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The Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) is the City of Toronto’s action plan for building partnerships in Toronto’s neighbourhoods so they can succeed and thrive. 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.
To achieve equitable opportunities across all Toronto neighbourhoods by:
No matter what neighbourhood Torontonians call home, there are equitable opportunities for well-being.
In 2005, City Council identified 13 Priority Neighbourhoods as part of the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy. In 2011, residents, businesses and agencies from across Toronto helped review the Strategy and suggested ways to improve it. The Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) included their suggestions and reflects how neighbourhoods are doing now, with an updated list of Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
Throughout 2019, City staff partnered with residents, agencies and businesses to begin the TSNS evaluation process. Feedback was collected through online surveys, focus groups, and at a Neighbourhood Summit event.
In March 2020, Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy activities were paused in order for City staff to support the emergency needs of disproportionately impacted residents, families and communities through the TO Supports: COVID-19 Equity Action Plan. City staff and United Way of Greater Toronto developed the Community Coordination Plan to inform and collaborate with community-based organizations to connect residents to resources, services, programs, and partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic. City staff continue to work with community-based organizations across the City to operate the Community Coordination Plan to support issues management, ongoing sector engagement, and service coordination for the City’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
Based on 2022-2023 engagement activities and evaluation learnings, City staff have updated their approach to engage with local residents and community-led groups with ongoing opportunities to participate in City equity strategies and action plans, including the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy.
City staff have been working with Social Planning Toronto to support the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) Advisory Group. The TSNS Advisory Group is made up of passionate leaders from Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods.
The Advisory Group provides input on:
TSNS Advisory Group members have developed a Resident Engagement Toolkit designed to support community-based organizations and City partners in deepening their understanding of the best practices for engagement, particularly with equity-deserving groups. This toolkit will be publicly available Fall 2023.
In 2022, City staff surveyed over 90 community and resident-led groups to deepen the City’s understanding of community-based leadership and engagement activities, and how they might be better supported through the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS). Based on these survey responses City staff engaged external community consultants to host four virtual discussion sessions with community and resident-led groups to help further inform the TSNS engagement plan.
Key findings and recommendations from these discussion sessions included:
City staff established the Local Leaders Forum to support community and resident-led groups from all neighbourhoods. The Local Leaders Forum aligns with the TSNS and other City Equity Strategies, and incorporates learnings from the ongoing work of the Community Coordination Plan.
The Local Leaders Forum is virtually convened in quarterly sessions to provide:
Goals of the Local Leaders Forum include:
Social Planning Toronto is working with the City of Toronto to deliver the Building Community Strength Workshop Series to support continuous learning and skill building for community and resident leaders. Workshop sessions are divided into three groups that focus on three unique themes.
This workshop group is for community members starting out in their community engagement journey and who are interested in becoming community development leaders.
Session Topics include:
This workshop group is for community members who have some experience in community development and are interested in connecting their engagement actions to City decision making and policy and systems change.
Session Topics include:
This workshop group is for community members who have significant experience in community development and are interested in adding to those experiences with technical skills and a deeper understanding of how to maintain community engagement actions and activities.
Session Topics include:
A final Community Asset Mapping session will be held for all workshop group participants to create space for everyone to work together to map out community assets, build neighborhood/community pride, and knowledge-share about how community asset maps can be used to inform and enhance community development.
To support continued engagement through Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS), City staff are working with The Neighbourhood Organization, in partnership with Rexdale Community Health Centre, Progress Place – West Mount Dennis Community Place Hub, University Health Network – Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine, The Neighbourhood Group and St James Town Community Corner, to establish an Ambassador program that supports TSNS Community Networks. This initiative grows out of learnings from the City’s Vaccine Engagement Teams as Ambassadors are positioned in communities to increase and/or enhance communication, trust, engagement and information sharing across equity-deserving groups and communities. This approach will aim to deepen relationships and connections across five regional areas representing 9 TSNS Community Networks.
Implementation will follow a phased approach, as follows:
|Community Coordination Plan Clusters||Community Networks||Total # of Ambassadors||Implementation Timeline|
|North Etobicoke||North Etobicoke||2||January 2024|
|South Scarborough||South Scarborough||2||January 2024|
|East York Don Valley||East York Don Valley||2||January 2024|
|Black Creek Humber Summit||Jane Finch Downsview||2||March 2024|
|York Weston Pelham||York Weston Pelham||2||March 2024|
|Downtown East, Downtown West||Downtown||2||March 2024|
|North Scarborough||North Scarborough||2||May 2024|
|North York||North York||2||May 2024|
|South Etobicoke||South Etobicoke||2||May 2024|
Learn more about Community Coordination Plan Clusters.
Ambassadors will be recruited to:
As a part of Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) engagement in 2023, Community Development Unit staff outlined a TSNS Community Network Engagement plan that will be implemented in a multi-step, phased process.
This phased approach to TSNS Community Network development will:
Building on previous learning models, the Inform, Engage, Collaborate approach will develop a shared understanding among participants and center equity across all TSNS Community Networks. City staff will work with The Neighbourhood Organization, in partnership with Rexdale Community Health Centre, Progress Place -Community Place Hub, University Health Network – Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine, The Neighbourhood Group, and The Corner @ SJT, as well as TSNS Advisory Group members and Social Planning Toronto to highlight outputs of partnership work. Community Development Unit staff will work with an external facilitator to develop and lead sessions based on the framework that is provided by City staff
Inform sessions will offer a brief history of TSNS and an engagement update, an overview of the engagement apporach, and an opportunity for dialogue with participants. This will include:
|Session Date & Time||Time||Location|
|Oct 12, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Virtual on WebEx|
|Oct 18, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Virtual on WebEx|
|Oct 26, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Virtual on WebEx|
|Nov 2, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Virtual on WebEx|
|Nov 7, 2023||6 – 8 p.m.||Virtual on WebEx|
An in-person Engage session will be held in December 2023 and will invite interested community and resident-led group leaders to:
A series of in-person Collaborate sessions will be held to support each newly aligned TSNS Community Network, based on their individual needs, to:
City staff have partnered with Social Planning Toronto to develop a Community Playbook for engaging Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) Community Networks. The playbook will serve as a place-based engagement guide with tools and resources to support the work of each TSNS Community Network.
Implementing the Community Playbook will:
City of Toronto Community Hubs are designed to house City services, non-profit partner services and offer community space to local community groups in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
You can find a wide range of programs, services and community space all available in a single location.
For information regarding specific programs, services and available space in your area please contact the Community Hub you are interested in directly.
|Hub Name||Address||Programs & Services||Contact Information|
|Keele Community Hub||1652 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario, M6M 3W3
||Community Hub Coordinator: Melodie Anderson
|Dawes Road Library & Community Hub||416 Dawes Road
||Email email@example.com anytime with your suggestions or questions.|
The City of Toronto now has 158 social planning neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood designations help City staff collect data, plan, analyze and forecast City services. While these neighbourhoods may not fully encompass every historical, cultural, ethnic or economic neighbourhood area, they do provide a way for planners and researchers to track information about them over time. Learn more about updates to Toronto’s social planning neighbourhoods.
In 2014, the City used the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool to score neighbourhoods under five domains of neighbourhood well-being. The five domains were:
The Urban HEART scores helped the City identify Neighbourhoods Improvement Areas for additional investment through the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy.