WELCOME TO TORONTO NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRES

Toronto Neighbourhood Centres is an association of non-profit multi-service organizations dedicated to strengthening local neighbourhoods and enabling diverse communities to work together to promote justice and a healthy life for all. We share a vision of a Toronto that:

  • Provides healthy and caring communities for all of its residents, especially those who are most vulnerable.

  • Celebrates diversity, welcomes and supports people from across the globe.

  • Enables all individuals in all sectors of society to participate fully in the processes that shape their communities.

Neighbourhood Centres in Action

Neighbourhood Centres develop and deliver community services including:

  • Seniors, Youth and Family Programs
  • Employment and Skills Training
  • Settlement Services
  • Community Development Initiatives
  • Literacy and ESL Programs
  • Housing and Food Access
  • Social Recreation Activities
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Neighbourhood Centres are hubs and anchors for social participation. They play a central role in fostering key characteristics of supportive communities, including:

INCLUSIVENESS: empowering individuals and groups who have been left out of the planning, decision-making and policy-development processes in their community; promoting increased awareness, respect and an active celebration of people's diversity.

OPPORTUNITY: working to ensure that all community members, especially those most vulnerable, have access to adequate income, education and a network of relationships they need to participate as valued members of society.

MUTUAL SUPPORT: assisting community members to help each other and work together to address shared concerns.

Applying these principles means working directly with community members, developing initiatives from the ground up, mobilizing trained volunteers and skilled staff, and securing government funds and private donations to achieve locally defined objectives.

Toronto Neighbourhood Centres is a 
Sector-Serving Anchor Organization supported by 

TNC Values

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TNC members believe that well-being is a social achievement and not exclusively an individual one, and that every community needs a range of supports to flourish, including:

  • government policies and programs that ensure equality of opportunity, income security, affordable housing, childcare, employment equity and human rights
  • well-funded public education, healthcare and social services
  • opportunities for civic engagement, celebration, expression, mutual support and democratic participation
  • thriving local and regional economies
  • sustainable relationships with the environment

As one part of this fabric, TNC promotes the model of universal access multi-service Neighbourhood Centres, complementing strong public services and organizations supporting specific communities and sectors.

Neighbourhood Centres are dedicated to empowering neighbours to work together to meet local challenges and create shared approaches to building community. They provide a crucial focus and support for community development, and address the needs of their area by integrating services, capacity building and social reform.

Inspired by the tradition of innovation within the Settlement house movement, today’s neighbourhood centres take many forms as they generate local solutions to global challenges. Together and separately TNC members seek to catalyze change by:

  • Developing relationships of trust and mutuality among people from different backgrounds and experience, as individuals, families and groups
  • Bridging between those who are affected by decisions and those who make them
  • Providing open and safe space for people to meet, organize, celebrate and participate actively in community life
  • Building on people‘s potential and gifts rather than focusing on their problems
  • Releasing the potential of communities as places of creativity and enterprise
  • Strengthening the voice of people normally left out or ignored
  • Cherishing our independence in order to remain flexible and responsive to opportunity
  • Pioneering innovative approaches and solutions to neighbourhood issues
  • Investing and reinvesting in community assets to build local sustainability

TNC members contribute to a world in which the “international community” is shaped by people working together from their local communities, a power and legitimacy from the base of society.

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Stronger Together

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Individually, TNC member agencies are independent community-managed non-profit organizations that respond to the unique and varied needs of their neighbourhoods. They all look a bit different and do different things. But they are united in their goal of supporting community members to make changes that create a healthier, inclusive and just society for all.

To advance our collective vision and the work of TNC member agencies, the TNC Association:

  • Identifies and speaks out on common issues and concerns in our communities as an association and in cooperation with other community groups;
  • Promotes the model of universal access multi-service Neighbourhood Centres as a core component of healthy communities (complementing strong public services and a well-supported network of organizations and services targeted to diverse communities and sectors)
  • Encourages the development of Neighbourhood Centres in under-served communities across Toronto;
  • Links Neighbourhood Centres across Toronto, serving as a medium for the exchange of information and ideas, and sharing organizational resources and capacities;
  • Sponsors inter-agency projects with member agencies and other organizations;
  • Promotes best practices for community-based social service, health and recreation activities.

