The Not-for-Profit Sector & the City
Finding appropriate and affordable space is a challenge for most not-for-profits in Toronto. To better understand the space needs of the not-for-profit sector, the City is launching a Community Space Inventory, in partnership with FindHelp 211.
Results of the Inventory will begin to be available in 2021 and will be used to guide community space allocations in new developments, help identify underused land assets and support research and policy development related to community space. This project is part of the City’s commitment to working better with not-for-profits.
The lands and buildings owned by not-for-profit organizations in Toronto have never been formally mapped or assessed for their public benefit impact. Some stakeholders suggest that not-for-profit-owned real estate may be a significant but currently under-leveraged asset that agencies could be used more strategically for public benefit (such as developing affordable housing, community hubs, etc.).
Stakeholders have also suggested that many agencies that are currently renting space at costly commercial rates could realize better value for money through strategic real estate acquisitions if they had the appropriate knowledge, skills and financing tools. At the same time, not-for-profits’ space needs in Toronto have also not been comprehensively inventoried or prioritized for planning purposes.
The purpose of creating the new inventory is to equip the City and other stakeholders to respond to development proposals with a better understanding of where community space is needed, and what types of facilities should be built.
Information collected in the Community Space Registry for Toronto may be used for:
Research, Analysis and Policy Development:
- The data generated will enable researchers to map the location and demonstrate the value of not-for-profit owned real estate in Toronto – as part of an ongoing effort to recognize the economic and social importance of the sector.
- The data will also help to explain the economic and space pressures experienced by the sector and can influence future policy reform affecting not-for-profits.
Urban Planning and Development:
- The data will help guide decisions about where to allocate space for public benefit sector/community services in future redevelopment projects.
Promoting Partnerships and Co-location:
- The data may be useful in identifying and linking potential not-for-profit partners to share space together, as tenants or co-owners.
Community Space Tenancy:
- The data will help to guide the leasing-out of City of Toronto space and the implementation of the City of Toronto’s community space tenancy program.
To register your space needs, your organization must have a FindHelp 211 profile. Simply update your Agency Profile, which contains eight new questions about space. Use this step-by-step guide for help.
All not-for-profit organizations that receive City of Toronto grants are required as part of their funding agreement to update their FindHelp 211 profile annually.
Why Update Your FindHelp 211 Agency Profile
It is in everybody’s best interest, including your clients’, to have accurate, up-to-date and reliable information about your agency
If you are funded by the United Way Greater Toronto or the City of Toronto it is an expectation that you update your record on 211
Your data records accessed and used by the many agencies and services including:
- The 211 provincial service
- Telehealth Ontario
- Local Health Integration Networks
- Employment Ontario Contact Centre
- The Ontario Victim Support Line
- Developmental Services Ontario
- Distress Centres
- Settlement Agencies
- Constituency Offices (MP, MPP, City Councillor)
Below are the questions you will be asked when you upload your organization’s information to the Community Space Registry for Toronto.
- Does your organization consent to participate in the Community Space Registry for Toronto for the purposes of Research, Analysis and Policy Development; Urban Planning and Development, Promoting Partnerships and Co-location; and Community Space Tenancy?
- Does your organization own/rent/sublease space?
- Owns your space
- Rents your space
- Gets your space free of charge
- Shares your space with other organizations(s)
- Subleases space from another not-for-profit organization
- Other (specify)
- If your organization rents space, please state from whom:
- Commercial lease-private sector
- City of Toronto
- Toronto Community Housing
- Other Government
- School Board
- Faith Organization
- What type of facilities do you have in the space?
- Office Space
- Meeting Space
- Outdoor Playground
- Outdoor Recreation Space
- Outdoor Garden
- Parking Lot
- Indoor Playspace
- Multi-Purpose Room
- Community or Commercial Kitchen
- Computer Stations
- Clinical or Treatment Rooms
- Social Housing
- Emergency Shelter
- What is the approximate square footage of the space?
- Less than 2,000 square feet
- 2,000-5,000 square feet
- 5,001-25,000 square feet
- more than 25,000 square feet
- In what type of building is the space located?
- Place of Worship
- Other Educational Facility (e.g. University or College)
- Performance Space
- If your organization plans to move from the space in the next 5 years, please state why:
- Not applicable (do not plan to move)
- The building is closing/being sold
- Lease ending or not renewed
- Costs too high
- Need a different geographical location to serve clients
- Need bigger space to serve clients
- Opportunity to share space with another organization
- Need more office space
- Need more meeting space
- Need more playground space
- Need more multi-purpose space
- Need more kitchen space
- Need more clinical space
- Need more gymnasium space
- Need more pool space
- Need more social housing space
- Need more shelter space
- Need more wheelchair accessible space
- Need enhanced security/safety
- Other reason
- What is the likelihood that within the next 2-5 years your organization would consider sharing space or co-locating with another organization?