The Downtown East 2023 Action Plan provides a comprehensive set of actions to coordinate City services and address complex challenges in Toronto’s Downtown East area related to poverty, homelessness, community safety, mental health and substance use, and the drug poisoning crisis. The Downtown East is made up of many distinct neighbourhoods, including Moss Park, St. James Town, Church Wellesley Village, and Cabbagetown. Regent Park also falls within the area boundaries, however as a community identified for revitalization, the area is guided by a separate process that includes the Regent Park Social Development Plan.

The Downtown East area is bound by Bloor Street on the north, Front Street on the south, Bay Street on the west, and the Don Valley Parkway on the east.

Implementation of the five-year Action Plan began in July 2019 with four central outcomes in place:

  • Safe, inclusive communities
  • Cross-sectoral trust and collaboration
  • Stability for people experiencing marginalization
  • Model for a City response to complex issues

In 2018, City Council approved an Enhanced 12-month Immediate Action Plan for the Downtown East, which included 36 action items and directed City staff to develop a longer-term five-year plan.

City staff engaged in broad consultations with the community to understand service needs and priorities and identify gaps. Consultation included community agencies, Business Improvement Areas, and local resident associations, with a focus on people with lived experience of homelessness and those who access services in the area. Read the Summary of Key Consultations in the Downtown East.

In July 2019, the Downtown East Five-year Action Plan was adopted by City Council. The Plan outlined a set of activities and actions under the four central outcomes to coordinate City services and response. Read the Downtown East 2023 Action Plan Summary.

A report on the Downtown East Action Plan – Implementation Progress was adopted by City Council in July 2022.

Read the full Downtown East Action Plan 2022 Progress Update or view the highlights below:

  • Enhanced outreach and de-escalation teams to support community safety including Here To Help, Crisis Outreach and Support Teams (COAST), and the Community Care Project, providing clean up of discarded  harm reduction supplies
  • Continued funding support of $150,000 per year for the Community Engagement Team led by the Downtown Yonge BIA providing response and de-escalation supports in the Yonge Dundas area
  • A two-year grant stream to support community projects that advance the Action Plan’s goals
  • Enhanced street, laneway and park cleaning
  • The continuation of the Downtown East Focus Table and the Church Wellesley Safety Network
  • Continued connection with residents, resident associations, BIAs and other community partners to support access to information and training
  • A Toronto Downtown East Justice Centre pilot, moving out of a traditional courtroom and into a community setting, connecting high needs individuals with supports and services to prevent cycling through the criminal justice system
  • The development of a Downtown East Housing Strategy to increase diverse and affordable housing options
Funded Initiative Service Overview Contact
Funded Initiatives
Community Outreach And Support Team (COAST) Coast is an outreach based intensive case management team dedicated to building relationships and engaging with individuals who may be experiencing multiple barriers to accessing services.

Service Area

The Team is available throughout the Downtown East, focusing on Regent Park, Moss Park and surrounding neighbourhoods, stretching North to Bloor St, South to Front St, West to Bay St. and East to the Don Valley Parkway.

To make a referral contact Regent Park Community Health Centre

Phone

416-364-2261 Ex. 2226 or 437-335-5916

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Harm Reduction Community Care Project The Harm Reduction Community Care Project aims to create a safer community in the Downtown East area through safe collection and disposal of discarded harm reduction supplies, including needles and other sharps. The project offers low barrier employment opportunities to folks with various lived experience aims to challenge stigma and foster safety and inclusion in the Downtown East community through engagement, responding to community requests for safe disposal, community training and collection feedback.

The Harm Reduction Community Care Project is a joint effort with three non-profit organizations: Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services; Street Health; Regent Community Health Centre.

Service Area

The Downtown East

For pick-up request contact Prisoners with HIV/ Aids Support Action Network (PASAN)

Phone

647-446-9560 or 416-920-9567 Ex. 243

Email communitycare@pasan.org

Response time is 24 to 48 hours

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday, noon to 5:00 p.m.

Here to Help (H2H) Here to Help is a multi-service, community-based mobile team that responds to immediate concerns in the community to assist with conflict reduction, crisis intervention, and de-escalation.

Here to Help is collaboration between Gerstein Crisis Centre, Inner City Family Health Team, Homes First, Seeds of Hope and Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services.

Service Area

Church Wellesley Corridor (East side of Yonge to West side of Jarvis to Bloor to Carlton) and Moss Park (East of Parliament to West of Jarvis to Carlton to Queen St. East)

To make a referral contact Here to Help

Phone

416-929-4200

Hours of Operation

Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 10:00 p.m.

 

The Downtown East Five-Year Action Plan aims to foster increased trust and collaboration among stakeholders. This is achieved through the establishment or utilization of partnership platforms that facilitate productive discussions for addressing systemic challenges and implementing interventions at the grassroots level. Collaborative platforms have been set up and utilized effectively, leading to enhanced relationships, formation of new partnerships, and a platform for exchanging information, collectively solving problems, and responding to emerging issues. These platforms also serve as a venue for showcasing the progress and outcomes of the Downtown East Action Plan.

Additional neighborhood-level tables and networks are also leveraged to broaden the scope of collaboration. Opportunities to connect with or create new tables are always being explored, to increase collaboration towards a targeted response.

Name Description
Neighbourhood-Level Tables
Downtown East Leadership Table Provides oversight and advances strategic issues by enabling new collaborations, proposing new responses to chronic issues, escalating issues when required, as well as providing broader oversight and authorization of response.
Yonge Dundas Operations Table Gathers partners to coordinate cross-sectoral responses and coordinate services and actions to address local issues related to poverty, homelessness, community safety, mental health and substance use and the drug poisoning crisis.
Downtown East Ontario Health Team Provides seamless access to inclusive, high quality, and responsive care through one connected system of diverse providers and community members who enthusiastically embody holistic approaches to improving population and individual health and well-being.
Furthering Our Community by Uniting Services (FOCUS) Is an innovative, collaborative risk driven approach to Community Safety and Wellbeing co-led by the City of Toronto, United Way Toronto and Toronto Police Service that aims to reduce risk, harm, crime, victimization and improve community resiliency and wellbeing.
Community Coordination Plan The Downtown East Cluster is col-led by the City of Toronto and the United Way of Greater Toronto to support the coordination and communication of 45 community-based organizations in the Downtown East. The new model partnership implements service coordination and hyper local solutions to meet the needs of Toronto’s equity-deserving communities.
Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Network The strategy supports community well-being by partnering with residents, community agencies and businesses to invest in people, services, programs and facilities in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs). The strategy strengthens the social, economic and physical conditions and delivers local impact for city-wide change.
People With Lived Experience Advisory The People With Lived Experience Advisory is comprised of people who live, work or access services in the Downtown East are of Toronto. The advisory committee members were recruited through training and volunteer programs to work with the City of Toronto and advise on actions of phase two of the Downtown East Action Plan.