Guided by this strategic direction, we will:

1. Embody inclusion and kindness and advocate for
    them in our communities

3. Promote community resilience for climate,
    health, and other emergencies

2. Create new programs for and build communities
among older adults

4. Create more equitable outcomes for staff and
participants through a renewed Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion plan

Our Renewed Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Substrategy

A substrategy of Ignite the light, our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) strategy addresses all areas of the Y’s work and aims to support more equitable outcomes among YMCA participants, volunteers, and employees. This strategy is complete and available to read and download

Why it matters


Between 2011 and 2016, 30% of newcomers to Canada settled in the GTA. In 2018, 106,000 newcomers to Canada arrived in the GTA.


24% of GTA households contain one person. Living alone has become more common over the last few decades.


82% of Toronto residents with COVID-19 identified with a racialized group — even though racialized groups only make up 52% of the population.

Physical distancing underscored the fundamentally human need for connection and its powerful effects on well-being. Even when we’re apart, we stay strong together, sending a reminder that connected communities are more resilient to challenges ranging from public health crises to natural disasters.

Although the GTA offers plenty of opportunities for such connection, several barriers — from busy work schedules and transportation challenges to poverty and discrimination — can make it difficult for people to participate. As we pursue this strategic direction, we’ll work with even greater intention to confront racism, reach out to older adults, and build community resiliency — both in our own programs and places, and in the broader community.

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