Research & Reports

SPT releases new report on girls’ experiences at City-run enhanced youth spaces

Report-Cover.pngNext week high school will officially let out for summer vacation and many students will find themselves with a considerable amount of free time. How they spend this time, and whether they have adult supervision and productive outlets, will play an important role in determining their outcomes.

In the past two years the City of Toronto introduced seven enhanced youth spaces and will be opening three more this year. These spaces, which emerged as the result of community outcry, are founded on three pillars: dedicated space, dedicated staff, and responsive programming.

TOcore Community Services & Facilities Study - Phase One: Taking Stock

TOCore.jpgThe Community Services & Facilities (CS&F) Report, Phase One - Taking Stock is an assessment of community services and facilities in the 16 defined neighbourhoods comprising Toronto’s Downtown. This study engaged key internal and external stakeholders to examine needs and gaps in the community services and facilities sector, including: recreation, child care, libraries, schools, human services and public health. It identifies 13 strategic actions to increase capacity, innovation and collaboration and 27 opportunities to secure new facilities or improvements to existing facilities. A summary table and map of these identified opportunities can be found in Sections 8 and 9 of this report.

Newcomer Youth Access to Recreation in Toronto: Relationships, Resources and Relevance

Newcomer_youth_access_to_recreation_in_toronto.jpgToronto is one of North America’s most multicultural urban centres and is home to over 65,000 newcomer youth.3 The settlement process can be a particularly stressful experience for youth who are already making the important transition from childhood to young adulthood. Newcomer youth in Toronto face additional challenges as most live in low-income households, do not speak English as their first language, and are members of racialized groups. 4 Recreation is an important tool in supporting the healthy development of youth and the successful settlement of newcomer youth into Canadian society.

The Hidden Epidemic: A Report on Child and Family Poverty in Toronto

the_hidden_epidemic.jpgNovember 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the House of Commons’ unanimous resolution “to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000,”2 and five years since the entire House of Commons voted to “develop an immediate plan to end poverty for all in Canada.”3 Neither the promised poverty eradication nor any comprehensive Canada-wide plan for its eradication has materialized. Only minimal progress on reducing child poverty has been achieved.

However, there are signs of hope for progress. In September 2014, the Government of Ontario released its second five-year poverty reduction strategy (its first strategy helped to stem the rise in child poverty in the province and lift 47,000 children out of poverty between 2008 and 2011).4

Where are Minimum Wage Earners in Ontario Working?

Where_are_Minimum_Wage_Earners_in_Ontario_Working.jpgA frequent argument made against an increase to Ontario’s minimum wage is the potential impact on small businesses. However, increasingly, it is large firms that have been benefiting from a lowwage workforce. Using data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS), the following document provides an overview of the distribution of minimum wage workers in Ontario by firm1 size between 1998 and 2013, in order to gain a better understanding of the type of establishments who rely on a minimum wage workforce.

Building Toronto, Creating Community The City of Toronto’s Investment in Nonprofit Community Services

Building_Toronto.jpgThe City of Toronto makes a vital, and often unrecognized, investment in critical community services delivered by hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the city. From after-school programs, crisis counselling and seniors’ health programs to youth leadership, newcomer civic literacy and community food programs, nonprofit community organizations-with the financial support of the City of Toronto-are building Toronto and creating communities. Through the City’s investment, community services make Toronto more liveable, equitable and inclusive.Organizations are able to stretch those dollars, and leverage City funding to bring new investments from other orders of government, foundations and private fundraising to expand programs and services in local communities.

The Economy and Resilience of Newcomers: Exploring Newcomer Entrepreneurship

the_economy_and_resilence.jpgIn 2008, the global financial crisis resulted in the restructuring of markets and prompted unemployment, income inequality and poverty rates to increase both worldwide and in Toronto. In the context of the “Great Recession” what are the implications for addressing newcomer labour market access through entrepreneurship in Toronto? Moreover, what should policymakers and service providers consider to ensure new Canadians succeed and prosper in their new home?

To understand the experiences of newcomer entrepreneurs, Social Planning Toronto (SPT) and Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto (NEW) embarked on a research project, The Economy and Resilience of Newcomers (EARN). Both organizations wanted to explore whether entrepreneurship is a concrete solution to the high rates of newcomer unemployment within the City of Toronto.

Lost in the Shuffle: In Support of Children in Transition – Parent Resource Manual and Workshop

Lost_in_the_shuffle.jpgLost in the Shuffle: In Support of Children in Transition is a resource manual and a workshop guide that aims to build a greater understanding of the barriers children living in shelters face in their attempts to be successful in school and provides strategies for school and shelter staff to assist children. The workshop explores the underlying context of the lives of many of the children who live in shelters.

The purpose of the resource manual and workshop guide is to:

  • Help parents to better understand students and their families who are struggling with multiple transitions,
  • Give parents tools to build children’s emotional resilience and reduce the emotional impacts they experience,
  • Share promising practices from the community.

Lost in the Shuffle: In Support of Children in Transition – Staff Resource Manual and Workshop

Lost_in_the_shuffle_Staff_Resource_manual_workshop.jpgLost in the Shuffle: In Support of Children in Transition is both a resource manual and a workshop guide The workshop guide involves the use of case studies, video, discussion and storytelling to help staff build awareness, develop strategies and share practices that will help children who are dealing with a great number of stresses. The resource manual includes workshop guide materials but also contains additional information that examines the factors underlying the state in which these children find themselves and shares information about the school and shelter context to help staff have a better understanding of relevant policies from each other’s work environment.

PUBLIC SPACE for PUBLIC USE A Review of Community Access to School and Municipal Facilities in Ontario

Public_Space_for_Public_Use.jpgWhere we live and what opportunities are available in our community impacts how we identify with and experience the world around us. Healthy and vibrant neighbourhoods foster a sense of belonging and safety, and promote overall positive physical and mental health among residents. When welcoming places exist and opportunities are provided in neighbourhoods that encourage people to come together, we witness the creation of ideas, the building of trust, and the development of resilience. Publicly funded assets, such as schools and municipal facilities, are important places where people can gather together and build stronger neighbourhoods. Imagine these spaces: diverse groups sharing stories about their cultures; children learning to cook while developing their math skills; and parents uniting to improve the quality of life for their children and the community.

© Copyright 2016 Social Planning Toronto. All rights reserved.