North York Community House
Our Impact Why We Exist
A strong community where all belong and thrive.
North York Community House is committed to building strong, vibrant communities in northwest Toronto. We help transform neighbourhoods by working with the residents who need it most and supporting them in achieving their goals. For the past 25 years, we’ve opened doors for new Canadians; supported youth, parents and seniors in becoming active, engaged citizens; and created opportunities for residents to improve their lives and lead positive change in their communities.
Our Story What We Do
In 1990, North York Community House (‘NYCH’) came into existence as a result of a sizable donation from an anonymous benefactor. Over the course of 25 years, this single act of generosity grew into an organization dedicated to assisting newcomers to Toronto in settling and integrating into their community, and to building strong neighbourhoods.
When NYCH’s doors first opened, it operated out of a tiny Bathurst Street storefront with a staff of two. As the community changed, NYCH kept pace. In the intervening years, NYCH has grown, moving into several locations and expanding its services. Today, a staff of over 100 conducts services in 50 locations to over 20,000 individuals annually. A few things at NYCH have remained unchanged, things like our commitment to working with individuals in an effort to strengthen communities. Imagine, all this from a single, anonymous donation.
For 25 years now, NYCH has been supporting families and new Canadians. We are a living part of the community, and we use our experience and strong relationships with local residents to ensure our services meet their changing needs. We also look for exciting new ways to work with community members to achieve their goals.
Accolades and Accomplishments
NYCH has been providing a wide variety of programs, services and community development facilitation for over 25 years. It currently offers programs and services in over 100 locations and in over 30 languages across northwest Toronto. NYCH has developed a variety of successful and innovative programs which support and build on newcomers’ skills and assets, helping them to achieve their goals. NYCH’s newcomer programs have been recognized by the Toronto Community Foundation through a Vital Idea grant in 2005, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Award. NYCH’s responsiveness to the community, leadership, innovative programs, and strong management have been recognized by funders, community members and partner organizations.
Our Programs How We Do It
North York Community House (NYCH) is a dynamic, multi-service neighbourhood centre that has been working with residents in under-resourced and low income neighbourhoods of northwest Toronto for over 25 years. We are committed to building strong, vibrant communities, and we do this by engaging residents, understanding their needs, and supporting them in achieving their goals.
As a result of our work, newcomers are able to develop the skills, knowledge and connections to settle, gain employment and build successful lives in their new home; children and youth are supported in becoming active, healthy citizens - gaining the skills, knowledge and self-esteem they require to meet their long-term goals; and local residents are provided with training and opportunities that enable them to become leaders in improving their own lives and their neighbourhoods.
NYCH believes that all the community members we serve have the strength and ability to meet their goals – our role is to help them get there.
NYCH helps newcomers make a smooth transition, become active citizens, and build successful lives in Canada.
The Need"Newcomers experience multiple barriers to accessing necessary services – and failing to address these barriers may lead to more serious health and settlement issues."
Our ImpactEvery year, NYCH supports over 20,000 new immigrants and refugees with their settlement. In 2015, 100% of the clients served by NYCH’s Community Settlement Workers reported becoming more aware of community and government resources.
Success StoryNahid settled in Toronto over 10 years ago. Despite having graduated from university with top marks, and working as the head of the math department at a private school in her home country, she had difficulty finding meaningful employment as a newcomer to Canada.
When Nahid went to register her daughter for school, she met one of NYCH’s School Settlement Workers. Through this connection, Nahid began volunteering with North York Community House, participated in our training programs, and was soon facilitating one of our community kitchen groups for other newcomers.
Taking every opportunity to work in different roles and programs, learning everything she could about our work and the communities we serve, Nahid started helping with the organization’s financial duties. Over the years, she progressed to Financial Manager, and ultimately, completed her CMA certification and went on to become Director of Finance at NYCH.
Related Program and Services
- Settlement Workers in Schools
- Community Settlement Workers
- Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
- English Conversation Circles
- Citizenship Preparation Programs
- Healthy Living Programs
- Community Kitchens
- Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers
- Digital Storytelling Workshops
Employment & Skills Development
We are committed to helping people succeed in the workplace as well as providing opportunities for low income families to move out of poverty.
The Need"In 2009, the unemployment rate for recent immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area was 19%, compared with 9% for the rest of the city."
Our ImpactIn 2015, 100% of the participants in NYCH’s Employment Programs felt more confident and better able to market themselves.
Success StoryKinnari was one of our Culinary Employment Trainees, an opportunity that was initiated through our social purpose catering company. She received hands-on training, obtained her Food Handler Certification, and was able to get advice on starting a career in the food service industry. Today, Kinnari (together with her husband, Mitesh) is the owner and operator of a franchised restaurant.
Related Programs & Services
- Resume Clinics
- Employment Workshops
- Youth Employment Workshops
- Entrepreneurship Workshops
- Financial Literacy Training
NYCH connects new Canadians with long-time residents who are able to share their knowledge, experience and resources.
The Need"Low levels of engagement among small and medium-sized employers and a silo mentality among supporting organizations undermine labour market integration and prevent newcomers from developing social capital and networks."
Our ImpactThrough group and one-on-one mentorship opportunities, 100% of the participants in NYCH`s mentorship program felt better able to communicate in the Canadian workplace.
Success StoryLarry was a recent immigrant from China who was looking to improve his professional English and networking skills, and joined our “Stepping Stones to Leadership” volunteer mentorship program. Through the workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and volunteer experience that we offered, Larry was able to achieve his ultimate goal of finding a job in his field.
NYCH encourages residents in northwest Toronto to work together, get involved and become leaders in improving their own neighbourhoods.
The Need"One study reports that the strongest predictor of low voter turnout in Toronto’s ridings is a high concentration of immigrants and visible minorities."
Our ImpactNYCH`s civic engagement work in the Lotherton-Caledonia neighbourhood included a Get Out the Vote campaign in 2014. In that year`s municipal election, the voter turnout in Lotherton-Caledonia was 42.05% - a 7.83% increase from 2010.
Success StoryNYCH’s Leadership and Community Engagement training offers in-depth lessons on the structure of government, field trips to City Hall and Queen’s Park, and a practicum project on a civic issue of their choice. In 2016, the spring cohort garnered over 20,000 signatures on a petition supporting their cause: basic income for all Canadians.
Related Programs & Services
- Action for Neighbourhood Change Lotherton-Caledonia
- Democracy Talks
- Building Blocks (Civic Literacy Training)
- Leadership & Community Engagement Training
- Village Bloggurls (Media LIteracy and Mentorship group for girls in the Lotherton neighbourhood)
- Get Out the Vote Campaigns
- Youth Leadership programs
What You Can Do
Make a donation
With your generous support, we can build on the work we have been so proud of for the past 25 years - meaning many more new immigrants and refugees will receive free, one-on-one settlement help; more newcomer professionals will develop their skills and networks for workplace success; more families will be encouraged to get active and stay healthy; and more residents will have the opportunities and training to improve their lives and lead positive change in their neighbourhoods.
Let's build strong, vibrant communities together.
Become a volunteer
NYCH has a fantastic team of volunteers who provide their time and energy across our organization. We’re always looking for people who want to share their skills and expertise. Learn more about the volunteer and mentor opportunities at NYCH: http://www.nych.ca/volunteer