Toronto Neighbourhood Centres


Rethinking Community Safety

A new report calls attention to the over policing of Black, racialized, and Indigenous people and proposes concrete, proven alternatives that keep communities safer, at a far lower cost.

The report, which is backed by dozens of community service organizations in Toronto, concludes that in a broad range of settings, policing is the wrong tool for improving safety. All too often, policing has deepened systemic injustices, harmed Black, racialized, and Indigenous communities, and failed to make communities safer. 

To that end, the report recommends the immediate implementation of non-policing alternatives in four key areas: homelessness, mental health, youth, and gender-based violence. It also calls for the rethinking of police control over the 911 system since the vast majority of 911 calls do not involve violent situations.

Please view the full report here

Toronto Neighbourhood Centres 2020 Annual Report

How social service agencies can help build a collaborative and caring economy

2017 article in The Philanthropist written by Rob Howarth, TNC Executive Director

Social service non-profit organizations are uniquely placed to leverage their community relationships and assets in ways that would make a practical and significant contribution to creating systems of economic inclusion and democratic participation...Specifically, our current opportunities include the advancement of community land trusts, expanding local lending and banking programs for individuals and business development, co-designing empowering social service alternatives, deepening opportunities for neighbourhood democratic deliberation and control, and enabling cooperative local enterprise. Such practices are logical extensions of the valuable, but under-appreciated, economic contributions that our non-profit sector is currently making to enhance community wellbeing... read more

For Public Benefit: City of Toronto Framework for Working with Community-Based Not-For-Profit Organizations

2017 groundbreaking municipal policy framework outlining City/Sector relationships and commitments, which TNC and our member organizations helped to shape.

Around the world, there is growing interest in exploring how governments and the not-for-profit sector can work together better. This is in recognition of the unique roles that not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) can play in mobilizing people, generating ideas and benefiting communities. Here in Canada, the federal government and nine out of 10 provinces have initiated strategic agreements with not-for-profit sector over the last decade. But until now, no Canadian city has taken the step of formally acknowledging and strengthening its relationship with not-for-profits...Read more

Toronto Neighbourhood Centres 2017/18 Annual Report

Connecting the Power of People to the Power of Place: How Community-Based Organizations Influence Neighbourhood Collective Agency

2016 report by Jessica Carrière, Rob Howarth, and Emily Paradis, in partnership with the University of Toronto's Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership

We undertook this research to explore the ways in which residents and local community organizations can work together to address rising inequality and diminishing resources at the neighbourhood level. Neighbourhood collective agency is a dynamic capacity that responds to these conditions on multiple levels. It strengthens the optimism, pride, belonging, and connection that are eroded by inequality; it brings neighbours together to improve their immediate local conditions of daily life; and it is a powerful force for demanding systemic more

Heads Up Ontario! Current Conditions and Promising Reforms to Strengthen Ontario's Nonprofit Community Services Sector

2008 This report is a summary and analysis of current research on the status of Ontario’s nonprofit community services organizations. For people working in or with these organizations, the data and trends identified in this report will not be a surprise. Practitioners and researchers close to the sector have, for almost ten years now, been steadily sounding the alarm of a sector under stress. To these we add our own “heads up” to the government and people of Ontario on worsening conditions in the nonprofit community services sector across the province.

The “perfect storm” facing community service organizations results from the confluence of three trends: an increased reliance by governments upon the sector as a deliverer of services, persistent under-funding of the sector’s program and administrative infrastructure, and the pressing requirement for increased service and community-building initiatives to address the impact of growing inequality, poverty and discrimination in our communities.

Building Inclusive Communties

2005 a publication from the International Federation of Settlements and Neighbourhood Centres (IFS), drawn from the IFS Toronto Conference of 2004, looks at how neighbourhood centres in Canada and around the world engage their neighbours to create opportunities that foster inclusion and promote diversity. The research also identifies key practices that enhance inclusion in the community and within the organisations themselves.  

Stability and Equity; A plan of action to support the community development and capacity building functions of Toronto’s not-for-profit community services sector

2004 The final report from the community representatives on the "Community-City Working Group on Stable Core Funding". November 2004

Community Capacity Draining: The Impact of Current Funding Practices on Non-Profit Community Organizations

2004 Community Social Planning Council of Toronto In collaboration with the City Community Workgroup on Core Funding By Lynn Eakin, Lynn Eakin & Associates 

Cracks in the Foundation; Community Agency Survey 2003 - City of Toronto

2004 - Report on conditions of Toronto's community services sector.

Observations on the State of Community Planning in Toronto

2004 TNC report for the City of Toronto Social Development and Administration Division, for their review of community-based planning activities. As part of the review the City contracted with the TNC and other community-based organizations to carry out research and consultation within their sectors. The TNC has consulted with a sample of its member organizations and documented their observations on the state of community planning in Toronto.

Shaken Foundations: The Weakening of Community Building Infrastructure in Toronto

2003 TNC publication documenting the impact of a five-year core funding freeze on Toronto's community-based social service organizations, with recommendations for ensuring stable core funding required to support community infrastructure.

Toronto's Quiet Crisis: The Case for Social and Community Infrastructure Investment

2002 A research initiative of the Toronto Civic Action Network (TorontoCAN) which estimates the costs of meeting pressing needs in selected areas of Toronto's social infrastructure, including children's services, parks and recreation, public health, public libraries, environmental protection, public shelters, and program grants to not-for-profit community agencies. This research was funded by the United Way of Greater Toronto with administrative support from Toronto Neighbourhood Centres, and published by the University of Toronto's Centre for Urban and Community Studies (CUCS).

Shaping a Civic Future: Executive Summary

2002 Report on the TNC community education project (supported by the Maytree Foundation) to engage community members in the debate about a "New Deal" for our City, and getting all levels of government working together to create livable communities.

Outcome Evaluation for Neighbourhood Centres

1998 Summary report on the challenges and opportunities of implementing outcome evaluation processes in multi-service neighbourhood centres

Action for Access: Opening the Doors to Diverse Seniors Communities

1997 TNC Manual to assist agencies and groups to effectively include seniors of diverse languages and low literacy abilities in their events and programs