Community Benefits as a Strategy for Economic Inclusion in Ontario: The Eglinton Crosstown LRT Story

The Atkinson Foundation

Year: 2018

This story was developed through a series of interviews and workshops with key players in the community benefits story in spring 2017. Blueprint conducted interviews with 17 representatives from community groups, labour unions, government and philanthropic organizations involved in pursing community benefits related to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction. We also held two workshops with these representatives to obtain feedback on our findings and to collectively identify key insights and takeaways. This story was commissioned by the Atkinson Foundation to support strengthening community benefits policy and practice in Ontario. The story tracks efforts leading up to the signing of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Declaration in December 2016.

Download Community Benefits as a Strategy for Economic Inclusion in Ontario: The Eglinton Crosstown LRT Story

In 2012, a diverse group of actors came together to pursue community benefits through the Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction. The immediate goal was to leverage this $5.3 billion infrastructure investment to create economic opportunities for residents from historically disadvantaged groups. The longer term goal was to contribute to a broader conversation about ensuring the benefits of economic development are shared more equitably. Individuals and organizations from community and labour with support from philanthropy came together to articulate a shared vision for community benefits and mobilized to make this vision a reality. This case study outlines the story of this mobilization, including key milestones, successes and dilemmas, and identifies insights and lessons learned from the perspective of the key players.

Table of contents

Story overview
Our process
I – The story: key events, success factors & dilemmas
Building commitment to a shared vision
Developing shared goals and strategy
Determining an approach for implementation
Focusing on outcomes and continued engagement
II – Key insights
Commitment to shared values
Community-labour coalition
Learning while doing
Mobilizing strategy
Internal champions
Focus on achieving targets
Summary and conclusion