The City of Toronto is working hard to support everyone impacted by COVID-19. There are many ways individuals, associations and businesses can partner with the City to support your community, including donations of personal protective equipment, other goods and services, food and financial gifts. Learn how you can help.
Your charitable gift will help provide the high quality and affordable services that respond to the needs of your community. Read the DonateTO Donor Report to learn about many of the generous gifts that the City of Toronto facilitated between between April and August 2020 in support of COVID-19 relief and recovery.
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The City is partnering with United Way Greater Toronto and Lifeline Afghanistan to fundraise to help Afghan newcomers resettle in Toronto and the GTA. Canada will accept at least 20,000 Afghan individuals and families many of whom will locate and stay in Toronto and the GTA. As they leave everything behind, you can make a world of difference in their lives by helping them.
Financial donations are being coordinated through our partner, registered charity United Way Greater Toronto. These monetary donations will be distributed to agencies directly helping Afghan refugees resettle in Toronto.
The City is facilitating larger scale donations of much needed services and new and unused goods such as: clothing; school supplies, books and backpacks; household items including bedding and cleaning supplies; laptops and wifi connectivity. Please include ‘Afghan Resettlement’ in the description of your offer in the goods and services form. The City works with donors and community partners to match donations with areas of greatest need, wherever possible, but cannot guarantee offers will be accepted for a specific group or initiative. Note that the City does not accept offers of gently used items. Please consider contacting Goodwill Industries; however, the City cannot guarantee they will accept your items or direct them to the resettlement efforts specifically.
We know Torontonians have big hearts and lots of expertise that can directly benefit organizations helping Afghan refugees resettle in Toronto and the GTA. Currently, the need for volunteer engagement is very limited and already met. As the situation develops, this may change and the City is working with Volunteer Toronto to establish a process for volunteer recruitment. In the meantime, please visit Volunteer Toronto for information on other current volunteer opportunities or register with Lifeline Afghanistan to join their efforts.
To learn more about personal sponsorship of families and individuals contact Lifeline Afghanistan
For other United Way donation opportunities to support settlement work.
The IRSS Restoration of Identity Project, led by Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre in partnership with the City of Toronto, responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 82 and aligns with the City’s commitments to Indigenous Peoples. Action 82 calls upon provincial and federal governments, in collaboration with survivors and their organizations, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, residential schools commemorative project in each capital city to honour survivors and families. Your gift will be directed to the Toronto Council Fire’s $4 million capital campaign to help create a peaceful, contemplative space in Nathan Phillips Square, called the Spirit Garden, to help advance reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Toronto.
Funds donated to the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 response will directly contribute to the delivery of vital, community-focused services, both now and during recovery. From much needed supports for the most vulnerable to supplies for shelters during rehousing, designating your gift in this way allows the City to direct your donation to the highest priority need during this evolving situation. Watch these great examples of how individuals, associations and businesses have partnered with the City of Toronto to right the story for residents.
For offers of goods and services and a summary of those that are most in need, visit COVID-19: Donate and Volunteer
The Vaccine Equity Transportation Program will help vulnerable residents and seniors to access COVID-19 vaccinations by removing barriers to transportation and travel to clinic sites.
The City has come together with partners in the community and business sectors to provide subsidized transportation options to meet our community’s diverse needs. This program is intended for those who have no other options or who cannot afford transportation to vaccination appointments.
Donations to this program will be directed to City partner organizations and agencies, with the goal of offering barrier-free transportation to vaccination clinics for every person in need.
The City operates ten long-term care homes, caring for some of Toronto’s most vulnerable individuals. During the COVID-19 pandemic, only essential visitors are able to enter the homes meaning important social interactions are not there for residents. Your donation will be directed to the purchase of technology (i.e. tablets) to support communication, virtual visits and engagement as well as other initiatives which enhance the quality of life for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people in Toronto are relying on emergency food programs than we’ve seen in our City in generations. The City is supporting emergency community food programs across Toronto to address the rising food insecurity being experienced by individuals and families. Your donation will be directed to organizations that are providing prepared meals, food delivery, and grocery gift cards to food banks and vulnerable residents of Toronto, along with the materials and space that allow these programs to operate in the COVID-19 context and beyond.
The City accepts donations throughout the year to provide ongoing initiatives and programs with flexible resources beyond tax-based dollars. With your support, city-wide programs such as the ones listed below can continue to operate annually:
On November 26, 2020, Toronto City Council joined over 1,300 donors in committing to the preservation and celebration of this mighty oak. Option B of MM26.9 was adopted authorizing the purchase of the property for the creation of a parkette, with a commitment to pay the fundraising shortfall. Donors still have the opportunity to get behind this initiative. Any donations received before December 12th, 2020 will be applied to the purchase costs. As of December 12th, 2020, donations received will support enhancements to the parkette, helping to create a setting befitting of this magnificent tree.
