Photo of 6 diverse people around a table, one person speaks and writes on a large paper while the others listen and read the ideas written on the paper

Community Development Program

BBNC has for many years conducted community development and social change work in collaboration with community partners and residents in Scarborough and the broader Toronto area.  Our CD program has worked to engage BBNC members, low income residents and equity-seeking populations in non-partisan action fostering democracy, civic engagement and poverty reduction.  In keeping with BBNC's values, we believe that residents need to be at the centre of our program's work, driving the civic actions we take towards democratic social change.  For example, we have supported program participants and residents in recent years, to contribute their voices and leadership to Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy and the City's annual budget process.

Civic Education and Leadership Training

We jointly deliver civic education and leadership trainings that support residents to animate on civic issues.  These include training on how our governments work, ways to advance their voices as civic animators, how to organize fellow residents in neighbourhood-building work, deputing at City Hall and engaging their elected officials on issues they care about, like action on poverty reduction, transit and affordable housing.

Photo of people listening intently to a female resident speaking through a bullhorn at a rally in front of City Hall, calling for city investment in poverty reduction initiatives

Civic Action Planning and Initiatives

Our program works hand-in-hand with other BBNC programs, non-profit networks and residents to creatively address community issues that disadvantage low-income residents, equity-seeking groups and marginalized neighbourhoods.  Key partners in this work are Toronto Neighbourhood Centres Network, Social Planning Toronto, United Way of Toronto and York, and the City of Toronto.

Examples of civic activities:

  • Running community forums on poverty reduction and the City budget
  • Submitting joint funding proposals for projects addressing neighbourhood issues
  • Partnering with residents and grassroots groups to animate their voices to government
  • Partnering with the United Way, the City of Toronto and non-profit partners to promote progressive social policy and stronger collective impact of the community sector
  • Fostering democracy by running events like Vote PopUps and democracy festivals.

Partners include:

  • Toronto Neighbourhood Centres Network
  • Social Planning Toronto
  • Commitment2Community Network
  • Scarborough Civic Action Network
  • Agincourt Community Services Association
  • Malvern Family resource Centre
  • Centre for Independent Living-Toronto
  • Scarborough Transit Action
  • TTC Riders
  • City of Toronto - Scarborough Resident Action Committee
  • West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre
  • Warden Woods Community Centre

Funders include:

  • United Way of Toronto and York
  • City of Toronto
  • Ontario Seniors Secretariat
  • New Horizons for Seniors