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United Way Greater Toronto advances bold community solutions to ensure a GTA that is prosperous for all

June 19, 2024 (Toronto, ON) – GTA residents face multiple challenges over the next decade – but we also have proven solutions available to us. That was the theme of United Way Greater Toronto’s Annual Meeting of Members today.

UWGT’s Chair of the Board of Trustees, Lisa Gonsalves, kicked off the AGM with a note of thanks to the 400+ guests, including agency and community partners, donors and volunteers. She also thanked new and returning board members for their leadership in shaping United Way’s conviction that the future can be better.

Ms. Gonsalves shared highlights from United Way’s work this last year, citing the organization as a lifeline for community needs, working to address poverty, income inequality and growth.

As the largest funder of social services in the GTA, beyond government, UWGT provides three-year and five-year flexible funding to a remarkable network of 300+ agencies, supporting ongoing programs and meeting emerging needs, as was the case during last year’s African refugee crisis.

Through coordination tables, United Way has been spearheading local solutions across Peel, Toronto and York region with close to 350 participating organizations. Established in the early days of the pandemic, these ‘cluster’ tables continue to support neighbourhoods and specific populations.

United Way’s collaboration with business and government, envisioning and scaling new models and approaches mean better jobs in Scarborough through the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) initiative, supportive housing in Parkdale and safer communities throughout the GTA. UWGT has also created opportunities for residents to shape our future in a multitude of ways from participation in the recent Mississauga Mayoral By-election, to volunteerism and giving.

All this and more was shared in UWGT’s 2023-2024 Annual Report presented at today’s AGM.

Looking to the future, Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO, moderated a discussion with a stellar group of panelists: Cheryll Case, Founder of CP Planning, Mary Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, and Benjamin Tal, Managing Director and Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

The discussion delved into the complexities of the region’s population growth, urbanization, transportation infrastructure and the urgent need for deeply affordable housing, asking each panelist to offer their insights of how these issues are expected to impact us over the next 10 years, and what solutions they see.

Daniele Zanotti made the case for safeguarding community spaces to ensure essential services close to home, and signaled the organization’s strategic direction to lean into community real estate.

Watch a dynamic panel discussion between UWGT President and CEO, Daniele Zanotti, Cheryll Case, Founder of CP Planning, Benjamin Tal, Managing Director and Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC Capital Markets, and Mary Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, about solutions for building a better GTA for all.

Speakers from our 2024 Annual General Meeting

The future is bringing profound change. And demanding a big, bold United Way. That’s why we’re building on the amazing work of our network of agencies, to forge the systems solutions only we can. We’re digging in where we have worked for decades, deepening our involvement in neighbourhoods experiencing development so that we all have for decades to come, only a walk or ride away, in your neighbourhood. United Way Greater Toronto is on a transformational journey to continue our work in, and with community, across all sectors to create positive change in Peel, Toronto and York region.

Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO of United Way Greater Toronto 
Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto, stands in front of a gray wall. He is wearing a white shirt with blue dots and a tan jacket.

Daniele Zanotti,
President & CEO
United Way Greater Toronto 

For all media inquiries, please reach out to: 

Meetu Madahar
Communications Manager, United Way Greater Toronto
(416) 817-4668

About United Way: As the largest non-government funder of community services in the GTA, United Way Greater Toronto reinforces a crucial community safety net to support people living in poverty. United Way’s network of agencies and initiatives in neighbourhoods across Peel, Toronto and York Region works to ensure that everyone has access to the programs and services they need to thrive. Mobilizing community support, United Way’s work is rooted in ground-breaking research, strategic leadership, local advocacy and cross-sectoral partnerships committed to building a more equitable region and lasting solutions to the GTA’s greatest challenges.


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