Tower Renewal leads and supports initiatives that encourage community engagement, support local capacity building, spur community investment and help to foster more resilient, thriving apartment communities. From social learning opportunities supporting employment skills to community gardens, reinvestment and leadership opportunities through local networks, these initiatives drive change and improvement in local communities.

One current initiative is Recipe for Community led by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Foundation.

Recipe for Community

This program improves our city one neighbourhood at a time by engaging neighbourhood residents, young and old, to improve safety and the sense of belonging in their communities. The initiative brings together donors, sponsors and residents to invest in four key community “ingredients”: food, convening, youth engagement, and neighbourhood beautification.

With each Recipe for Community neighbourhood, the goal is to facilitate resident-inspired projects that strengthen community belonging and pride, and build community skills and capacity.

Each year, the Recipe for Community model is taken to a different neighbourhood:

  • Alexandra Park (2009)
  • St. James Town (2010-2011)
  • Weston Mt. Dennis (2012-2013)
  • Scarborough Village (2014-2015)
  • Rexdale (2016-2017)
  • Black Creek (2017-2018)
  • Parkdale (2019-2020)

With each Recipe for Community neighbourhood, the goal is to facilitate resident-inspired projects that strengthen community belonging and pride, and build community skills and capacity.

If you are interested in learning more, and to access the expression of interest form please contact us today.

At each of the Recipe for Community investment areas, City staff foster and leverage local partnerships among residents, community agencies, businesses, and City services including its agencies, boards and commissions.

The initiatives include a range of activities consistent with the City’s vision for sustainability of Toronto’s apartment neighbourhoods:

  • a cleaner and greener city
  • stronger communities
  • increased social and cultural benefits
  • enhanced local economic activity

With each Recipe for Community neighbourhood, the goal is to facilitate resident-inspired projects that strengthen community belonging and pride, and build community skills and capacity.

Recipe for Community brings together the following key ingredients:

  • Community Engagement and Capacity Building
  • Food
  • Convening and Gathering
  • Neighbourhood Beautification

The project will meet the objectives above through the following:

  • Directly enhancing the knowledge and abilities of communities to engage with each other.
  • Bringing together residents in joint action.
  • Increasing benefits to other community members from the programs and services.
  • Increasing the number of community groups formed and strengthened.
  • Enhancing collaborations of community networks.

The Recipe for Community Program is currently situated in the neighbourhood of Parkdale which includes South Parkdale – one of the City of Toronto’s 31 designated Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs). The neighbourhood has a rich history of diversity and local engagement to advocate for and respond to local needs.

Through the investment from the Toronto Foundation, the City of Toronto aims to achieve:

  • The integration of efforts within City of Toronto Divisions, Agencies and Commissions in support of local plans.
  • The engagement of residents and the wider community in inspiring and leading initiatives to support local resilience and build on local priorities.
  • The enhancement of green spaces through beautification activities.

The structure includes resident leadership and resident input into priority activities focused on community building and strengthening the resiliency of the area. This integration ensures that Recipe for Community project activities are in alignment with resident-identified needs and existing resident leadership efforts.

Funding can only be used for the direct delivery of the proposed project. Eligible costs include:

  • honoraria
  • workshop expenses
  • communications (e.g. flyers, posters, printing)
  • equipment rentals or purchase
  • outreach expenses
  • project supplies (e.g. paper, pens, etc.)
  • space rental
  • training
  • training expenses
  • translation expenses
  • public transportation costs for project participants

The City will accept applications up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding and will consider applications exceeding $5,000. It is our expectation that the grant will be used to complement and help leverage other resources to support the project.

Eligible Groups/Organizations

To be eligible for funding, applicant groups/organizations must be non-profit. Applicants without this prerequisite may apply if they enter into a trusteeship agreement with a registered charity or non-profit organization.

Examples of eligible groups and organizations include:

  • resident, tenant, neighbourhood, and business associations
  • service clubs
  • community organizations
  • registered charitable organizations and non-profit environmental organizations
  • school groups, clubs, and parent councils

Applicants that do not meet non-profit status may enter into a trusteeship agreement with a registered charity or non-profit organization. More information on this below.

Ineligible Groups/Organizations

Examples of ineligible groups and organizations include:

  • building managers and property owners
  • for-profit businesses
  • individuals
  • grant making organizations
  • organizations allied with political parties
  • organizations without a clear distinction between religious and community service functions at the program and budget levels
  • academic institutions
  • school boards

The first step in the application process is to contact Rolfe Santos for an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. The EOI form includes the following sections:

  • Project Lead contact information and secondary contact
  • Project Name
  • Project Description
  • Project Activities
  • Outcomes
  • Partnerships
  • Funding Request
  • Preliminary Budget

For 2019-2020, the EOI deadline date is open. All EOI submissions will be reviewed by City of Toronto staff. A limited number of applicants, who meet the eligibility criteria, will then be shortlisted.

Once shortlisted, Applicants will participate in an exploratory conversation with City staff to develop possible project activities based on the needs and priorities of the neighbourhood. All shortlisted EOI organizations will participate in a collaborative approach to determine the project activities.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Rolfe Santos before submitting an Expression of Interest to discuss the proposed project and application process.

If your group does not have official non-profit status, and/or does not have a recent audited financial statement, you must work with a trustee/administrative partner organization to receive grant funding.

  • A Trustee/Administrative partnership is not required when you submit your Expression of Interest; but is required for the receipt of funding.

The Trustee/Administrative partner must:

  • meet all the organizational eligibility criteria (including non-profit status and audited financial statements)
  • have a service mandate related to the proposed project
  • demonstrate effective management and administrative capacity
  • agree to take responsibility for the management of the finances and project proposed by the applicant organization
  • report on the use of the project funds through their annual financial audit.

Successful grant recipients will be required to submit a final summative evaluation of their project.

Evaluations will determine whether funding recipients have:

  • adhered to the project plans; and
  • made progress towards or achieved the program goals and objectives

Funding recipients will be provided with standardized reporting requirements and will also be asked to provide photos or video documentation of their project activities.

Parkdale Recipe for Community Workshop

Location: Parkdale Public Library, 1303 Queen St.W. (Auditorium – basement level)
Date: December 3, 5, 12, 17
Time: 5 to 7 p.m.

Come out to:

  • learn more about Recipe for Community.
  • brainstorm ideas with community members to create a Project Proposal.
  • learn how to submit a Project Proposal from Staff.
  • provide ideas, feedback and leadership to improve the sense of belonging and safety in the Parkdale community.

For more information and to register, please call 416-688-5330 or send an email to