the many thousands of ordinary people engaging in big and small ways in this country’s rich political culture.
  • Each year, adult and youth winners and finalists are chosen by a diverse jury of prominent Canadians like Rick Mercer.

 

 

 

How representative are our political leaders of our communities?

Representation on City Council still does not reflect the population:

  • Visible minorities make up 49% of Toronto’s population, but they are not adequately represented in our city’s municipal government.
  • In both the 2010 and 2014 elections, visible minorities were elected to six of the 45 City Councillor and Mayoral positions, comprising only 14% of Toronto’s elected officials.[35]
  • Recent research has shown that if people do not see themselves in the candidates, they are less likely to vote. One study reports that the strongest predictor of low voter turnout in Toronto’s ridings is a high concentration of immigrants and visible minorities.[36]

 

 

leadership-visibleminoritiesasapercentageofthepopulation

Visible Minorities as a Percentage of the Population and in City Hall[37]

 

  • In general, visible minorities are best represented at the federal and provincial levels and least represented on municipal councils.
  • Diversity in elected representatives not only sends a powerful message of inclusion to minority groups, but it may also lead to different policy outcomes, as minority group representatives bring unique perspectives.[38]
  • Proponents of ranked ballots (currently being examined by the Province for municipalities’ use in 2018 elections) argue that they will allow for governments more representative of ethnic and gender diversity.[39]

 

While they make up 52% of Toronto’s population, women comprise only one in three elected city councillors, although progress has been made in their representation on Council’s executive committee:

• A record 15 women were elected to Council in 2010 (bringing female representation to 34% of councillors), but as of September 2014 none of them sat on the executive committee.[40] 

 

leadership-womenasapercentageofthepopulationandincityhall

Women as a Percentage of the Population and in City Hall[41]

  • In 2014, women were elected in 14 of 44 wards,[42] and as of June 2015 their proportion of Council (32%) was mirrored on the executive committee, with four of its 13 members (31%) female.[43]

 

 

How strong is Toronto’s charitable sector?

 

The percentage of Torontonians claiming a charitable donation on their income tax return decreased in 2013, but the median donation increased:

  • 21.6% of Torontonian taxfilers declared a donation, a decrease of 0.8% from 2012 and placing us 24th of 33 CMAs.[44] The percentage of charitable givers in the Region has remained relatively stable since 2009, although between 2010 and 2013 the rate declined marginally year over year.[45]
  • Winnipeg (26.6%), Guelph (26.5%), and Regina (25.1%) saw higher percentages of donors.
  • While donors were fewer, the median charitable donation was up 3.7% nationally, to $280 (from $270 in 2012 and $260 in 2011), and total donations increased 3.5% to $8.6B. Some provinces—Nunavut ($500), Alberta ($420), and BC and PEI ($400 each)—were well above the median.
    • Ontario had the fourth-lowest median donation of $340 (up 2.0% over 2012). Only Nova Scotia ($320), New Brunswick ($310), and Quebec ($130) were lower.
    • The Toronto Region had the ninth-highest median donation of $370, $90 more than the national average and $30 more than the provincial average (and up 3.4% over 2012). Abbotsford-Mission ($740, down 11.6% from 2012 but still impressive), Vancouver ($420), Calgary ($420), and Saskatoon ($410) had the highest median donations.[46]
      • Since 1997, median charitable donations in the Region have risen 85%, from $200.[47]
    • Donations by Region tax filers totalled $1,956,695,000 (and $3,763,040,000 for all of Ontario and $8,600,755,000 for all of Canada).[48]

 

The City’s investments in the community services delivered by hundreds of non-profit organizations across Toronto support the non-profit sector in building the city and improving communities:

