Toronto is a prosperous economic engine of the region and country, yet it also suffers from high rates of poverty, growing income inequality, and a rise in precarious work. Youth, immigrants, racialized people and women are particularly disadvantaged, and face significant barriers to opportunity. The Community Benefits Framework responds to these social and economic conditions by utilizing City community benefits levers to create targeted hiring and training opportunities, provide economic opportunities, reduce poverty, and support community priorities among Indigenous peoples and equityseeking groups in Toronto.
Community benefits processes offer a way for government and other institutions to multiply the impact of their spending. Community benefits can be leveraged by infrastructure projects that are funded through City procurement processes, or incentivized by the City. In this report, community benefits outcomes are focussed on: 1) inclusive workforce development, 2) supply chain diversity, and 3) other communityidentified priorities. At this time, it is not recommended that the Community Benefits Framework apply to private developments although, Economic Development and Culture Division has recently recommended a pilot program be implemented, which would further encourage community benefits activities through private development projects that receive grants.
The community benefits concept has gained significant attention at the City of Toronto. City Divisions, Agencies, and Corporations increasingly seek guidance and subjectmatter expertise on how to integrate community benefits into their programs and projects.
The Community Benefits Framework sets out a clear goal, guiding principles, and implementation plan, which will build the City of Toronto’s capacity to create and implement community benefits opportunities within City programs and projects.
To maximize the impact of community benefit initiatives and facilitate simple and efficient implementation, the Community Benefits Framework intends to bring the City’s community benefits initiatives under a common umbrella to: 1) achieve better coordination across initiatives, 2) implement consistent approaches, 3) support community engagement, and 4) develop a data tracking system to monitor outcomes.
The Community Benefits Framework will not replace the existing administrative role of Divisional programs. Community benefits initiatives will continue to be administered and maintained through respective City Divisions, Agencies, and Corporations.
The recommendations in this report support the City of Toronto to maximize the social and economic impacts of community benefits initiatives when it buys, builds, or provides financial incentives for construction or remediation.