Promising Practices in Resident Engagement


From July 2022 to March 2023, members of the Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy (TSNS) Advisory Group engaged with Social Planning Toronto (SPT) to design and implement a research project that explored best practices for resident engagement.

The project aimed to centre the expertise and current realities of resident leaders across Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) and Emerging Neighbourhoods, and to identify tools and approaches that facilitate more meaningful engagement and trust-based partnerships for neighbourhood and community development across Toronto.

The partnership with the TSNS Advisory Group members as leaders in the community provided the necessary expertise and networks to ensure the research would be informed by the perspectives and experiences of equity-deserving residents from across the Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods. Emphasizing consultations across these socio-demographic and geographic lines aligns with the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy and other City of Toronto equity strategies.

This report presents key recommendations from residents, as a beginning resource that we hope will guide community-based organizations, funders, and the City of Toronto to strengthen resident engagement processes. Direct quotes are included in the report as illustrative examples of best practices shared by residents in the consultations. As these recommendations are based on feedback from 164 residents from 34 neighbourhoods, they represent only a sample of experiences in Toronto. We encourage readers to use this report as a reference, to explore how resident engagement processes that you are part of can better foster trust and collaboration going forward.

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