  • A Social Planning Toronto report documents the City’s investment in non-profit community services, with impacts including improved resident health and wellbeing and safer communities.
  • Through its Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP), the City invests almost $50M annually in non-profit community services and arts and cultural programs. Organizations use the City’s investments to transform communities. For example:
    • Toronto has a network of at least 49 drop-in centres across the city working with people who are homeless, precariously housed, and socially isolated. As non-government agencies, they are able to apply a less beaurocratic approach. Centres are able to build community by engaging those who access services in helping out in daily operations and structured activities, improving their health and wellbeing and helping the centres leverage scarce resources.
    • A 2010 cost-benefit analysis for the John Howard Society of Toronto on transitional housing and supports (THS) for two groups of ex-prisoners showed that THS have a dramatic impact on public safety and save public money.
      • 42.5% of sexual offenders with release conditions under Section 810 peace bonds who did not receive THS re-offended, often violently, compared to only 2.2% who received THS.
      • THS are also far cheaper than incarceration—$350,000 per homeless ex-prisoner and $109,000 per Section 810.
  • The City invests in other vital, and often unrecognized, ways that allow organizations to direct more of their resources to critical services.
    • For decades the City has rented its municipal-owned properties to non-profit community organizations at below-market rates.
    • It has provided free solid waste collection for many years to approximately 1,000 charities and non-profit organizations.
    • It has a 40% property tax rebate policy for registered charities. In each year’s budget process, Council sets aside enough money to cover the estimated value of the rebate. In the 2014 budget, it was over $6.5M for charities in the commercial and industrial property classes.
    • As the lead partner in Toronto’s local data consortium, the City is the local administrator and capacity builder for the Canadian Council on Social Development’s Community Data Program, which supports decision-making around social development programs by providing access to socio-economic data to both municipalities and community sector organizations.[49]

 leadership-domainsofwellbeingsupportedbycommunitygroups

Domains of Wellbeing Supported by Community Groups, Toronto, 2013[50]

Ideas-and-InnovationsIn the late 2014, Copenhagen’s city council approved funding for Denmark’s first LGBTQ* home for the elderly:

  • LGBTQ* seniors will be provided the opportunity to move into the “regnbueplejehjem” (“rainbow elderly home”) as vacancies become available (as opposed to providing a separate section of the home).[51]

 

 

 

The following groups are addressing issues relating to leadership, civic engagement and belonging through their innovative community-based programs.

 

Click on the name of the group to be directed to their profile on the Community Knowledge Centre to learn more about how.

 

ACCES Employment – Assisting job seekers from diverse background to integrate into the Canadian job market

Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services – Improving health outcomes for the most vulnerable and their communities

ACCESS Community Capital Fund – Enabling individuals with economic barriers to realize sustainable self-employment

Agincourt Community Services Association – Multi-service agency addressing needs and empowering under-served

Applegrove Community Complex –Fostering community through neighbourhood partnerships

Art Starts – Creating social change through community art projects

ArtReach Toronto – Giving young artists access to resources, mentorship and skill building opportunities

Artscape – Creating shared space for non-profit and arts based orgs through urban development

Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention (ASAAP) – Providing HIV/Aids sexual health and support services

Ashoka Canada – Fostering powerful emergent ideas led by social entrepreneurs

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic – Services for women who have experienced violence

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto – Canada’s leading mentoring charity

Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre – Offering recreational, social and capacity building programs

Bird Studies Canada – Conserving wild birds of Canada through public engagement and advocacy

Boundless Adventures Association – Improving the lives of underserved youth through outdoor leadership

Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders – Increasing leadership skills for underserved teens through sailing

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – Developing and presenting artists’ voices in the LGBTQ* community

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression – Championing the rights of journalists and media professionals

Canadian Stage – One of the country’s leading not-for-profit contemporary theatre companies

CANES Community Care – Assisting seniors to take part in the life of their community

Casey House – A specialty hospital with community programming for those affected by HIV or Aids

Central Toronto Youth Services – Serving youth who have a range of mental health needs.

