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United Way Toronto and York Region

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Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy

Despite wanting to initiate change, many Torontonians lack the tools they need to improve conditions within their lives and communities. Driven by our groundbreaking “Poverty by Postal Code” report, we joined community leaders in 2005 to confront the threat of growing poverty. The Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (BSNS), launched in 2006, aims to close the growing gaps within the city’s priority neighbourhoods through targeted efforts, resident engagement and improved access to programs and services. BSNS has three goals:

Focus efforts where they’re needed most

Through targeted investments and partnerships (including our relationships with community agencies, local leaders and generous donors like you), our Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy has invested $269 million across Toronto’s inner suburbs from 2005 to 2014, and 220 United Way programs and services are now available to residents who live in priority neighbourhoods.

Support neighbourhood change from within

United Way Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) works to strengthen connections between residents to create vibrant neighbourhoods where people feel a sense of belonging. More than 150 new community groups have been established, allowing residents to take part in community- engagement initiatives. United Way has invested in various local projects and resident-identified improvements, including playgrounds for kids, community gardens and kitchens, and recreational and cultural activities.

Improve access to community supports

In four priority neighbourhoods, we launched the Tower Neighbourhood Renewal (TNR) demonstration project in 2012. Responding to findings from our “Vertical Poverty” report, TNR is testing new ways of improving the quality of life for residents in rental-tower communities.

What’s next?

The evolution of our Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy is our Tower Neighbourhood Renewal (TNR) demonstration project. Responding to findings from our “Vertical Poverty” report, TNR is testing new ways of improving the quality of life for residents in rental-tower communities.

Go to the interactive map

See our interactive map, which shows our funded agencies, projects and initiatives across Toronto and York Region.

View the map