Neighbourhood Grants Program
Applications for 2020 open August 14. Apply for 2020 grants until October 22, 2019. Please review key dates below for upcoming activities.
The Neighbourhood Grants program will make available grants of $1,000-$3,000 to resident-led groups to help them inspire their neighbourhoods with events or activities held between March 16 – September 15th, 2020.
A maximum of $5,000 will be available for each of the 39 identified neighbourhoods (31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and eight Emerging Neighbourhoods). See if your neighbourhood is eligible (listed below).
Funded Neighbourhood Grants events/activities help to promote the Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020 (TSNS 2020) in the following areas:
- Economic Opportunities: For example – jobs skills workshops, certification workshops, employment forums and more
- Healthy Lives: For example – nutrition workshops, wellness days, gardening events and more
- Participation in Decision Making: For example – community speak out events, leadership trainings, civic action forums and more
- Social Development: For example – educational workshop/forums, back to school events, neighbourhood festivals and more
- Physical Surroundings: For example – community beautification events, neighbourhood walking tours, community art events and more.
If you would like to know more, watch a short video on the TSNS 2020 or a short film (four minutes) on the Neighbourhood Grants program! The Social Planning Toronto is the City’s partner in providing training to grant recipients and acting as the coordinating partner for their grants. Please visit Social Planning Toronto’s Neighbourhood Grants’ website for additional guides and information for funded groups.
Who Can Apply
Your Resident-led Group:
- Is made up of members who live in one of the 39 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIA) or Emerging Neighbourhoods (EN). Find your neighbourhood!
- Has at least three or more residents who make up the group
- Is not a business, registered not-for-profit, or a social enterprise
- Does not have part-time or full-time City of Toronto employees as group members
- Is in Good Standing with the City of Toronto (no outstanding Neighbourhood Grant reports and do not owe the City of Toronto any money)
Your Activity or Event:
- Open and free for residents of the neighbourhood
- Take place in one of the 39 neighbourhoods
- Held in a public space
- One-time event or completed within a one month period
Your group members must live in one of the following 39 neighbourhoods. Your event/activity must be held in one of the 39 neighbourhoods.
- Black Creek
- Dorset Park
- Eglinton East
- Elms-Old Rexdale
- Englemount Lawrence
- Flemingdon Park
- Glenfield-Jane Heights
- Humber Heights-Westmount
- Humber Summit
- Keelesdale-Eglinton West
- Kennedy Park
- Kingsview Village-The Westway
- Mount Dennis
- Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown
- Regent Park
- Scarborough Village
- South Parkdale
- Taylor Massey
- Thistletown-Beaumond Heights
- Thorncliffe Park
- Victoria Village
- West Hill
- Westminster Branson
- Weston-Pelham Park
- York University Heights
- Yorkdale Glen Park
How To Apply
Step 1: Get Support
There are two ways to get support and get your group ready to apply. In September and October, 2019 you and or your group members can go to:
- Neighbourhood Grants Planning Session
- Neighbourhood Grant Writing Workshop (registration information can be found in Attend a Workshop section below)
- Residents, community agencies and local business representatives will be in attendance to hear about your idea and suggest partners, a location for your event, and/or even mentors
- The Neighbourhood Planning Table will be the group that will recommend which events should get funding.
- Dates and Locations: If you need to know when your next Neighbourhood Grants Planning Session meeting is, please contact your local Community Development Officer (CDO) to connect you with the local Neighbourhood Planning Table and its members.
Attend a Planning Session
Attend a Neighbourhood Grants Planning Session, where your group members and mentor will advise and provide guidance for your project.
Discuss Your Idea with Your Neighbourhood Planning Table
- Attend a Neighbourhood Grant Planning Session in September and October to discuss your event or activity idea.
- Dates and locations of the Neighbourhood Grants Planning can be found on the City of Toronto website.
What you need to do at the Planning Session
At the Neighbourhood Planning Table, you or members of your group will have 5-10 minutes to:
- introduce your group, share your event/activity idea that you are planning (you don’t have to have it all planned out)
- Share why you want to do the event/activity, and
- Share your budget idea (how much in total you need, and how you will use the money).
Benefits of Going to the Neighbourhood Planning Table
- Learn about the TSNS Actions that your event/activity can support.
- Meet members local residents and community agency staff.
- Find partners who can support your event, who can link you to others.
- Find a community mentor who can advise and provide guidance for your project.
Neighbourhood Grant Writing Workshop
- If you want extra help with the basics of preparing a grant application for the Neighbourhood Grants, register for a Social Planning Toronto workshop.
- Activities and handouts will be provided, as well as tips for creating a clear application and sound budget. More information will be posted next week.
- You and your group can also engage a Mentor to support the planning, implementing and reporting on your activity/event.
- Mentor Guidelines – see what the role and responsibilities are of a Neighbourhood Grants’ mentor to help guide your conversation with your mentor.
Step 2: Plan Your Activity
- Your idea: Bring your group together and find a mentor to plan and organize your event/activity. See the Application Questions to help you plan.
