Maytree blog

These stories highlight what organizations and individuals are doing to reduce poverty and strengthen their communities, as well as how and why they do the work that they do.

Published on 18/01/2018

Every year, YPI empowers high school students to develop an understanding of social issues and become key decision-makers in their communities. Now the organization is adding a new dimension to its model: building a culture of human rights to deepen student engagement.

At a high school in Toronto, a group of students is working on creating a social safety net – quite literally.  Within the fictional community they’ve created in their interactive workshop, the students are matching community members facing challenges to their rights with social services that address those challenges. Each student must make a connection […]

Read more

Published on 14/12/2017

Twenty years ago, Dufferin Grove Park began to convert a small rink change room into a community hub. Now there’s a skate-lending program for just $2 and an inclusive skating community.

Twenty years ago, a rink change room in Dufferin Grove Park, used only for about three months a year, began to be converted into a small year-round neighbourhood clubhouse. This happened without a middle man or architect. The conversion took place as small grants became available – step-by-step and piecemeal, and as useful changes suggested […]

Read more

Published on 29/11/2017

With the passing of Bill 148, we have moved closer to ensuring that the right to decent work is enshrined in our laws. And that historic change has happened through the tireless efforts of workers and their allies, who have led a movement to build consensus around worker protections.

With the passing of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, employment standards in Ontario will offer better protections for the province’s most vulnerable workers. We are now, through our legislation, advancing the argument that employment for all workers should be tied to our fundamental social and economic rights such as decent work, income […]

Read more

Published on 26/10/2017

In the push for better rights, tenants’ associations across the city have become important resources for support, advocacy, and education.

Hardly a day goes by without a news item in the Toronto media about tenants’ issues. We hear and read about tenants fighting against unreasonable rent increases, looking for decent living conditions, or organizing to have illegal air conditioning charges removed. In the push for better rights, tenants’ associations across the city have become important […]

Read more

Published on 23/08/2017

Sharing experiences and learning new leadership skills to effect change on a big scale.

On a hot June weekend in Ottawa, over 250 ACORN leaders from across Canada gathered at our 2017 convention. The atmosphere was electric from the outset, with members eager to catch up on campaigns from other cities that they might be able to replicate back home, listen to leading speakers on social justice issues, and […]

Read more

Published on 28/06/2017

Hoping to increase their impact, a group of stakeholders used a flexible, adaptive process to develop a joint policy submission to a federal government consultation.

In late 2015, the federal government committed to the creation of a National Housing Strategy based on the vision that “housing is the cornerstone of building sustainable, inclusive communities and a strong Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.” In response, a group of non-profit and private housing associations, and foundations came together to […]

Read more

Published on 26/05/2017

Overcoming discriminatory NIMBYism means giving people the tools and resources to say “Yes-in-My-BackYard” to supportive housing, rooming houses and homeless shelters.

Many of us have dedicated our lives to promoting engaged communities, where residents come together for the good of their neighbourhood. But what if these same communities believe “preserving good neighbourhoods” means keeping out homeless shelters, rooming houses, supportive housing, and other places where low-income people live? That was the question the HomeComing Coalition asked […]

Read more

Published on 12/04/2017

A group of elementary school students take a trip to Parliament Hill, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ministers, MPs and Senators, talk with them about leadership.

It is not every day that a group of children get to have a private Q and A session in the House of Commons or hear tidbits of personal wisdom about life and career from policy advisors, Ministers, Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister himself. But on February 28, a group of children from […]

Read more

Published on 14/03/2017

Three things TTCriders did that contributed to the success of its transit summit and could be adapted by other community organizations that want to engage people on their issue.

Public transit in Toronto, and how we can make it better, is a topic we see in the news almost daily. It clearly matters – especially to those of us who depend on it every day as we head to work, school or any place we need to be. Over the years, many groups have […]

Read more