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About Us

During the spring of 2017, the YMCA was approached to see if there was interest in developing a new national youth community service initiative. The YMCA responded with the YMCA Community Action Network program which established 17 delivery sites across the country in partnership with local YMCA associations with the YMCA of Greater Toronto acting as the coordinating association.

Each YCAN location recruits and engages local youth to investigate, select and develop service initiatives that are important and meaningful to them, in addition to meeting a community need. Each project develops a network of community contacts and stakeholders, increasing the meaningfulness of the project, opportunities for youth development, and value to the local community.

As of the spring of 2020, the YCAN program also offers the possibility to run virtual community projects, increasing its ability to reach youth leaders who are passionate about creating meaningful change for their communities.

YCAN Timeline

2017: Program Launch

Launch locations: Vancouver, BC, Calgary, AB, Saskatoon, SK, Winnipeg, MB, GTA, ON, Montréal, Qc, Moncton, NB, Halifax, NS, PEI, St. John’s NL.

2018: Program Launch

Onboarding of Québec, Qc and Northeastern Ontario locations

2019: Program Launch

Onboarding of Northern BC, Northern Alberta, Southwestern Ontario, Simcoe/Muskoka, ON, and Saint John, NB locations

2020: Program Launch

Canada Service Corps


The YCAN program is part of the Canada Service Corps, Canada’s national youth service initiative. It encourages young Canadians to get involved in service in their communities and gain valuable skills and experience that will benefit them in every aspect of life. It also provides youth with the opportunity to build service opportunities that currently do not exist.

More meaningful volunteer and service opportunities means more young people will have the chance to practice leadership, develop individual strengths, and gain essential life and work experiences. As a nationwide initiative, Canada Service Corps will help more young Canadians to understand the importance of serving their communities and instill a sense of civic engagement and global citizenship.

As part of the Canada Service Corps, the objectives of the YMCA Community Action Network are to create, promote and facilitate access to service opportunities that are meaningful to youth, and support lasting civic engagement, as well as to provide youth with life and work skills. To learn more about the Canada Service Corps or any of the participating national partners, please visit the Canada Service Corps website.