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Earlier this month, the DiverseCity Fellows had a chance to explore the city in the attempts to unearth the benefits of partnerships in city-building initiatives. We pounded the pavement, being dispatched to JVS in the Jane and Finch Mall, Second Harvest, Pathways to Education downtown and Woodgreen Community Centre in the Danforth.
It was a great morning that gave us an opportunity to see firsthand the impact of community-level programming as well as to understand the supports needed to keep programs running in the long term.
Reconvening at the TD Bank Tower, we got into some interesting conversations around what role the private sector can play in supporting a vibrant city region. We met with incredible leaders such as Ed Clark and Derek Burleton of TD Bank Financial Group and engaged a diverse panel of experts including Sharleen Mascoll of Direct Energy, Marie Moliner of the Department of Canadian Heritage (and a DiverseCity Steering Committee member), Scott Mullin of TD Bank Financial Group, Heather Rumball of the Toronto Public Library Foundation, and Gavin Sheppard of The Remix Project.
Refreshingly, each leader we spoke with emphasized how all sectors have a vested interest in supporting healthy communities and a vibrant city.
For me, I ended the day with a better understanding of the great importance of cross-sectoral partnerships in city building. Whether it’s through private sector advocacy for policy change or through in-kind and financial support of an organization, developing relationships with corporations has the potential to greatly enhance the reach of community-based organizations while also helping to build a better Toronto.
Colin Lacey joined Evergreen in 2007 and as Development Associate, Corporate Partnerships, manages accounts for some of Evergreen’s corporate sponsors. Colin is a graduate of the Urban Studies program at the University of Toronto as well as the Earth Sciences program at Lakehead University. Colin is involved in other aspects of city building through Banyan Youth and UforChange in the St. James Town neighbourhood and is a 2010 DiverseCity Fellow.