The Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020 (TSNS 2020) is the City of Toronto’s action plan for ensuring that each of our 140 neighbourhoods can succeed and thrive. TSNS 2020 supports healthy communities across Toronto by partnering with residents, businesses and agencies to invest in people, services, programs and facilities in 31 specific neighbourhoods. This will strengthen the social, economic and physical conditions and deliver local impact for city-wide change.

About TSNS 2020

The Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020 will support healthy communities across Toronto by partnering with residents, businesses and agencies to invest in people, services, programs and facilities in specific neighbourhoods. This will strengthen the social, economic and physical conditions and deliver local impact for city-wide change.

Where have we been and where are we at?

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. Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020 includes their suggestions and will reflect how neighbourhoods are doing now with an updated list of Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.

TSNS Mission

To achieve equitable opportunities across all Toronto neighbourhoods by:

  • activating people and organizations
  • activating resources
  • activating neighbourhood friendly policies

TSNS Vision

No matter what neighbourhood Torontonians call home, there are equitable opportunities for wellbeing.

TSNS Action Plans

The following action plans documents outline the structure of TSNS 2020, highlight the work that is happening in the 31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) and highlights the actions developed at Neighbourhood Planning Tables:

City Council decided in Spring 2014 which neighbourhoods were chosen as Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. To make this decision, Council considered the input we have heard from residents, businesses and agencies during our consultations.

Neighbourhoods were selected based on five keys to a strong neighbourhood:

  • Economic Opportunities: The Economic Opportunities key is about the economic status that neighbourhood residents can achieve. It includes income levels and quality job opportunities.
  • Social Development: The Social Development key is about the opportunities and connections that help residents reach their full potential. It includes education and literacy, and access to social, recreation and cultural services.
  • Participation in Decision Making: The Participation in Decision Making key 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 neighbours to make plans and priorities.
  • Healthy Lives: The Healthy Lives key 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.
  • Physical Surroundings: The Physical Environment and Infrastructure key is about both 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.

Each “key” is accompanied by indicator data on neighbourhood outcomes. These indicators are being developed by the Urban HEART in Toronto team. Find more information about Urban HEART in Toronto.

What is a “Neighbourhood?”

The City uses 140 social planning neighbourhoods for designing programs and services. Each of the City’s social planning neighbourhood has at least 7,000 residents and respects important boundaries such as major roads and rivers. More information about these neighbourhoods.

The City also has an interactive map of these neighbourhoods: Wellbeing Toronto. Wellbeing Toronto includes data on population, safety, housing, education, and many other areas.

How does TSNS 2020 work in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas?

In 31 social planning neighbourhoods identified as a Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, the City will work with residents, businesses and agencies to make the changes the neighbourhood needs so that it works well for all its residents.

A Team of City Staff known as Community Development Officers (CDO) will:

  • Work collaboratively with residents, service providers and other City Staff to make sure City and local services and facilities are well integrated and address neighbourhood priorities;
  • Support partnerships with residents and community organizations to deliver services; and
  • Work with other funders and businesses to bring new investments in services and facilities to the neighbourhood.

The role of the Community Development Office is to support collaborative local investments into Neighbourhood Improvement Areas in a variety of ways.

For more information, contact the Community Development Officer in your Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.

Neighbourhood Planning Tables and Action Plans:

City staff work collaboratively to identify local priorities through Neighbourhood Planning Table meetings. TSNS 2O2O Neighbourhood Planning Tables are comprised of residents, community agencies, local businesses, City Councillors and City staff who meet regularly to plan and deliver local actions in their Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIA).

The schedule for your Neighbourhood Planning Tables will be available March 31, 2018.

There are 15 Neighbourhood Planning Tables representing the 31 NIAs. Some tables have been in existence since the original Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy in 2OO5, other tables developed shortly after the adoption of TSNS in 2O14 and some tables have recently been created. Neighbourhood Action Plans are developed for each Planning Table to track the investments in the Neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood Plans will be available on March 30, 2018.

What about other neighbourhoods?

The City delivers a wide range of services to all neighbourhoods across Toronto. They are an important part of the network of supports that make Toronto’s neighbourhoods great places to live. They are delivered for residents of all neighbourhoods, not only in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. These services include:

  • Over 130 recreation centres with programs for all ages, and hundreds of parks;
  • Over 50 directly operated child care centres, and support for many more;
  • The 98 branches of the Toronto Public Library;
  • Support for local businesses that want to grow and residents who want to build their career;
  • Cultural events, community arts, and museums;
  • Nutrition programs, dental care, and emergency medical services to keep residents healthy.

The Strategy is not new. It was first adopted in 2005 when City Council identified 13 “Priority Neighbourhoods.” The new components to the updated Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020 include:

  • A name change from “Priority Neighbourhoods” to Neighbourhood Improvement Areas to reflect a new focus in the program;
  • New criteria for choosing Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. The criteria are based on a research project called Urban HEART, which is a collaboration that includes the City of Toronto, the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, and United Way Toronto, among others;
  • Consultations with residents, businesses and agencies on the values and priorities that will inform the selection of Neighbourhood Improvement Areas;
  • A Neighbourhood Lens that will focus policy-makers, program planners and decision-makers on the characteristics and needs of diverse neighbourhoods; and
  • A monitoring, evaluation, and learning strategy to track progress, improve program delivery and provide accountability.

The following are a list of current TSNS 2020 activities that support resident engagement and investment in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas:

  • TSNS Resident Advisory Committee
    • Residents from NIAs and Emerging Neighbourhoods come together 4 times a year to give recommendations to improve TSNS 2020.
    • Please see the 2018 Meeting Dates for the Resident Advisory Committee:
      • Thursday March 22 – Council Chambers/Members Lounge.
      • Thursday May 31 – Council Chambers/Members Lounge,
      • Thursday Sept 27 – Committee Room 1,
      • Tuesday Nov 27 – Committee Room 1.
  • Neighbourhood Grants
    • Offers the opportunity for residents to plan, organize and run local events within their neighbourhoods.
    •  This fund is available to Neighbourhood improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods.
    • Launching February 15th.
  • Partnership Opportunities Legacy Fund
    • Provides fund for NIAs to improve community spaces (playgrounds, activity rooms, sports pads, media centres etc.) owned or leased by City Agencies and Divisions.
    • Residents work with City Agencies and Divisions to apply for funding that will enhance their physical surroundings.
    • This fund is available to Neighbourhood improvement Areas.
    • Apply today. The deadline for applications is April 13, 2018.
  • Local Champions Program
    • Offers an exciting and interactive skill building and learning experience with tools you can use in your neighbourhood and in your life.
    • This is program available for resident leaders of Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods,
    • Deadline is February 17th.
    • Apply for the program using our online form.