Centre for City Ecology – Generating constructive conversations on Toronto’s architecture and planning

Centre for Spanish Speaking People – Serving new immigrants from 22 Spanish-speaking countries

Charlie’s FreeWheels – Teaching bicycle mechanics, safety and leadership skills to youth

Children’s Peace Theatre – Creating a culture of peace and transformative justice by engaging children

Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre – Improving the quality of life in the Christie Ossington community

Clay & Paper Theatre – Bringing neighbourhoods together by producing community-driven plays, pageants and parades in public spaces

Common Ground Co-operative – Supporting people with developmental disabilities

Community Living Toronto – Providing meaningful ways for those with an intellectual disability to participate in their community

Community Matters Toronto – Supporting newcomers living in St. James Town

Community MicroSkills Development Centre – Assisting the unemployed, with priority to women, racial minorities, immigrants and youth

Creative Trust – Building the financial health and resilience of Toronto’s creative performing arts

CTI Canadian Training Institute – Enhancing the effectiveness of client services delivered by criminal justice and behavioural health services

CUE – A radical, arts initiative enabling young marginalized artists to develop art exhibitions

CultureLink Settlement Services – Developing and delivering settlement services to meet the needs of diverse communities

David Suzuki Foundation – Promoting environmental education and conservation

Delta Family Resource Centre – Enhancing the potential of families and children

Diaspora Dialogues Charitable Society – Supporting creative writing that reflects our city’s diversity

Distress Centres – Creating an emotional safety net for the vulnerable and at risk in our community

Dovercourt Boys & Girls Club – Providing a safe, supportive place for children and youth

Drum Artz Canada – Mentorship and creative expression through percussion and music

Earthroots Fund – Dedicated to the preservation of Ontario’s wilderness, wildlife, and watersheds

Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre – Serving a low-income, ethnically and socially diverse community

East Scarborough Storefront – Building community through collaborations and shared spaces

Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth – Working locally and nationally to prevent, reduce, and end youth homelessness

Findhelp Information Services – Providing information and referral services in Ontario and across Canada

FIT Community Services – Friends In Trouble – Bridging the income inequality gap

FoodShare – Working towards a sustainable and accessible food system

For Youth Initiative (FYI) – Creating healthy communities by increasing life-chances of underserved youth

Framework – Delivering high-quality volunteer engagement events (Timeraiser)

Frontier College – Elevating literacy through a wide range of programming

Future Possibilities Canada Inc. – Empowering children from diverse Canadian communities

FutureWatch Environment and Development Education Partners – Fostering the creation of sustainable communities

Geneva Centre for Autism – Empowering and supporting individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Good Neighbours’ Club – Welcoming homeless men into a safe space through a drop-in centre

Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance – Bringing people together to tackle our region’s toughest challenges

Greenest City – Building healthy neighbourhoods through gardening and the celebration of food

Habitat for Humanity Toronto – Mobilizing volunteers to build affordable housing

Harbourfront Centre – Nurturing the growth of new cultural expression and artistic cultural exchange.

Harmony Movement / Harmony Education Foundation – Promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in Canada

High Park Nature Centre – Promoting awareness and respect for nature through outdoor education

Hospice Toronto – Facilitating access to compassionate care

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival – Celebrating the latest works by Indigenous peoples

Inner City Angels – Bringing imaginative interdisciplinary arts programs to children in Toronto

Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre – Gathering community together in a place focused on social justice

Jane’s Walk – Creating walkable neighbourhoods and cities planned for and by people

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper – Working to restore swimmability, drinkability and fishability to Lake Ontario

Lakeshore Area Multi-Service Project (LAMP) – Partnering with the community to address emerging needs

Law In Action Within Schools – Engaging youth in legal education and the justice system

LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) – Protecting and enhances our urban forest

Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) – Promoting, through education, the practices essential to sustainability

Leave Out Violence (LOVE) – Reducing violence in the lives of Toronto youth

LGBT Youth Line – Providing anonymous peer support for youth in a queer-positive context

Licensed to Learn Inc. – Empowering children to reach their potential through peer-led tutoring

