United Way Toronto research and reports archive

These reports help serve as a catalyst for discussing social issues. Like our report Poverty by Postal Code, many United Way reports have far-reaching impact. Torontonians Speak Out report cover

Torontonians Speak Out

What are Toronto’s most pressing social issues? This United Way Toronto’s report described the top issues according to Toronto residents. The report was based on 38 consultations in 20 neighbourhoods across the city with youth and seniors, business, faith, and community leaders.

Torontonians Speak Out is the first step in United Way Toronto’s current public priority-setting process to better understand social needs in Toronto’s neighbourhoods, guide funding decisions and work with other partners to address social issues facing our city.


Torontonians Speak Out report cover

Opening the Doors—Making the Most of Community Space

United Way task force calls for improved access to community space

Toronto is experiencing a shortage of space where children can attend homework clubs, where newcomers can attend ESL classes and where seniors can meet friends and neighbours.

Access to schools and other public spaces in the community is crucial to the health of our neighbourhoods and our city. A United Way task force studying this problem released a report, Opening the Doors—Making the Most of Community Space, to prompt governments, business and the voluntary sector to preserve and promote community use of space.


Torontonians Speak Out report cover

Two Solutions for Urban Poverty

Former United Way Toronto President Frances Lankin participated in the TD Forum on Canada’s Standard of Living in October 2002, at the invitation of A. Charles Baillie, Chairman of TD Bank Financial Group. She joined a number of Canadian leaders to debate and discuss Canada’s standard of living challenge.

In preparation for the Forum, she submitted a report, Two Solutions for Urban Poverty, which proposed solutions related to urban poverty.


Torontonians Speak Out report cover

Our Shrinking Public Space

As schools were forced to impose higher user fees and shut down buildings to after-hours use, Toronto was seeing a growing shortage of affordable and accessible community space. That meant activities like after-school programs, summer day camps and sport and recreational activities for children are being threatened or cancelled altogether.

As part of its Strong Neighbourhoods, Healthy City strategy, United Way Toronto launched a Task Force to address the issue of our shrinking public space.


Report cover: Engaging users, reducing harm.

Engaging Users, Reducing Harm

Over the past decade, social service agencies have begun to experiment with the concept of harm reduction—the attempt to ameliorate the adverse health, social, or economic consequences associated with the use of moodaltering substances without necessarily requiring a reduction in the consumption of these substances. While use-related harm reduction interventions such as needle exchanges, safe crack kits and condom distribution have attracted the greatest attention, the initiatives documented by this Toronto-based research project have adopted a more complex and comprehensive focus: on the exclusion of many low-income drug and alcohol users from mainstream social services and entitlements. These initiatives have applied the principles of harm reduction to resolve the problem of inappropriate and inaccessible services for users.


report cover: UW's deputation to the Romanow Commission

United Way’s Deputation to the Romanow Commission

Our member agencies know from years of experience, the devastating impact of homelessness, poverty, family violence, and persistent unemployment on the health of their clients. They also witness the tremendous positive change that support service have on the physical and mental health of their clients—seniors, for example, whose strength is regained after joining meal programs; whose mental health is improved upon participation in regular social programs; and whose personal safety and well-being are restored with the provision of personal care and homemaking services.


report cover: Strong Neigbhourhood

United Way announces Strong Neighbourhood; Healthy City

Social need in the inner suburbs: Etobicoke, North York, York, East York, and Scarborough.


report cover: A commitment to care

A Commitment to Care: Community Support Services for Seniors

United Way Toronto has a long tradition of support for seniors’ services that goes back to the 1950s, when three community agencies with an exclusive seniors’ focus became members. Today, United Way Toronto has 41 member agencies that deliver seniors’ programming, 21 of which focus primarily on seniors, and 20 that also serve other client groups.


report cover: Turning Point

Toronto at a Turning Point

The City of Toronto has long held the enviable reputation as one of the best cities in the world in which to live and do business. This reputation is built on a foundation of rich cultural diversity, healthy neighbourhoods, clean and safe streets, a modern and efficient infrastructure, and social cohesion supported by a strong network of social services. As Toronto competes on the global stage with other major North American cities for investment and jobs, the strength of this foundation becomes increasingly important. However, this foundation is under stress and social need has become more acute and visible.

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