To help protect the 364 species of bees and 112 species of butterflies that call Toronto home, the City offers grants to support the creation of pollinator habitat in communities across Toronto. A donation of $1,000 to $5,000 can provide a PollinateTO community grant that helps pollinator-friendly gardens spread across Toronto.
Our goal is to provide 20 community grants every year. Bee-come a donor today!
Toronto’s Japanese flowering cherry trees (Sakura) and its groves, in parks across the city, are enjoyed by a multitude of visitors every year during their spring blossom. The trees also contribute to the urban forest canopy and provide important habitat. Your donation will support the health and continued enjoyment of our cherry trees.
For over 25 years your City has invested in community tree planting and stewardship programs and over 23,000 volunteers have participated in more than 1,000 community events since 2013. Your donation is critical in supporting volunteer events and programs such as tree planting, trail building and education workshops. Our annual goal is $15,000. Your gift today makes a world of difference tomorrow!
Toronto is home to some of the best street art and artists in the world! In celebration of this, the Micki Moore ‘Art Over Bridges’ project is a transformative new StreetARToronto (StART) initiative that demonstrates the positive impacts of diversity and inclusion, fosters community engagement; adds colour and vitality to neighbourhoods; encourages active transportation; showcases the creativity of artists, arts organizations and the City of Toronto through continued collaboration with public, private and not for-profit stakeholders.
Your donation supports the purchase and conservation of significant artifacts and artworks related to Toronto. Acquiring objects that might otherwise disappear from public view enables your City to tell Toronto’s diverse stories better. With an annual fund goal of $45,000, your gift will help us preserve and care for your City’s cherished objects.
Toronto is the first city in Canada to create a Spay-Neuter Your Pet Mobile Clinic (SNYP Truck). This program operates in low income and marginalized communities where the need is the greatest to ensure pets are sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped. Supplies and vehicle maintenance are funded through donations and we need your support. To help us keep the truck moving, our goal this year is $150,000.
Toronto Animal Services also accepts donations to support medical care for animals in our shelters. 100 per cent of your donation is used to directly benefit the animals in our city.
Since 1893, High Park Zoo has been a popular year-round destination for visitors to High Park. The animal attraction is free to the public and welcomes over 600,000 visitors each year. Your gift will support reconstruction of the Deer Pen Road pedestrian trail, install additional seating and shade structures, and create new gardens and plant trees, in collaboration with the Friends of High Park Zoo. The first $50,000 in donations will be matched by a generous gift from the Honey Family Foundation.
Toronto Paramedic Services Safe City Program provides training in First Aid, CPR and AED (Automatic External Defibrillation), managing over 1,500 AEDs across your City. When someone has a cardiac arrest, over 60 per cent of the time no one acts. Only 3 per cent of the time is an AED used. In the chain of survival, early CPR and early AED can increase the chance of survival up to 75 per cent. You are the strongest link! Your donation of $1,700 will provide one AED. Our goal is to provide our community 10 AEDs every year. Donate an AED, save a life!
The You are the Strongest Link program provides First Aid, CPR, and AED training and awareness sessions for people in qualified priority neighbourhoods, schools and community groups thanks to the support of donors and sponsors. Our goal is to raise $8,000 to provide 8 free First Aid, CPR, and AED training sessions annually.
Your City directly-operates 10 long-term care homes, caring for some of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents. The average age is 85 years and 69 per cent have moderate to very severe cognitive impairment. Research shows that the interaction between seniors and animals — whether real or robotic — can help lower blood pressure, ease anxiety, reduce feelings of loneliness, and improve overall quality of life.
Your $150 donation will provide one Robotic Companion Pet (dog or cat) to a long-term care home. Our annual goal is $1,500 to purchase one pet for each long-term care home. Improve the quality of life for Toronto’s seniors and donate today!
Regular activity can counteract health problems, that’s why your City began installing public outdoor fitness equipment in parks, with all ages in mind. Recognized as a global best practice to promote active aging and improved health and wellbeing outcomes, seniors and older adults have embraced these facilities. Our goal is $15,000 to install one piece of senior-friendly outdoor fitness equipment in a park yearly. Your donation will help seniors stay healthy and active!
Your City is home to eight standalone and five community seniors’ centres offering recreational, social and educational programs for seniors. New games, arts and crafts supplies, exercise equipment, musical instruments and equipment are always in demand. A donation of $500 will meet this demand for one centre. Our annual goal is $6,500 to purchase new materials for every centre. Make a difference in a seniors’ life and donate today!