TNC is a registered charitable organization and a member of the Canadian Association of Neighbourhood Services (CANS), and the International Federation of Settlements and Neighbourhood Centres (IFS).

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Staff and Board

TNC is a non-profit registered charity.  As a membership-based organization  we are stewarded by a Board of Directors consisting of twelve representatives from among our member agencies.

The responsibility of the TNC Board is to oversee the organizational health and strategic directions of TNC in a way that is consistent with the members' interests overall, and to provide support and direction to the Executive Director.  Our current Board of Directors are listed below.

TNC is stewarded by two staff: Executive Director Rob Howarth and Associate Executive Director Sree Nallamothu. 

In turn these staff connect with and mobilize the efforts of hundreds of staff from across our member agencies, engaging in ongoing peer support, learning and innovation, and carrying our shared community-building, advocacy, social policy and government relations activities. Check out Focus Areas for details on this work.

 

 

TNC BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2022-23

Natasha Francis - VICE PRESIDENT

Natasha Francis is the Executive Director (Acting) of Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre. She has spent the last 19 years with WNC in supporting the Waterfront community. Over her time with WNC she has contributed to the success of many WNC programs. Including managing WNC’s Youth and Adult Programs in which she lead the way in building a thriving youth program that promotes leadership, resiliency and confidence in young people. She is dedicated to advancing the work in community development to enhance the lives of others. In her spare time, Natasha likes to enjoy a fun filled games night with her family.
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Agnes Thomas - PRESIDENT

Agnes (she/her) is the Executive Director at CCS and leads Senior Management Team. She joined the organization in 2018.

She is a leading community development practitioner and academic with a passion for social justice issues, community building, and organizational transformation. In this role, Agnes is committed to working with a broad scope of stakeholders to build consensus collaboratively, deliver change and drive impact for the 30,000 clients served by CCS’ suite of programs and services.

Agnes enjoys teaching, training, coaching, mentoring, volunteering, writing, and photography. Agnes and her husband have three children and live in Scarborough.

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John Campey - TREASURER

Currently Treasurer of TNC, John (he/him) has also served as Vice-Chair.  John Campey is Executive Director of the Ralph Thornton Community Centre in south Riverdale. Prior to this role, John served for twelve years as Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto, and has also worked as an elementary school teacher, government relations consultant, political assistant, and editor and publisher of a community newspaper.  John was also elected as the first openly gay Public School Trustee in Ontario.

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Bonnie Hunter - SECRETARY



Bonnie Hunter (she/her) is the Director of Talent and Culture at North York Community House (“NYCH”), a nonprofit, neighbourhood-based centre in northwest Toronto. NYCH is focused on supporting newcomers to Canada, families, and residents of low-income neighbourhoods in becoming active and engaged in their communities. Bonnie has been at NYCH for 18 years in roles spanning from program manager to HR director to her current role. Her background includes experience in corporate human resources as well as working in women’s shelters and other nonprofit organizations. Bonnie holds an MSW degree from the University of Toronto, and loves singing, cooking, and hanging out with her dog. 
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Pamela Gawn

Pam (she/her) is the Senior Manager of Community Development and Women’s Programs at The Neighbourhood Group (TNG). TNG is an amalgamation of three agencies, Neighbourhood Link Support Services, Central Neighbourhood House and St. Stephen’s Community House. Pam has been working in the areas of shelter, supportive housing, children and youth, senior’s and women’s programming for over 30 years. Prior to working at the TNG Pam worked in youth, VAW and women’s shelters, supportive housing, and in community development as a youth worker, a union leader and manager at YWCA Toronto. In shelter services Pam developed an intersectional trauma framework to address oppression, build resilience, and support change. Pam is a published photographer, world traveller and an award-winning film maker. As a passionate outdoor enthusiast and “closet” architect, Pam has designed and built 2 forest cabins – one on a west coast gulf island and one a little closer, on Georgian Bay.

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Jacq Hixon-Vulpe

Jacq (they/them) works at The 519 as the Manager of Program and Partnership Development. Their work has focused on queer and trans communities and Jacq has authored a number of resources, including “Creating Authentic Spaces:  A gender identity and expression toolkit to support the implementation of institutional and social change.” Jacq has been involved with community organizing for 20 years, starting in the world of the anti-war and labour movements. In their free time, Jacq works on their Ph.D., which explores the representation of queer and trans children in education.

