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Toronto Vital Signs Report – Issue Seven: Civic Engagement and Belonging

Toronto Foundation has just released Vital Signs Report 2019: Growing Pains and Narrow Gains. This report provides a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the wellbeing of Toronto and its residents.

Vital Signs examines ten issue areas. We are going to explore highlights of each of these sections. Issue Seven is Civic Engagement and Belonging.

Social capital is the essential “lubricant that makes it possible for societies to function.” Overall, sense of belonging has improved in the city, and most people have close friends and feel like they can trust their neighbours.

  • Sense of belonging has been improving over time in Toronto, though it is far lower among younger people
  • Most people feel connected to friends and family, and they feel like they have people to rely on when needed.
  • Low-income residents in Toronto are far more likely to be socially isolated than higher-income residents, while newcomers often do not have anyone to rely on in an emergency.
  • Donor rates and donations as a percentage of income are falling in Toronto since the financial crash, while high-income donors give less of their income to charities than low-income donors.
  • Volunteering hours are declining in Toronto, while volunteer rates remain steady.
  • Most residents believe that working together can make a difference in their community, and this is higher in Toronto’s neighbourhood improvement areas.

The Centre for Social Innovation was created to give people a sense of belonging. If you are looking for a community, we have built one of the best that there is. Since 2004, we have become the home-base for thousands of smart, warm, and principled people. Do you want to work with others to put people and planet first? We’d love to meet you! Here are four ways to connect with us.

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