News Release
June 23, 2020

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that approximately $4.97 million will be distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund has been created from $2.81 million of the City’s allocation of the Social Services Relief Fund from the Province of Ontario and $370,000 from the Scheinberg Relief Fund through the Better Toronto Coalition Fund at Toronto Foundation. In addition, the City has an agreement in principle with the Canadian Medical Association Foundation (CMAF) for a $1.79 million allocation from the  COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations, a collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

The work that Toronto’s community-based agencies do daily to serve the needs of vulnerable residents, families and neighbourhoods is critically important. During this pandemic, the community-based sector is needed more than ever.

The funding will be invested in community-based agencies that are partnering with the City of Toronto on city-wide solutions in the following eight priority areas: housing and homelessness; food access and security; family support; mental health support; income support; social connection; community sector support; and community safety and well-being.

Through the City-Community Response Table and the Community Coordination Plan, the City has collated various requests for funding from community-based agencies since March. To date, funding from existing money in the fund has been approved for:

  • Red Cross Food Hamper Program to meet the food access needs of seniors and those in isolation/quarantine.
  • Emergency food access to provide prepared and delivered meals, food hampers, pop-up/enhanced food banks, food/restaurant/grocery vouchers.

In the next few weeks, funds will be released to more than 50 community-based agencies to help them continue to provide support to vulnerable communities, including mental health support through enhanced phone support, distributing culturally appropriate prepared meals and food hampers, baby food, traditional medicines, air conditioners, hygiene kits, Wi-Fi hot spots and more.

The community-based agencies were selected to receive funding based on their need to respond to the urgent, unmet needs of Toronto’s vulnerable populations. Investment requests that advance the City’s community response priorities; support existing, or emerging strategic City partnerships to advance community response; and leverage and complement the emergency responses provided by funding partners and other orders of government were also considered. Additional consideration was given to agencies that support Black and Indigenous communities. A list of the community-based agencies that the City will be working with is available on the City’s website.

On April 1, the City was advised by the Province of Ontario that its allocation under the Social Services Relief Fund was $39.2 million for 2020-2021 to enable the City to help a diverse range of vulnerable people in need.

The TO Supports Investment Fund was created to invest in strategic partnerships with social services agencies to address urgent needs of vulnerable Toronto residents. These funds are not intended to meet long-term recovery needs. The City will continue advocating to the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for greater funding to support the emergency and recovery needs found within our communities.

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations directly funds cities and communities to support vulnerable populations struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Made possible by an unprecedented $10 million philanthropic donation from CMAF, the fund empowers municipalities across Canada to better reach, protect and assist the most vulnerable.


“I want to thank the provincial government, the Canadian Medical Association Foundation, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Scheinberg Relief Fund for their contribution to the TO Supports Investment Fund. With the help of community-based agencies in our city, this funding will help ensure that we continue to support the well-being of our vulnerable residents. I am encouraged by the work that has been done throughout the pandemic in helping residents in our city who need it the most. Partnerships with agencies can help us meet our goals and provide essential supports and services to vulnerable residents in our city.”
– Mayor John Tory

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for vulnerable residents as they struggle to get access to food, housing, mental health supports, stable employment and other social support for their families. This additional funding for our community-based partners will enable these agencies to continue supporting vulnerable residents as we enter the recovery period.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Ward 21 (Scarborough Centre), Chair of Economic Development and Culture Committee

“Today’s announcement comes at a crucial time; it will directly support Toronto’s vulnerable populations struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations will empower the city to support local and community-level action that improves the health and well-being of those who need it the most.”
– Bill Karsten, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)

“It is our privilege to provide funds that initiate widespread community impact among Toronto’s most vulnerable populations. By supporting municipalities such as the City of Toronto, we can be assured that those in greatest need have access to immediate help and community support.”
– Allison Seymour, President, Canadian Medical Association Foundation (CMAF)

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