Torontonians are some of the loneliest Canadians and don’t feel they belong in our city. People are significantly less engaged with their communities and this is part of a long-term trend. These core research findings hit us hard and have informed our work ever since. Below you’ll find links to highlights and reports back to you on what happened in 2023. 


With 925,000 Torontonians reporting feeling lonely at least three or four days (in the last week), we prioritized a call to action when we released last fall’s Toronto’s Vital Signs: The Power of Us. Instead of just a doom-and-gloom data dump, we chose hope.   

Media Response


Our message clearly resonated with the media. In print, online, on tv and on radio, all flagged the alarming social isolation that’s emerged, not just here but everywhere with warnings issued by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Surgeon General and more. This stark reality could not be ignored, but what also got attention was the counter story: Torontonians are showing up for one another (see our map below).

More Toronto Star Headlines:

Toronto has a loneliness crisis—and the housing crisis is making it worse
There is a way to overcome the depression gripping Toronto doom loop

Report on Toronto quality of life paints bleak picture, calls for civic action, engagement

Worrying report shows Toronto is a 'lonely' city 'overwhelmed' by unaffordability


How Torontonians Rallied


City Hall Joins Forces

Our campaign to engage local businesses, nonprofits and grassroots groups also reached City Hall. Our researchers were invited to present to the team in the City Clerk’s office where they explored implications for their work across a broad range of municipal services. Still to come is a meeting with the executive team, a first for Toronto’s Vital Signs. And Ward 9 Davenport Councillor Alejandra Bravo stepped up early and enthusiastically as our Power of Us Champion, calling on Torontonians to reconnect with each other and this place we call home. 

From left to right: Manaal Khan, City of Toronto (COT); Aretha Phillip, COT; Steven Ayer, Lead Researcher on Toronto’s Vital Signs Report; Kathleen Bartha, COT; Mohamed Huque, Toronto Foundation; John Elvidge, COT; and Mike Choptiany, COT


With Torontonians increasingly disconnected, lonely and vulnerable, more residents are relying on charitable groups for social connection. But those grassroots groups are notoriously underfunded. That's why we prioritize them in our granting and highlight them in the Good to Give Guide.

Granting, Accountability and Social Justice

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Toronto Environmental Alliance's Waste High Rise Project
Toronto Environmental Alliance's Waste High Rise Project

See our collective social impact: broken out geographically, and by the shift in grants that went to smaller organizations, as well as those led by and serving Black and Indigenous communities.  



Financial Reporting & Investment Strategy

We’ve invested 29% of our main pool in socially responsible investment products and reduced our exposure to non-renewable energy and utility companies to less than 4%. Last year we also saw our annualized five-year net return rise to 4.7%. See our investment strategy, as well as all our financial reporting. 


Social Impact Investing

In 2019, after a pilot, we co-created a $12M social impact investing pool with fundholders to help accelerate the growth of the field and its impact, and advance our learning too. Running parallel to our main pool investments (which are managed by our OCIO, RockCreek), this work allows us to invest in a broad array of opportunities for maximum alignment with our purpose. Last year we reached a milestone: having committed a total of $12.6M to investees. In 2023 we also received one repayment and initiated five more investments, including our first investment backed by a guarantee. Find out about our social impact investing journey and read about all our investees—past and present


The 2023 Report details social isolation and economic stress, as well as declines in mental health and civic engagement. But raising alarm bells is not enough. This year we're focusing on the problem that underlies them all—restoring the connection between us and our city.

This year's Good to Give Guide is different. Here's the reality check: 78% of charities are small. But they're the ones doing the heavy lifting in the sector. That's why this guide features some of the smallest groups we've ever funded and recommended.