YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity offering opportunities for personal growth, community involvement and leadership. Our vision is to make our communities home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults.

Our Impact Why We Exist

Our Mission

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity offering opportunities for personal growth, community involvement and leadership. 

Our Vision

Our communities will be home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults.

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that has been effectively addressing the most critical social issues in our shared communities since 1853. Every year, we serve over 500,000 people throughout the Greater Toronto Area, through programs including youth outreach, licensed childcare, health and fitness, employment services and newcomer support services.

Over the next ten years, we have made a commitment to increase our reach into communities that are underserved in the GTA. By building ten new YMCA Centres of Community through our Strong Start, Great Future capital campaign, we will provide access to our supportive programs and services to  more of the people who need us most.

Accolades and Accomplishments

The YMCA creates places where everyone in our community — of all ages and regardless of their financial situation — have equal access to greater life chances and the ability to achieve their full potential.

Here is what’s happening today at the Y in our over 334 locations:

  • Over 16,000 parents drop their children off at YMCA child care centres
  • 38 students attended our high-school classes at the YMCA Academy
  • Over 1,293 YMCA staff members arrive at work alongside our 7,108 volunteers
  • During the day an average of 194 newcomers to Canada will make use of YMCA Immigrant Services in one of 48 languages - accessing language assessment, employment preparation, and other supports
  • And during this day over 12,000 people of all ages will be working out in our centres
  • We teach over 12,960 children to swim every year
  • As night falls, 45 youth in need of housing will find shelter at the YMCA instead of sleeping on the street, almost 9,000 youth will visit a drop-in centre and each weekend over 12,933 teens will participate in free activities.  
  • And one can only imagine what is happening in the YMCAs of Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Jamaica, Medellian Colombia, Lebanon, Mexico and Myanmar, our international partners.
  • If this were a summer day over 830 children will be participating in YMCA Day Camps and over the year an additional 13,568 children will participate in YMCA Outdoor Education programs, testing themselves on a canoe trip, or developing leadership skills through a project they designed. Almost 40% of the 6,241 children participating in YMCA Day Camps received financial assistance in 2012-2013
  • Last year, YMCA employment programs helped over 41,400 people who not only became more materially secure, but healthier: research shows that every increase in income yields positive health outcomes.

Our Programs How We Do It

Summary

Health is about more than our physical well-being-- it encompasses all aspects of our lives: physical, mental, emotional and social and impacts our ability to engage with others and affect society in a positive way. It is the reason the YMCA offers programs and services that promote all facets of health for the total well-being of individuals and our community as a whole.

  • Program One: YMCA Strong Start, Great Future Campaign will help bring more YMCA programs and services to more communities across the GTA

  • Program Two:  YMCA Youth Priority Programs offer youth the opportunities and support they need to gain confidence, build self-esteem and reach their full potential.

  • Program Three:  YMCA Health and Fitness programs help members of our community — regardless of their background or economic circumstances — to live active, meaningful lives.

 

YMCA Strong Start, Great Future Campaign

 Description

For 160 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has been helping people across the GTA reach their full potential by providing access to a vast array of welcoming spaces and programs designed to address the physical, mental, and social aspects of good health. We believe YMCA Centres of Community are critical to fostering individual and community health.

With the population of the GTA expected to grow by one million people in the next decade, we need to anticipate the mounting health needs of children, youth, and their families. We need to build today for a healthy tomorrow. Our young people are already facing tremendous challenges including unemployment, or underemployment, lack of physical activity and feelings of disconnection and social exclusion – all factors that contribute to declining health. Something needs to change.

We plan to build 10 new YMCA Centres of Community across the GTA over the next 10 years so we can help more of the children, teens, families and adults who need our support. Through our Strong Start, Great Future Campaign, we plan to raise $250 million from a range of sources including philanthropic donors, government, charitable partners, and our own operations to make this happen.

Program Impact

We have seen the transformational impact a Y can have on a community. We want to build more YMCAs so more individuals have meaningful opportunities to advance their physical, social and mental health; and where young people can find support and gain the skills they need to be our partners in a vibrant city. Our dream is that one day every individual – regardless of their income or social status – can easily access a YMCA Centre of Community. We believe our plan will achieve our vision that our communities will be home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults.

 Toronto's Vital Signs® Report:

"Almost two of every 10 Toronto neighbourhoods are in dire need of community meeting places."

YMCA Youth Priority Programs

Description

The YMCA works with young people to create relevant programs and services that build their sense of identity and confidence as they face the challenges of growing up.

Our commitment to supporting youth in our community has never been stronger. We believe that every young person should have the chance to thrive, which is why youth programs are a priority. Our YMCA Teen Nights and YMCA Youth Leadership Program (YLP) are free programs for youth and provide young people with a supportive environment in which they can flourish, get active, access recreation, develop skills and reach their full potential.

Program Impact

YMCA youth priority programs give all GTA teens the chance for longer, healthier, and more productive lives by offering recreation, leisure, and leadership activities in a safe environment. These activities help teens develop self-confidence, succeed at school and work, have stronger community ties, develop healthier lifestyles, make a commitment to community service, and adopt a set of positive values on which to build their lives.

Close to 13,000 youth are registered for Teen Nights at our 8 Health and Fitness locations while more than 2,400 young people attend YLP each week.

“[Teen Night] helps you with your skills. It gives confidence because you get to practice. … It’s a trigger for a lot of kids. This is where we found our passion, and I’m sure it’s where a lot of other kids found theirs” – Jefferson, 16

Toronto's Vital Signs® Report:

"The percentage of youth (ages12-19) who are inactive during leisure time has jumped to 40.5%"

YMCA Health and Fitness

Description

Every day at YMCA Centres of Community, people from all backgrounds come together to stay healthy and active, through fitness and recreation programs, regardless of their financial means.

The Y believes every person should have access to programs that enable them to achieve physical, social, emotional and mental health. We believe that communities are healthier when they have a YMCA at their centre.

Program Impact

Active recreation is not a frill or an extra – it’s essential to an individual’s well-being and success. Physical activity actually fights disease and helps with brain development. Yet, rising levels of inactivity and obesity are leading to increased instances of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

The Y has an ambitious, but vital new goal – to ensure that the GTA is home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults. Healthy children turn into healthier adults – which will lead to healthier communities.

More than 165,000 people across the GTA participated in the YMCA’s Health & Fitness programs last year and 12,960 children learned how to swim.  Almost a quarter of participants (24%) received financial assistance.

In fact, the YMCA more than double-matched every dollar generously donated to provide financial assistance to our families and members in need in the communities we serve.

“The YMCA provided a space where my family and I could truly bond and enjoy ourselves,” Raghad, 17 years old.

Toronto's Vital Signs® Report:

"Over half (52.6%) of Toronto residents 12 and over report being at least moderately active during their leisure time, and almost six in 10 (58.8%) report being in good or excellent physical health."

 

Program Partners

Sources of funding come from a combination of generous philanthropic support from our community of donors. The YMCA currently works with a variety of partners to promote awareness and deliver activities for these initiatives, including the United Way, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Toronto Police Services, just to name a few.

What You Can Do

YMCA Strong Start, Great Future Campaign

Activities a donation will support

In order to make a real difference in the health of our communities, the YMCA of Greater Toronto is building 10 new YMCA Centres of Community in new neighbourhoods that need us most. The total cost of this expansion plan is $250 million, with funding coming from a variety of different sources. Our philanthropic goal is to raise $100 million.

 Donation impactFunding will help the YMCA build 10 new YMCA Centres of Centres of Community to help bring more Y programs and services to more children, teens and families in neighbourhoods across the GTA now, and for generations to come.

 

YMCA Youth Priority Programs

Activities a donation will support

Funding will help us continue to run our priority youth programs, and eventually expand the locations so we can offer more support to those youth who need us.

Donation impact

With funding, the YMCA will help connect youth to their communities by fostering a sense of belonging and addressing issues of self-esteem, youth disengagement and access to safe places for teens to gather, learn, grown and get active. With your support, we will be able to help even more youth who need us through Teen Night and YLP.

Health and Fitness Programs

Activities a donation will support

Donations to the YMCA will help us provide financial assistance to those who need it most. Financial assistance is provided to help children, teens, children, teens and familes reach their full potential by participating in YMCA programs such as day camp, access YMCA Health & Fitness programs, and childcare.

Donation impact

With your support, we will be able to provide more children, youth, adults and families with financial assistance to participate in our supportive programs and services when they need it most. At the YMCA of Greater Toronto, we believe that building healthy people means building healthy communities.

 

 

Contact

Juniper Locilento, CFRE
Director, Fund Development (General Manager)
416.928.3362 x22447
Charitable Number: 119307080RR0001

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