- Your budget: Put together a budget for $1,000 to $3,000. We have a list of eligible and ineligible expenses for your guidance.
- Your timeline and location: Remember to include City permits and insurance in your request funding. Your group will need to apply for permits and they can take 4-8 weeks to confirm. The city allows resident-led not-for-profit and charitable groups to use parks and community recreation centres for special events provided they meet all criteria and regulations.
You need to have insurance for your activity/event. Remember to budget for the insurance. There are a four different ways that this can happen. Make sure your group receives written confirmation that you have insurance before doing your activity or event.
Your four options are:
- If you get a permit from the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation, you can also apply to be covered by City of Toronto’s insurance policy
- If your event takes place at Toronto Community Housing, you are likely covered by Toronto Community Housing insurance, but make sure to get confirmation
- If your event takes place at a school (e.g. Toronto District School Board school), your group should get confirmation about whether you will be covered by their insurance. Funded Neighbourhood Grants groups have recommended that for permits with Toronto District School Board, make sure that it includes your equipment needed for your event. You will need to go through the school’s principal or Superintendent to get the space permit and insurance.
- If options (1), (2), and (3) do not work, we suggest that you partner with a community organization in your neighbourhood and see if they will cover your insurance needs.
Step 3: Fill out the Online Application
The online application will launch on August 14, 2019
- Contact your Community Development Officer (CDO) if you have more questions.
Attend a Workshop to Develop Your Application
How to Develop Your Neighbourhood Grant Application Workshops
Social Planning Toronto (SPT) is offering four workshops for resident-led groups on how to develop an application to the Neighbourhood Grant Program.
Activities and handouts will be provided, as well as tips for creating a clear application and sound budget.
- Please arrive at least 15 – 30 minutes before the session begins so you can register and have a meal.
- Two TTC tokens and childcare will be provided for children ages three and up.
- When you register, please let us know how many children you are bringing and their ages.
If you have any issues registering, please call Social Planning Toronto and speak with Mary Micallef at 416-351-0095 ext.251.
Please note that you must be living in a Neighbourhood Improvement Area (NIA) or Emerging Neighbourhood to attend one of the grant writing workshops.
1280 Finch Avenue West
|September 17, 2019
6:30 – 9 p.m
55 John Street
|September 24, 2019
6:30 – 9 p.m
|North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street
|October 2, 2019
2:30 – 5 p.m
|Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Committee Room 4
|October 8, 2019
6:30 – 9 p.m
|Scarborough Civic Centre
140 Borough Drive
Committee Room 1
|October 15, 2019
6:30 – 9 p.m
|August 14, 2019||Neighbourhood Grants’ launch – applications open!|
|September – October, 2019||Planning Sessions to help resident-led groups apply; held at Neighbourhood Planning Tables across Toronto
How to Develop Your Neighbourhood Grant Application Workshops through Social Planning Toronto
|October 22, 2019||Deadline to apply to the Neighbourhood Grant program|
|November 25 – December 13, 2019||Application reviews and recommendations for funding|
|January 2020||Funding Decisions and notifications to applicants|
|January/February, 2020||Orientation Sessions for successful applicants|
|February/March – September, 2020||Capacity building training workshops for successful applicants|
|March 16 to September 15, 2020||Neighbourhood Grant activities/events held in neighbourhoods across Toronto|
|September 30, 2020||Deadline for resident groups to report back on their Neighbourhood Grant online and at Neighbourhood Planning Tables|
How Grant Recipients are Chosen
Neighbourhood Grants are recommended for funding by residents and community agencies from the local neighbourhood at your local Neighbourhood Planning Table meeting or by a Neighbourhood Grants Resident Selection Panel.
The Decision Making Process
- Your application is reviewed by City of Toronto staff to ensure that your group is eligible. For example, we check to see that all group members live in one of the 39 eligible neighbourhoods.
- Your application is shared with your local Neighbourhood Planning Table or the Resident Advisory Committee to make funding recommendations.
- We encourage your group to attend your local Neighbourhood Planning Table to present your idea and answer questions when they make their selections.
- The Executive Director of Social Development, Finance and Administration reviews the recommendations for funding from the Neighbourhood Planning Tables and approves the neighbourhood grants.
- Report online and to your local Neighbourhood Planning Table.
- Funded groups will be contacted by City of Toronto and Social Planning Toronto, the Neighbourhood Grants’ Coordinating Partner.
The Review Criteria
Reviewers of the Neighbourhood Grant applications will be looking for the following things:
- Will the target group be interested in the activity/event?
- Does the activity/event bring together a diverse group of people from the neighbourhood?
- Does the activity/event support one of the five Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020 Theme Areas:
- Economic Opportunities
- Healthy Lives
- Participation in Decision Making
- Social Development
- Physical Surroundings?
- Does the group have a good plan for the activity/event? Will the group be able to carry out the activity/event?
- Is the budget clear? Does it make sense for the activity/event?
List of Grant Recipients
- Neighbourhood Grants Recipients – brief descriptions of resident-led events that have been funded in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
- Two residents tell the story of TSNS 2020 through these videos.