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Ayaan Shire

Ayaan Shire, she/her is the Team Leader in the Newcomer Youth Program at West Neighbourhood House. Ayaan has a unique lived experience, growing up in various countries such as Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Switzerland, due to her father’s work in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Living in these different parts of the world has inspired and propelled her to continue to serve humanity and work in the not-for-profit sector. 
 
She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The University of Manitoba where she studied English and Political Science. In her current role, Ayaan works alongside a team to create opportunities for newcomer youth, as well as connecting youth to resources available in the community. Much of the work we do includes engaging volunteers, working with schools and partner agencies in creating activities that address the needs of the youth we serve.
 
Ayaan has participated in the Youth Affinity Group with TNC and is passionate about connecting with youth workers throughout the city to share best practices and hear from others experiences. She is also part of TNC’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Leadership Energies project where she works alongside other leaders from member agencies to develop a peer networking and mentoring strategy that aims to expand pathways to leadership for racialized staff. In her free time, Ayaan enjoys cooking, writing poetry and spending time outdoors.

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Tenzin Ngodup

Tenzin (he/him) is the Director of Programs and Services at Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre. Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre is a multicultural community-based non-profit organization that provides a range of services and programs for vulnerable populations across all age groups, genders, and ethno-cultural backgrounds. Tenzin is an international medical graduate with Master of Science degrees in public health and health administration from Germany and United States. His interest of work includes programming and evaluation. Prior to Syme, Tenzin also worked at Access Alliance and Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS) in a managerial capacity. While at TFSS, Tenzin was able to enhance the TDSB school’s health clinic initiatives that provided meaningful employment opportunities and Canadian work experience to IMGs while pursuing their medical licensing in Canada.  Many IMGs who participated in the program were successful in obtaining the Canadian Medical License.
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Keddone Dias

Keddone Dias’ (she/her) commitment to building healthy communities has fuelled her passion to work in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years. In her current role as Executive Director at LAMP Community Health Centre, Keddone leads a multi-disciplinary team in the delivery of primary health care services and health promotion programs that address the needs of the whole person. With special emphasis on areas including health equity, youth development and education, Keddone has worked to improve access to the resources needed to help communities grow and thrive.

Keddone holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from Ryerson University and a Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law from York University, as well as certificates in Community Health Leadership from the Rotman School of Management, and Leading Sustainable Strategic Change from the Schulich School of Business.

Keddone volunteers as Chair of the Board of Visions of Science Network for Learning, an organization that engages children and youth from under-represented communities in education focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her two school aged children, who always keep her on her toes.

 

 

 

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Yvette Bailey
 
Yvette Bailey has been working with Agincourt Community Services (ACSA) for the past 5 years and is currently the Supervisor of the Dorset Park Community Hub.  Yvette has over ten years of experience managing several neighbourhood networks in communities across Toronto, building partnerships with community residents, organizations and other stakeholders. She brings extensive experience in community engagement, project management, event and meeting planning, and facilitation, among other things. She holds a Certificate in NonProfit Management from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Yvette's engagement with TNC over the years includes being a part of the CD Affinity group and attending TNC workshops. Currently, she is part of TNC's BIPOC Leadership Energies initiative, which involves designing and delivering professional development opportunities to our colleagues across the network.  Yvette is also actively involved in the AntiBlack Racism Committee and other DEI work at ACSA, in her free time she enjoys reading, attending events, trying out new foods and hiking.
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Wendy Lancashire

Wendy Lancashire is the Director of Community Support Service at Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC).  In her 25 years at the agency, Wendy has been committed to working with  Davenport  community members and colleagues to increase access to services, including the implementation of a harm reduction program, expansion of settlement services and youth leadership programming.
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Wayne Woolery

Wayne (he/him) is the Director of Human Resources and Administration at the Jane/Finch Centre. He joined the organization in 2014. Jane/Finch Centre is a mult-service, community based organization with a strong focus on resident engagement, capacity building and anti-oppression.

