Child Friendly TO is working to transform our city into a place where all children can learn, play and grow in the healthiest way possible. We are building a culture that applies a child-friendly lens to inform City planning and decision-making by increasing the role and voice of children in municipal affairs and promoting the rights of children across Toronto, as laid out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Child Friendly TO is grounded in the Child Friendly Policy Framework. We believe that:
November 20 is National Child Day. It has been proclaimed in the City of Toronto and is recognized officially by the Government of Canada to acknowledge and promote children’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The day celebrates the importance of children as active participants in their own lives and communities, who can and should have opportunities for meaningful contributions to decision-making.
To recognize National Child Day 2019, an event was held at City Hall with local students and City leaders. Students shared how they have contributed their ideas and opinions through civic projects to make their communities and Toronto increasingly child-friendly.
The projects highlighted included:
Thank you to all the children who participated and shared their ideas and opinions.
In celebration of National Child Day in 2018, the ideas and perspectives of grade 4/5 students across Toronto were showcased at City Hall. Key themes included:
Two grade 4/5 classes from Kensington Community School (TDSB) and St. Barnabas (TCDSB) held a meeting with the Mayor and senior City officials to share their ideas. The media captured the ideas presented by the children; check out this video from CBC Kids. Thank you to all of the children who participated. You were heard.
All children have rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a treaty that recognizes the specific rights of children.
Through the Convention, children have the right to:
Canada offers many opportunities for children and their families. Despite this, however, “some children suffer from poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect, preventable diseases and unequal access to good quality education, protection and justice systems. The standards and principles articulated in the Convention can only become a reality when they are respected by everyone—within the family, in schools and other institutions that provide services for children, in communities and at all levels of government.” UNICEF Canada
Canada ratified the Convention in 1991. It is all of our responsibility to ensure that these rights are upheld.
The City of Toronto worked with Maximum City to create the KidScore. The KidScore tests the child-friendliness of Toronto neighbourhoods – as defined by Toronto’s kids!
The KidScore focuses on children aged 5 to 12 and includes indicators on safety, health and overall well-being. It is a way for children to assess the child-friendliness of their local streets, places and neighbourhoods.
The information and ideas collected through the KidScore can inform planning at a local level as well as city-wide policies.
Raising the Village is an initiative of the Toronto Child and Family Network. It includes shared outcomes for child and family well-being in Toronto and presents data that shows how well Toronto is doing under each area.
In the fall of 2018, children in grade four and five classes in Toronto were invited to share their ideas about creating a child-friendly city.
We asked them:
Children from nine schools across Toronto responded with hundreds of submissions, from written responses, to drawings, photographs, and maps. They described the people, places and things that need to be involved and considered to create a child-friendly city and their ideas were summarized in A Child-Friendly City: How would Toronto look if it were planned through the eyes of a child?