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Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO)

The Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Initiative brings together the private, public, and community sectors to find innovative ways to reduce gaps in economic prosperity at the neighbourhood level. ILEO is convened by United Way Greater Toronto and BMO.

Logo for the Bank of Montreal

Want to know more about ILEO Opportunities?

If you’re a resident of the Greater Golden Mile, fill out our online form and we’ll connect with you about training, resources, and job opportunities.

What is ILEO?

In 2018, United Way Greater Toronto and BMO Financial Group launched a made-in-the-GTA initiative to respond to an urgent challenge. In the face of growing neighbourhood inequality, we wanted to ensure that every GTA community had the chance to benefit from our region’s prosperity. The Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) initiative builds on United Way’s resident-led work to continue strengthening neighbourhoods that BMO has invested in since 2005.

ILEO galvanizes the strengths and levers of all sectors and industries to drive economic opportunity at the neighbourhood level. It is a deliberate place-based approach to catalyze specific opportunities and enable the community, corporate, and public sectors to work together towards our common goal. Scarborough’s Greater Golden Mile is the first neighbourhood to be part of the initiative.

Leaders from across sectors have come together to co-create pilot projects that we continue to develop with local residents. These pilots are tailor-made to respond to the strengths, needs, and desires of residents in the Greater Golden Mile. What has emerged from this collaboration is a multi-sector approach focusing on reducing gaps in economic prosperity in the Toronto region and creating lasting inclusive economic vitality at the neighbourhood level.

As the pilot projects continue to rollout, ILEO has already accomplished something significant: a model for creative new ways of working across sectors and bringing all levers of influence to collectively tackle a shared challenge. The work continues.

The ILEO Pilots

There are currently five ILEO pilot projects being launched. Each is convened by UWGT and led by a multi-sector team from ILEO organizations.

Good Jobs

Two people looking at a computer.

A neighbourhood-based and employer-focused program that targets hard-to-hire-for-jobs and works with companies and community agencies to design bespoke training and support that prepares local talent to meet their needs.

Storefront Starter Golden Mile

A comprehensive program supporting new and aspiring retail entrepreneurs to build their businesses and contribute to a vibrant local retail environment as the Greater Golden Mile neighbourhood undergoes commercial and residential revitalization.

A-GM Joint Venture

Aecon-Golden Mile Joint Venture logo

A community-owned construction company, led by Aecon, that will meet supply chain needs for construction/maintenance contracts in part resulting from the Eglinton Crosstown LRT expansion.

Inclusive Procurement

A purchasing initiative focussed on supporting small and medium sized businesses located in Scarborough’s Greater Golden Mile

Destination Golden Mile

A coordinated approach to influencing aspects of the development in Scarborough’s Greater Golden Mile

A Focus on the Greater Golden Mile

The Greater Golden Mile in Scarborough, an inner suburb of Toronto, centres around a largely commercial strip surrounded by residential areas. It was formerly a hub of large-scale manufacturing, but the economic power of the neighbourhood declined through the latter half of the 20th century after manufacturers moved to more affordable areas. Today, the strip is dominated by big box stores.

Major transit development is underway, connecting the Greater Golden Mile to the downtown and other parts of the GTA as never before. This has brought significant development attention, including for commercial and residential revitalization that will transform the neighbourhood.

The Greater Golden Mile is home to diverse communities, with significant immigrant and racialized populations. Income and employment rates in the neighbourhood are below average compared to the rest of the city – a key indication that opportunity is not reaching residents.

We chose the Greater Golden Mile as the first neighbourhood to test the ILEO approach because of three characteristics:

  1. Opportunity to leverage public and private investments that would be a part of its upcoming revitalization
  2. Timing of investments coinciding with the timeline of the initiative
  3. Need in the community. Critically, Greater Golden Mile residents had also identified economic opportunity as a key priority and were keen to catalyze ILEO in their neighbourhood


  • Golden Mile
  • Ionview
  • Victoria Village
  • Eglinton East
  • Kennedy Park
  • Flemingdon Park

Postal Codes (first three characters)

  • M4A
  • M3C
  • M1L
  • M1K
  • M1J

ILEO Leadership Table Members:

Frank Attaie
General Manager – Technology
IBM Canada

Anne Babcock
President and Chief Executive Officer
WoodGreen Community Services

Ameen Binwalee
Chief Executive Officer
Out of the Box Social Enterprise

Romy Bowers
President & CEO
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Rowena Chan
President & Senior Vice-President, Distribution
Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc.

Dean Connor
Former President & Chief Executive Officer
Sun Life Financial

Nick Eaves
Chief Venues & Operations Officer
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Meric Gertler
University of Toronto

Michele Harradence
President, Gas Distribution & Storage

Joshua Hood
Executive Director
West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre

Sandy Houston
President & Chief Executive Officer
Metcalf Foundation

Paul Johnson
Deputy City Manager
Community & Social Services,
City of Toronto

Nicolas Marcoux
Chief Executive Officer
PwC Canada

Marcia Moffat
Head of Canada

Andrew Pickersgill
Managing Partner
McKinsey & Company Canada

Marcie Ponte
Executive Director
Working Women Community Centre

Steve Shallhorn
Executive Director
Labour Education Centre

Patrick Tobin
General Manager
Economic Development & Culture
City of Toronto

Daniele Zanotti
President and Chief Executive Officer
United Way Greater Toronto (Co-Chair)

Tom Azouz
General Manager
Toronto Employment & Social Services
City of Toronto

John M. Beck
Founder and Non-Executive Chairman
Aecon Group Inc.

Denise Campbell
Executive Director, Social Development
Finance & Administration
City of Toronto

Mitchell Cohen
President & Chief Executive Officer
The Daniels Corporation

Michael Cooper
President and Chief Responsible Officer
Dream Unlimited

Jonathan Gitlin
President and Chief Executive Officer
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

Julia Gonsalves
Executive Director
Warden Woods Community Centre

Tim Haney
Canada Chief Executive Officer

Ahmed Hussein
Chief Executive Officer
TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization

Stephen Liptrap
President and Chief Executive Officer

Heather McGregor
Chief Executive Officer
YWCA Toronto

Colette Murphy
Chief Executive Officer
Atkinson Foundation

Allison Pond
Chief Executive Officer
ACCES Employment

Rosemarie Powell
Executive Director
Toronto Community Benefits Network

Andrew Pringle
Principal and Chairperson

Kenneth Tanenbaum
Vice Chairman
Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited

Darryl White
Chief Executive Officer
BMO Financial Group (Co-Chair)

Access the ILEO Resource Hub

If you are a ILEO partner organization, you can access all ILEO resources here.

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