A former educator, Wayne is strongly invested in the ongoing cultivation of the human potential and leveraging the diverse talents of employees. He enjoys reading, a good Netflix binge and going for long walks.
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Sree Nallamothu

Sree (she/her) is the Associate Executive Director of the Toronto Neighbourhood Centres (TNC).  Sree is a passionate connector and storyteller, with extensive experience in relationship building, community engagement and participatory filmmaking. She brings a long-standing commitment to social justice work, reflected in her collaborations with a broad range of organizations including Sakshi Human Rights Watch in India, the Arab Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, and the Community TV Network in Chicago. Her work at TNC and as a filmmaker focuses on supporting various advocacy campaigns, collaborations and research in the areas of 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion, equity and belonging, and people-centred community development practices.
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Rob Howarth

Rob (he/him) is the Executive Director of the Toronto Neighbourhood Centres (TNC), He is also a member of the advisory committee of the Toronto Nonprofit Network, and co-collaborator with the Ontario Nonprofit Network  on numerous policy and sector capacity-building efforts.  Through this work and his varied community research, facilitation and mobilization activities Rob has helped to articulate the opportunities and challenges facing Toronto's non-profit community sector, and has advocated for related reforms. He is particularly interested in the various ways in which community members may be supported to play a central role in creating a more equitable and inclusive society.
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TNC 2022 Annual Report

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Download TNC's 2022 Annual Report


TNC 2022 Highlights: Anchoring Anti-Oppression Relationships in Our Work

 The events of this remarkable time underscored the urgency for pursuing our anti-oppression work and making it foundational to all of our activities. Building upon our 2020 TNC Relationships, Belonging & Anti-Oppression Charter, and an associated TNC Anti-Oppression Practice Guide and Tools, TNC members came together in various affinity group and project settings, and at our Fall retreat to advance TNC Anti-Oppression Organizational and System Change work - sharing strategies, challenges, hard questions, and grounded experiences in moving anti-oppression work forward in our organizations and sector.

Some Current Initiatives

 

BIPOC Leadership Energies (BLE) (Trillium supported)

TNC’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Leadership Energies (BLE) is a new collaboration bringing together aspiring, emerging and established racialized leaders from member organizations to explore alternative, non-traditional understandings and models of leadership. Together they will design a peer networking, mentoring and coaching strategy that can expand their pathways to leadership and sustain their contribution to the organizations and communities they support.

Disability Justice (Maytree supported)

We are working to better centre our strategies and work around disability justice, from HR to Community Engagement to Programs/Services, and also build our capacity to inform and advocate for policy alongside community partners in the disability justice movement. This exploratory and learning stage will lay the groundwork we need to support cultural shifts within our organizations, for staff as well as community members, to strengthen our capacity to be effective allies. 

Indigenous Relationship Audit Tool (Maytree supported) 
TNC is supporting member agencies to build skills, capacity, knowledge, attitudes, and values regarding their relationships and work with Indigenous communities and peoples. This work is about collective action on education, awareness and unlearning from an organizational perspective so that we can release historical and colonial conditioning and transform our approach individually and collectively toward greater understanding and respect for Indigenous inclusivity. The work will generate an "Indigenous Relationship Audit Tool" for organizations to assess and plan for strengthening their capacities for being in good relations with Indigenous organizations, groups and community members.

Racial Justice & Decent Work (Atkinson supported)
TNC, in partnership with Ontario Nonprofit Network, Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and CEE- Centre for Entrepreneurship of Youth Black Professionals, is supporting the fourth phase of our Decent Work initiative focused on Decent Work & Racial Justice. This work includes strategies to inform Decent Work practices provincially, for BIPOC workers,  organizations and communities.

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Settlement House Movement

Neighbourhood Centres emerged from the Settlement House Movement which began in 1883 with the establishment of the first settlement house, Toynbee Hall in London, England. The first settlement houses established in Toronto included University Settlement House (1910), Central Neighbourhood House (Now part of The Neighbourhood Group) (1911) and St. Christopher House (now West Neighbourhood House) (1912), all of whom are still active members of the Toronto Neighbourhood Centres. Inspired by the tradition of innovation within the Settlement House Movement, today’s neighbourhood centres take many forms as they continue to generate innovative local solutions to global challenges.

TNC Timeline

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