Over the years, we have shown we can make a real impact on poverty and inequity by focusing on systems change at the neighbourhood level. Never has that approach been more urgent than now: Our region faces an increased pace of growth and expanding community need, post-COVID, amid rising rents, inflation and a cost-of-living crisis — all contributing to the displacement of lower-income people and the services they depend upon.

In response, we are building on our strong foundations in community and leveraging our network of agencies and partnerships. We’re working together to strengthen the social infrastructure that is at the heart of resilient, dynamic and equitable neighbourhoods, where people can access affordable housing, and secure employment and opportunities to shape their future. And we're focusing on deepening and extending our community-development work and scaling progressive models for community prosperity.

We know that the right solutions come from those who are closest to the challenges and assets in a neighbourhood — residents, community organizations and other local stakeholders. So that is where we're digging in.

Jane-Finch Community and Family Centre

In Jane-Finch, we are collaborating with trusted community anchor Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre. Together with the City of Toronto, we're co-chairing a Community Impact Table composed of foundations, funders, City divisions, businesses and other institutional partners. The goal is to support resourcing and drive action, grounded in a locally created plan that builds on work already underway. Strategic investment will support community-led solutions to community-identified priorities — like bringing the Career Navigator youth employment training program to Jane and Finch — also through resident-led initiatives and place-based grant-making that includes local residents in decision making.

South Markham, Agincourt Community Services Association

In South Markham, Agincourt Community Services Association will be championing community development efforts aligned to specific challenges. Already, residents have had the opportunity to build their local-issue advocacy and mobilization skills through training delivered by the Institute for Change Leaders, in partnership with United Way. Eight-week online training that covered practices like storytelling, relationship building, team structuring, strategic planning and action implementation helped them to identify food security as an issue and successfully campaign for the opening of a food pantry in South Markham. Additional in-person training focusing on the fundamentals of community organizing will support the continuation of this exciting work.


In Peel, Indus Community Services will be leading the charge in partnership with United Way Greater Toronto. They're also engaging in projects like Cooksville Tower Pops, an initiative in collaboration with 8 80 Cities, Park People and ERA Architects that picks up on earlier tower renewal work that United Way has supported, to activate underused public spaces in apartment towers.