Focus Area Three
Many youth prefer to connect with and learn from each other in places—both physical and digital—that are run specifically for them. These hubs are places where youth can connect with their peers, develop new interests and become engaged in local issues in their communities. The City of Toronto’s Social Development, Finance and Administration (SDFA) and Parks, Forestry, and Recreation (PFR) Divisions, as well as the Toronto Public Library have been working together to develop both physical and digital Youth Hubs, and City Planning should collaborate with these divisions and agencies to support their work and connect youth hubs to City Planning engagement processes.
The Toronto Public Library is developing Youth Hubs throughout the city, and PFR is developing Youth Lounges in community centres. In these spaces –which have consistent, dedicated staff – youth can connect to each other, to City programs and services and to youth mentors. City Planning should collaborate with these other divisions and agencies to help connect youth to planning processes that affect them.
SDFA is implementing a recommendation from the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy to make toronto.ca/youth a more interdivisional website, which youth could use to access services across a range of municipal divisions. City Planning should work with SDFA to ensure it has a presence on toronto.ca/youth, connecting youth to resources that will teach them about planning and to encourage them to get involved in planning projects.