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The Slaight Family Foundation

There is much more to be done to take care of the elderly in Toronto, and we believe that the solutions start with community.

A 1985 article in the Globe and Mail describes music mogul Allan Slaight’s philosophy on using his powerful connections as a force for good in the community.

Although the story focused primarily on Slaight’s role as a rising power player in the radio broadcast and entertainment industry— he had recently purchased Q107 and been appointed the chairman of Shaw Festival— it was evident that being a philanthropist was the role Allan was most proud of.

“It’s a way of paying your dues to a system that has been reasonably good to you from time to time,” he said.

That same year, as the chair of United Way’s fundraising campaign, Allan led the organization to a record-breaking fundraising result and the highest year-over-year increase in United Way’s history.

Despite the rapid changes in the GTA in the more than three decades that have followed, one thing remains the same: giving back is still very much a part of the Slaight Family’s DNA. In fact, The Slaight Family Foundation recently launched a $15-million gift—the largest individual gift in United Way Greater Toronto’s history—to help connect vulnerable seniors with community supports to help them stay active, vibrant and engaged with their communities.

This trailblazing support couldn’t come at a more important time. Many of the GTA’s vulnerable seniors have been pushed even further into social isolation and precarity because of COVID-19. This gift will be a lifeline to seniors, who make up 34 per cent of the GTA’s population. In fact, it will play a vital role during this important stage of life where vulnerable seniors need more support, rather than less, to prevent them from falling between the cracks of the health and service system.

“More than anything, this gift honours my Dad,” said Gary Slaight. “His commitment to United Way’s mission to create opportunities and connection for everyone has always been important to our family. We think there is much more to be done to take care of the elderly in Toronto, and we believe that the solutions start with community.”