Action for Neighbourhood Change

ANC office locator

Find one of the 13 ANC offices in Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods.

Helping residents find their voice

Shortly after moving to Canada with her family, Christina joined her local Action for Neighbourhood Change’s pedestrian safety committee, allowing her to get to know her community and actively contribute to it.

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Helping strengthen our city’s high-rise communities

Many low-income families find more affordable housing in privately owned rental apartments. With support from United Way, Jamal and his neighbours are working together to turn their apartment building into a thriving community.

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Building strong neighbourhoods together

Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) is a key component of United Way Toronto's Neighborhood Strategy—a coordinated response to the growing needs and lack of services in Toronto's inner suburbs.

ANC is about neighbourhood revitalization. To achieve success, we must all work together—local businesses, governments, volunteers, community agencies, and, most importantly, the residents of the neighbourhoods we are working to strengthen.

At United Way we believe that, at its core, neighbourhood change must come from the community itself. For this reason, ANC creates opportunities that enable local residents to play a central role in shaping their neighbourhood.

Neighbourhoods in transition

Strong, healthy neighbourhoods improve the quality of life for everyone. They are also critically important to the long-term prosperity of our city. Yet many Toronto neighbourhoods are showing signs of stress. There have been major population changes over the last two decades, with growing levels of poverty in the inner suburbs and few services to meet the needs of residents. Left unchecked, growing neighbourhood needs can result in more serious community issues. ANC marks the beginning of this vitally important neighbourhood renewal process.

What are the goals of ANC?

ANC aims to establish resident-led neighbourhood associations that produce a vision and develop plans to bring about positive change in their communities. They provide:

Strengthened influence of local residents

  • An empowering belief that residents can make a difference
  • The emergence of capable community leaders
  • Leadership opportunities for youth
  • Dependable support from local politicians, police, schools, and businesses

Enhanced quality of neighbourhood life

  • Enabling residents to connect with and depend on one another
  • Shared public spaces that are well maintained and well used
  • Children and youth are occupied, seniors are supported and newcomers are welcomed

Increased access to resources

  • New services and infrastructure are introduced to underserviced areas of the city
  • Neighbourhoods offer a range of services that are accessible and responsive to local demand
  • Local residents feel their vision for a strong and vital neighbourhood is achievable

Resident Action Grants

Sometimes the biggest change can come from a small investment. Resident Action Grants give resident-led projects in ANC neighbourhoods the chance to make an immediate difference in their communities. These projects are typically small grassroots initiatives working to tackle issues people in the neighbourhood want to address. Resident Action Grants are used to pay for initial expenses like equipment, space and training. These smaller one-time grants facilitate the development of projects into full-scale programs that succeed in rallying wide community interest. These initiatives prove that it doesn’t take a big investment to make a big difference.

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