One of the most effective gifts to your City is the area of greatest need. By designating your gift in this way, you allow your City to direct your donation to the highest priority needs, including emergencies.
Your City delivers many key services through agencies and corporations. Each has a different mandate, authorities and responsibilities and generally operate at arm’s length or independently. Your gift to them will help enhance these much needed collaborations!
A secure and convenient way to make your voluntary contribution with VISA, American Express, MasterCard and Visa Debit.
Please submit your cheque payable to Treasurer, City of Toronto and specify the program you wish to support in the memo. Mail to:
55 John Street
Metro Hall, Floor 14
Canada M5V 3C6
Attn: Roy Moniz
Donors may also direct a legacy gift or bequest to a City of Toronto program.
Donating clothing and other items is yet another way to give, while contributing to the City’s waste reduction movement.
The collection and processing of donations conforms to the City’s policy surrounding donations: Policy on Donations to the City for Community Benefits.
Approximately 7,500 donors give annually to enhance a wide array of City programs. Here are some stories of how their gifts made the City a better place for residents and visitors alike.
Diego Valencia came to Canada from Mexico as a student and talented musician. While he was impressed by his experience in this country and by the quality of life enjoyed by so many here, he was always moved by the those he saw living in the streets. Although Diego was on a student budget he never hesitated to help people in need, even when all he could offer was the jacket off of his back. Following his sudden passing in 2015, Diego’s parent’s established the Amigos De Diego Valencia Fundacion in his honour. On a recent trip to Toronto, it was Diego’s mother’s mission to give to the cause that was so important to Diego. The Friends of Diego Foundation made a donation to the City of Toronto in support of senior clients that are homeless and staying at Scarborough Village Residence. The donation will help pay for medication when an individual does not have access to a drug benefit program. The mission was accomplished, in honour of Diego.
In the mid-2000s, donors contributed more than $20,000 to restore a small bake oven in the museum’s tearoom. Staff and volunteers began working extensively with the restored oven, recreating historic recipes..
As the number and skill of the volunteer bakers increased, they began to outstrip the capacity of the small tearoom bake oven. Individuals and local businesses expressed interest in purchasing bake oven bread, but the tiny oven just could not meet the demand. In 2010, donors, lead by a volunteer group called the INNovators, contributed another $20,000 towards an outdoor bake oven that was completed in the spring of 2011.
The outdoor bake oven and associated farmers’ market created many new and enriching volunteer roles—volunteer bakers, bread sellers and tour guides during market hours. These volunteer positions offer great skills training, and several volunteers have subsequently found employment with market vendors.
The outdoor bake oven is also used for the museum’s children’s camp programming, where baking a pizza on the final day is regularly listed as a camp highlight. The oven is additionally used by George Brown for a series of highly popular hands-on bread baking workshops. In 2020 the Inn plans to host community groups for a series of community bake oven nights, bringing people together over the shared warmth and food of the bake oven. All of this is possible due to the generous support of donors.
In the summer of 2019, donors lead by the INNovators funded 10 attendees at the Montgomery’s Inn’s inaugural summer camp. The Inn’s acting program officer explains the impact. With the donations in place, “…we then worked with our colleagues in Parks and Recreation, from the Investing in Families team and our local free community centre, to ensure those spots were allocated equitably. They contacted families on their waitlist for free camp programs. In this way, we were able to run a full camp, reach new audiences who would not have otherwise been able to attend a Museum camp, all while advancing Inclusion & Equity. The feedback from parents showed how valuable this contribution was”.
The Maze on Toronto Island was created of cedar hedges in 1967 as a gift from the Netherlands Centennial Association. Over time however, taller trees nearby cast a shadow over the maze and by 2011 it had all but withered. The cost of recreating the maze was estimated at $200,000 and without room in the budget the City decided that the maze would be removed.
Mr. William Meany was born not far from the Island and as a child he adored running through the fantastical maze. Years passed and Mr. Meany became a very successful businessman in Calgary. He often returned to Toronto and visited the maze but arriving in 2012, he was astounded to find that it had disappeared. When he called the City to enquire, he learned that the plan to rebuild the maze had been shelved for want of $200,000. He immediately he offered the solution. “We’re going to get the maze,” Mr. Meany declared. He would donate the funds necessary to recreate the maze from the original plans, working with Parks, Forestry and Recreation.
The Island community came together with City workers who toiled along Boy Scouts and all kinds of volunteers in planting trees in the hundreds. Eventually the moment arrived in June of 2015 and the man who saved the maze drew a crowd while the City officials brought a plaque and revealed ‘The William Meany Maze’.
Animal lovers have illustrated time and again that they’re willing to give in support of the City’s Animal Services. From surgical supplies to dog behavioural consultations, there are many direct and meaningful ways that your donations help.