Lost Lyrics – Providing alternative education through arts to racialized youth in ‘priority neighbourhoods’

Lumacare – Providing essential programs and services for the support of seniors

Luminato Festival – Reflecting the diverse character of Toronto through n annual, multi-disciplinary arts festival

Make-A-Wish Foundation – Granting the wishes of children living with life-threatening medical conditions

Mammalian Diving Reflex – Interactive performances that occur beyond the walls of the theatre

Manifesto Community Projects – Uniting and empowering diverse young people through hip-hop culture

March of Dimes Canada – Creating a society inclusive of people with physical disabilities

Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO) – Promoting healthy and active lifestyles for youth

Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation – Enabling financially disadvantaged students to achieve their academic pursuits

METRAC – Focusing on education and prevention to build safety, justice and equity

Moorelands Community Services – Providing youth affected by poverty fun experiences to strengthen their confidence

Mosaic Institute – Harnessing the diversity of Canada’s people to build a stronger, more inclusive nation

Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto – Building the collective capacity of Aboriginal women

New Leaf Yoga – Supporting the well-being of youth by making mindfulness and yoga accessible

New Visions Toronto – Providing residential services for individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities

Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto – Delivering educational and employment opportunities for immigrant women and their children

Nightwood Theatre – Propelling women to the top of their craft in Canadian Theatre

No.9: Contemporary Art & the Environment – Using art and design to bring awareness to environmental concerns

North York Community House – Enhancing the strength and resilience of their neighbourhood

North York Harvest Food Bank – Creating community where all members can meet their food needs

North York Women’s Centre (NYWC) – Supporting and empowering women and effect positive change

Not Far From The Tree – Putting Toronto’s fruit to good use by picking and sharing the bounty

OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants – Helping to integrate immigrants and refugees

Ontario Justice Education Network – Promoting public understanding to support a responsive and inclusive justice system

Oolagen – Empowering youth and their families to enhance their wellbeing and mental health

Ophea – Championing healthy, active living in schools and communities

Outward Bound Canada – Cultivating resilience and compassion through challenging journeys in nature

Parasport Ontario – Developing and promoting Paralympic and Parasport in Ontario

Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) – Working with members of the Parkdale community on issues of poverty and mental health

Pathways to Education Canada – Helping underserved youth graduate from high school and transition to further education

The PACT Urban Peace Program – Empowering underserved youth and youth already in conflict with the law

Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario – Championing childhood cancer care

The Peer Project – Youth Assisting Youth – Promoting the healthy growth and development of young people

People for Education – Engaging parents to become active participants in their children’s education

The Pollution Probe Foundation – Improving the well-being of Canadians by advancing environmental change

Project Canoe – Using the outdoors and wilderness canoe trips to help youth develop life skills

Vermont Square Parent-Child Mother Goose Program – Fostering parent-child bonding and literacy through a rich oral language experience

Ralph Thornton Centre – Building the potential of the Riverdale community

The Redwood – Supporting women and their children to live free from domestic abuse

Regent Park Focus – Bringing best practices in training and mentorship of youth to broadcasting and digital arts

Right To Play – Using the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity

Roots of Empathy – Reducing bullying among school children while raising emotional competence

San Romanoway Revitalization – Fostering a sense of belonging in residents of all ages and backgrounds

Scadding Court Community Centre – Providing opportunities for inclusive recreation, education, and community participation

Scarborough Arts – Developing programming and cultural initiatives in collaboration with the community

Second Harvest – Feeding hungry people by picking up, preparing and delivering excess fresh food to social agencies

Seed to Table – Cultivating the conditions for community change by building local capacity

Seeds of Hope Foundation – Building sustainable communities with resource centres that encourage learning, recovery, and enterprise

Shakespeare in Action – Enhancing arts and education through exploring and performing Shakespeare

Sheena’s Place – Supporting individuals, families and friends affected by eating disorders

