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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.

TSNS Mission

To achieve equitable opportunities across all Toronto neighbourhoods by:

  • Activating people
  • Activating resources
  • Activating neighbourhood friendly policies

TSNS Vision

No matter what neighbourhood Torontonians call home, there are equitable opportunities for well-being.

City staff recently worked with Social Planning Toronto to support the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) Advisory Group. The TSNS Advisory Group was made up of passionate leaders from Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods. These leaders engaged in research, community engagement, civic decision making, networking and capacity building opportunities throughout their membership term. 

The TSNS Advisory Group also provided input on:

  • City-wide networking
  • Priority setting and implementation that is responsive to the priorities of advisory members
  • An equitable approach to neighbourhood wellbeing and resiliency
  • Strengthening the connection between systems-level coordination and locally determined community priorities
  • Engagement of Black, Indigenous and other equity-deserving groups

The next call for TSNS Advisory Group applications will launch in July 2024. Please sign up for the Community Leaders Newsletter to stay up to date on membership application dates.

In partnership with Social Planning Toronto, a selection of TSNS Advisory Group members 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 workshop toolkit was a collaborative project and is the outcome of community consultations carried out between August and December 2022. The consultations aimed to center resident leaders’ expertise, current realities, identify tools and approaches to facilitate meaningful engagement and partnerships, and support enhanced community development outcomes for sustainable, resident-led neighbourhood work in Toronto. Everyone is welcome to review and use the Resident Engagement Toolkit to inform their ongoing work and engagement with equity-deserving communities.



In 2022, City staff surveyed over 90 community and resident-led groups to deepen the City’s understanding of community-based leadership, 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:

  • Establishing locally-based and cross-community networking and collaboration opportunities
  • Creating a centralized online system to access information and resources
  • Providing access to resources to support network engagement
  • Connecting community and resident-led groups to training and skill development opportunities that support community-based leadership and activities

Local Leaders Forum

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:

  • Opportunities to gather information about City initiatives, capacity building and/or other resources
  • Connections to community organizations and networking opportunities that support learning, relationship building, and/or collaboration
  • Space where resident leaders and community-led groups can deepen their connections with each other and explore synergies

Goals of the Local Leaders Forum include:

  • Introduction of City Service engagement, community development and capacity building opportunities
  • Best practices for being responsive to community issues and residents/community members while supporting equitable approaches to community wellbeing and resiliency
  • Intentional engagement of Black, Indigenous and other equity-deserving groups

Please sign up for the Community Leaders Newsletter to be informed of 2024 forum dates.

Social Planning Toronto is working with the City of Toronto to deliver three Building Community Strength Workshop to support continuous learning and skill building for community and resident leaders in 2024.

The workshops will focus on three unique themes, including:

  • Workshop 1: Applying for Grants & Working with Trustees
  • Workshop 2: Collaboration & Consensus Decision Making
  • Workshop 3: Community Asset Mapping

Please sign up for the Community Leaders Newsletter to stay up to date on workshop application dates.

City staff partnered with Social Planning Toronto to develop the Community Playbook to assist community leaders with concrete knowledge and tools they can use in their place-based community engagement work, as well as to support new Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) Community Networks. The Community Playbook serves as an interactive guide with more than 100 pages of resources for community leaders and residents involved in community engagement projects within their respective networks and neighborhoods to help them in their planning, engagement, funding applications, project coordination, and more! Check out the Community Playbook and how you might be able to utilize this exciting new resource in your community development work.



As a part of Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (TSNS) activities, Community Development Unit staff outlined a TSNS Community Network Engagement Plan that is being implemented in a multi-step, phased process.

Inform, Engage, Collaborate

Building on previous learning models, the Inform, Engage, Collaborate approach develops a shared understanding among participants and centers equity across all TSNS Community Networks. City staff are working 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,  to highlight actions for new 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.

This approach to TSNS Community Network development will:

  • Establish a purpose to practice for all networks
  • Identify how individuals/groups will come together, with the support of Ambassadors
  • Develop collaborative relationships among network participants
  • Utilize the TSNS Community Network Playbook
  • Identify capacity building areas for network members
  • Build connections to other TSNS activities and City of Toronto engagement opportunities

Once established, Community Networks will function as a community of practice and will focus on:

  • Networking and collaboration
  • Training and capacity building
  • Connection to participation opportunities
  • City resource and information sharing


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, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities 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 regional areas representing 9 TSNS Community Networks.

Ambassadors will be recruited, according to the Community Network implementation schedule, to:

  • Inform local resident and community-led groups of City service and community sector opportunities, actions and investments
  • Engage local groups and resident leaders to increase awareness of locally led activities
  • Promote collaboration and coordination opportunities among network participants
  • Convene, administer and monitor Community Network meetings

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

  • 5 Non-Profit Community Organizations & The City of Toronto’s Social Development Finance and Administration, Community Development Unit
  • Agencies that provide on site programs and services include:
    • For Youth Initiative
    • Woman Abuse Council of Toronto
    • Midaynta Community Services
    • York Hispanic Centre
Community Hub Coordinator: Melodie Anderson


Phone: 416-392-2981


Dawes Road Library & Community Hub 416 Dawes Road

Toronto, Ontario,
M4B 2E8

  • The entire Dawes Road library branch will be reconstructed at its current location and expanded to also include a Community Hub run by the City of Toronto. All public spaces will be revitalized to ensure that they meet the needs of our vibrant community.
Email 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.

Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (HEART) Domains

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:

  1. Economic Opportunities: The Economic Opportunities theme is about the economic status that neighbourhood residents can achieve; it includes income levels and quality job opportunities.
  2. Social Development: The Social Development theme is about the opportunities and connections that help residents reach their full potential; it includes education, literacy, and access to social, recreation, and cultural services.
  3. Participation in Decision Making: The Participation in Decision Making theme is about the opportunities for neighbourhood residents to get involved in making local and city-wide decisions; it includes voting in elections and working with neighbourhoods to make plans and priorities.
  4. Healthy Lives: The Healthy Lives theme is about the physical and mental health of neighbourhood residents; it includes medical care, disabilities and illnesses that residents live with, and the number of years that residents live in good health.
  5. Physical Surroundings: The Physical Environment theme is about the natural and built environment in the neighbourhood, community, or workplace; it includes access to transportation, parks and green spaces, public meeting spaces, and air quality.

The Urban HEART scores helped the City identify Neighbourhoods Improvement Areas for additional investment through the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy.