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Have you heard about these 10 community organizations that offer free support?

March 26, 2024 by Paola Garcés

The Toronto Observer
Centennial College
A woman in a red dress representating community organization Woodgreen stands behind a table that features information about their employment services work.
CIEO and Woodgreen Employment Services joint outreach table at the Golden Mile Plaza in September 2023. Photo provided by CIEO.

As the Greater Golden Mile evolves, these organizations can connect you with economic opportunities 

Who is your go-to person when you need support? A friend, your partner, a family member, or maybe your community leader?

There are also a wide variety of community agencies in your neighbourhood that can connect you with jobs, business support, or training to take your career in a new direction. Each offers different free services and programming, but their united mission is to help you achieve a better quality of life. That’s why the following organizations have come together as part of the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Initiative, led by United Way Greater Toronto, to create the Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity, Golden Mile (CIEO). 

Major changes are coming to the Greater Golden Mile area in the coming decades. CIEO’s member agencies are working together so that community members can take full advantage of these opportunities. For example, they are collectively supporting job training and recruitment for the Aecon-Golden Mile Joint Venture, which is a community-owned construction company that hires and trains local residents. It will reinvest 51 per cent of profits back into the community.

Read on to learn how these organizations support local residents and businesses.  

1. WoodGreen is a leading social services organization that offers Toronto residents the necessary tools and assistance to prosper. Their services include resources for finding safe, affordable housing, support to help seniors live independently, assistance for neurodiverse adults and children, child care, and more.  

Employment services office: 1533 Victoria Park Ave.  
(416) 645-6000 

2. ACCES Employment provides services through Employment Ontario, offering support for job seekers. Their team of employment consultants provides free job search support and guidance tailored to a client’s unique needs. The agency provides networking, mentorship, and employment opportunities by connecting job seekers with employers in its network. In addition, it provides a range of additional job search resources online, such as webinars and blog posts.  

Since 2019, ACCES Employment has been the main community partner for the ILEO Storefront Starter program. It played a key role in the early design and implementation of this three-phase program to support emerging entrepreneurs from the Greater Golden Mile to build their businesses. ACCES Employment also plays a key role in the design and implementation of the ILEO Good Jobs program to connect residents to full-time jobs that pay a living wage 

2100 Ellesmere Rd., Suite 250  
(416) 431-5326 

3. The Labour Education Centre’s primary goal is to support workers and community members in finding decent work and promoting social, economic, and environmental justice. They also support workers who have challenges in the workplace. LEC creates and runs labour education programs, workplace learning and literacy initiatives, along with programs to help displaced workers. LEC’s Golden Mile Trades Training program, which has had 59 graduates so far, is currently the main entrypoint to employment with the Aecon-Golden Mile joint venture.  

“I believe this is an opportunity for people who want to get in because there are a lot of job opportunities around this area,” said Marzi Sarvi, client support worker for the Golden Mile Trades Training program at the Labour Education Centre. 

1527 Victoria Park Ave., second floor 
(416) 537-6532 

4. The Working Women Community Centre at the Victoria Park Hub is dedicated to empowering women by providing opportunities to develop their potential. WWCC has been working with immigrant women and their families in Toronto for more than four decades, offering access to settlement, counselling, community, economic development initiatives, English language instruction, educational support, and resident engagement activities that help build healthier communities. In addition to housing the Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity, Golden Mile (CIEO) office at the Victoria Park Hub, WWCC has been very involved in the Golden Mile Impact Network, and in developing a Community Benefits Framework for the Golden Mile. Residents interested in community advocacy related to redevelopment in the Golden Mile are encouraged to contact WWCC to get involved.  

1527 Victoria Park Ave., second floor 
(416) 750-9600 

A map of 10 community organizations in the Greater Golden Mile.
Map shows Greater Golden Mile locations of CIEO membership agencies and ILEO community partners.

5. The YWCA Toronto promotes equality for women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals. This agency offers housing options, career development programs, community support, family programs, girls’ programs and more. The YWCA is part of a national and international movement that has helped more than 25 million women, girls, and gender-diverse people worldwide. They focus on gender and racial equity, poverty reduction, and create safe and equitable spaces for program participants, staff, and visitors. As a key community partner, YWCA has an office and provides crucial outreach support for the ILEO pilot projects, including Storefront Starter Golden Mile, Aecon-Golden Mile, and Good Jobs. 

2425 Eglinton Ave. E., among others  
(416) 264-5788 

6. The West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre is a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides a range of programs and services to promote the well-being of residents of all ages within their community, culture, and environment. Through these programs and services, the centre encourages social interaction and mutual support, personal growth, mental and physical health, environmental education and awareness, self-help, and community participation. 

313 Pharmacy Ave., among others
(416) 755-9215 

7. The Neighbourhood Organization is a community-based agency offering diverse services to foster a stronger community. Those services include child, family, and wellness programs, community development, employment services, skills development training, access to health care, newcomer assistance, youth programs, and worker support services. The organization’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the community by providing services, promoting engagement, forging partnerships, and advocating for community needs. TNO has also provided crucial outreach support for ILEO initiatives. TNO’s Trades Connect program, for example, has been a stepping stone towards employment with Aecon-Golden Mile, a community-owned construction company that is a joint venture with Aecon.  

10 Gateway Blvd., among others
(855) 421-3054 

8. Warden Woods has been working with and for the communities of southwest Scarborough for more than 40 years. It provides a range of vital programs and services, including seniors and assisted living programs, childcare, shelter and assistance to those in need, and community development initiatives. 

74 Firvalley Ct.
(416) 694-1138 

9. Out of the Box is a Toronto-based social enterprise that helps people from equity-deserving communities to access economic development opportunities. They supply construction services to their clients while also serving as a link to trades training and resources for the community.  

1527 Victoria Park Ave., second floor

10. Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) has created a strong partnership between the community and the labour force with the help of workforce development agencies, educational institutions, and funders. It helps provide access to jobs and new business opportunities that stem from the transit expansion coming to Scarborough in an effort to create a network of mobility hubs, leading to economic growth and urban population expansion. TCBN also hosts an online employer portal that connects employers in the construction industry with local, diverse people seeking jobs. (Not shown on map.) 

2 Champagne Dr., Suite C9
(647) 545-8226 

This story was produced as part of a partnership between Centennial College journalism students and United Way Greater Toronto.

United Way ILEO and CIEO Golden Mile

The Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity, Golden Mile (CIEO) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2020 by 10 community organizations to expand economic opportunities for residents of the Greater Golden Mile.

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