Sistema Toronto – Inspiring children to realize their full potential through free, ensemble-based music lessons

SKETCH Working Arts – Creating a safe space for arts and creativity for young, marginalized people

Skills for Change of Metro Toronto – Creating learning and training opportunities for immigrants and refugees

SkyWorks Charitable Foundation – Advocating and participating in social change through community film making

Small Change Fund – Supporting grassroots projects that contribute to social and environmental change

Soulpepper Theatre Company – Creating a home in Toronto for the great dramatic works of our collective cultural inheritance

South Riverdale Community Health Centre – Improving the lives of people that face barriers to physical, mental, and social well-being

Springboard – Helping people develop the skills they need to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential

St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre – Providing programs and services for seniors and older adults

St. Stephen’s Community House – Programming for newcomer and low-income residents

The Stop Community Food Centre – Increasing access to healthy food by building community and challenging inequality

Story Planet – Encouraging young people to tell their stories through workshops at a story making centre

Sustainability Network – Enriching Canadian environmental leaders and organizations by supporting them to increase capacity

The 519 – Enhancing the vibrant downtown and LGBTQ* community

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office – Building a safe and healthy community

Toronto Centre for Community Learning & Development – Creating a strong culture of community engagement

Toronto City Mission – Creating lasting change through preventative and transformational programs

Toronto Environmental Alliance – Promoting a greener Toronto

Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs – Providing a safe, supportive place for the young people of Regent Park, Cabbagetown, and Trinity-Bellwoods

Toronto Park People – Catalyzing better parks across Toronto

Toronto Public Library Foundation – Providing essential resources for the enhancement of the Toronto Public Library

Toronto Wildlife Centre – Building a healthy community for people and wildlife by raising awareness about urban wildlife

Toronto Youth Development – Assisting and fostering underprivileged youth in Toronto

Trails Youth Initiatives Inc. – Challenging and equipping youth from the inner city of Toronto

UforChange – Inspiring newcomer and Canadian youth through arts-based community-building

Unison Health Community Services – Delivering accessible and high quality health and community services

UNITY Charity – Empowering youth to use artistic self-expression to make positive life

UrbanArts – Engaging youth in community development through the arts

White Ribbon – Working to end violence against women and girls by engaging men and boys

WoodGreen – Enhancing self-sufficiency, promoting well-being and reducing poverty

Words In Motion – Using the arts to help children and their families achieve their full potential

Workman Arts Project of Ontario – Developing and supporting artists with mental illness and addiction issues

YMCA of Greater Toronto – Offering opportunities for community involvement and leadership

Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) – Empowering youth to become leaders within their own community

 

 


 

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[7] NVS Table X-6: Percentage of Population 12 and over Reporting a Strong or Somewhat Strong Sense of Community Belonging.

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[27] Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ontario. (2014). Hennessy’s Index: June 2014. Voter turnout: How low can we go? Last accessed June 4, 2015, from: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/hennessy%E2%80%99s-index-june-2014.

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[39] Toronto Star. (May 28, 2015). Last accessed October 1, 2015 from: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/05/28/ranked-ballots-coming-to-ontario-cities.html.

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[41]  Desmond Cole, Torontoist.com. (2014). Election 2014: City Council Still Doesn’t Look Like the City.

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[42] Desmond Cole, Torontoist.com. (2014). Election 2014: City Council Still Doesn’t Look Like the City.

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[44] Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. (2015). Charitable Donors – 2013. September 20, 2015 from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150217/dq150217c-eng.htm.

[45] NVS Table X-I: Charitable Donors as a Proportion of Tax Filers for Vital Signs Communities,  1997-2013, per cent.

[46] Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. (2015). Charitable Donors – 2013. September 20, 2015 from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150217/dq150217c-eng.htm.

[47] NVS Table X-4: Median Charitable Donations for Donors.

[48] Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. (2015). Charitable Donors – 2013. September 20, 2015 from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150217/dq150217c-eng.htm.

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