Announcing SPT's first Director, Engagement & Strategic Initiatives
Social Planning Toronto is thrilled to announce our new Director, Engagement & Strategic Initiatives: Melissa Wong. Melissa will start on March 7, and we are all very excited! She comes to us with great experience.
Organizations Call on Mayor and Council to Address Crises With Urgent Investment and Better Budget Process
"Mayor Tory and City Councillors, our city is at a crossroads. Amid multiple and intersecting crises, if you continue to take a “business as usual” approach you will preside over a rapid decline in the wellbeing and quality of life of Toronto residents. Instead, we urge you to show bold and brave leadership and set Toronto on a different course."
More than a decade of austerity budgets have left the City of Toronto ill-equipped to respond to multiple and mounting crises — in housing and homelessness, food security, mental health and addictions, child care, transit, and so much more.
Tomorrow, February 17, Toronto City Council votes on a "status quo" budget that does little to turn the tide.
Today, 59 organizations working with Toronto communities make an urgent call to Mayor John Tory and City Councillors to not only invest in the 2022 City budget to address the crises in our city, but also to reimagine the budget process, making it accessible, transparent, democratic, participatory, and equitable.
Read our full statement below.
2022 City Budget: Learn more, get involved, and have your say!
This Thursday, January 13, the City of Toronto launches its draft 2022 Budget. Throughout the Budget process, we'll keep you informed about how you can learn more, get involved, and have your say!
Opportunity: Researcher & Policy Analyst Position (One-Year Contract, Full Time)
Social Planning Toronto (SPT) is an independent social planning organization. SPT challenges inequality in our city through knowledge generation, debate, civic engagement, advocacy, and collaboration, to spark social and policy change.
Social Planning Toronto is looking for a one-year contract full-time researcher & policy analyst (35 hours per week), with the possibility of extension.
Housing in a State of Emergency: Shelters, Encampments, and Human Rights Discourses in Toronto (Seminar by the CITY Institute at York University)
This CITY Seminar will explore the tensions and ambiguities of the local state in the provision and illegalization of emergency housing. By emergency housing we refer to both municipally provided shelter space and the informal dwelling practices of unhoused/dehoused residents of the city. Contextualized in the current housing and COVID-19 crises in Toronto, our discussion addresses housing in a state of emergency from 3 different yet complementary perspectives: 1) public engagement and the role of oppositional publics in the siting of emergency shelters; 2) socio-legal questions surrounding allowable small structures during the pandemic on public and private property; and (3) the selective use of “housing as a human right” discourse.
Opportunity: Community Planner (4–5 month contract position)
Social Planning Toronto (SPT) is an independent social planning organization. SPT challenges inequity in our city—through knowledge generation, debate, civic engagement, advocacy, and collaboration—to spark social and policy change.
We are looking for a Community Planner (28-35 hours/week, with flexible work hours) with expertise in gender equality and experience working with diverse women, girls, trans, Two-spirit, and non-binary residents and the agencies that work with them to implement a consultation and community-based research process from October 2021 to March 2022.
Local implications of the federal election: Some highlights
With only one week left until the federal election, the days to come will play a critical role in shaping the next four years in Canada. We are in the homestretch and the stakes are high. In the midst of COVID’s fourth wave, the results of this election will determine how Canada responds to the immediate challenges of the pandemic, as well as how we recover and rebuild our social, economic, and environmental landscape.
Housing news from Council's July 14–15 meeting
Multi-tenant (rooming) house legalization goes nowhere, again
Council was supposed to vote on a new city-wide framework to regulate multi-tenant houses (a.k.a. rooming houses) at its July meeting. But, knowing that he didn't have the votes to win, Mayor Tory moved to defer the item to the fall. Some members of his Executive Committee were expected to vote against the item, and it even faced opposition from some progressive councillors.
SPT and partners call for action on overcrowding in rental housing: A housing issue, a planning issue, and a racial justice issue
July 21 update: Good news! Councillor Wong-Tam’s motion did not require a Council vote. City staff will now carry out the work on overcrowding in rental housing. Watch for a staff report in the first quarter of 2022. We’ll keep you in the loop as this work proceeds.
Overcrowding is a widespread problem in rental housing. In addition to an important planning concern, it is also relevant to racial and social justice, as overcrowding disproportionately affects Indigenous peoples[i], racialized individuals[ii], newcomers[iii], refugees[iv], lone mother–led families[v], and low-income households[vi]. Further, it is a spatial or place-based problem, with higher rates of overcrowding among tenants in the northwest corner of the city, parts of North York and East York, and most of Scarborough.
The City committed to human rights in housing. Let’s hold them accountable.
June 22 was a shameful day for Toronto. Our neighbours who are experiencing homelessness were forcibly removed from their encampment at Trinity Bellwoods Park by well over 100 police officers and contracted private security guards. Residents and advocates across the city watched in horror as the rights of those most vulnerable in our city were violated.