History – A Solid Foundation

Since being founded as the Toronto City Summit Alliance in 2002, CivicAction has provided a neutral platform for collaboration and leadership focused on improving our region’s social, economic and environmental future. In 2003, we kicked things off with, Enough Talk: An Action Plan for the Toronto Region, and since then have focused on issues where there is a clear consensus for action and where progress can be made quickly.

“We all like to point out what needs to change in our cities. CivicAction does something about it. This is an organization devoted to identifying areas where the city can improve, figuring out how we can contribute, then getting it done. Rinse and repeat. I love that.”

Cameron Bailey, CivicAction Board of Directors; Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival

Visit our Reports page for examples of how we’ve driven real progress on pressing issues, and see see our past initiatives and impact to date below.

Our Past Work

CivicAction’s work covers the broad civic landscape. Through the summit every four years, we change our focus to areas of need where we can make a measurable difference through multi-sectoral partnerships. We’ve worked on dozens of projects to improve the social and economic future of the region. 

Summit 2019: Canvas

Almost 1200 civic designers, artists and collaborators from all sectors generate nearly 800 ideas to set our new action plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Learn more about the topics discussed throughout the day.


500+ residents across the GTHA informed CivicAction’s work to tackle affordable housing, prepare for the future of work, and unlock inclusive leadership by dishing out their ideas on how to solve them.

Toronto Global

CivicAction helped pave the way to revitalized regional foreign direct investment agency Toronto Global by convening advisory group of GTA Mayors, Chairs and business, government and academic leaders.

Better Child Care in the GTHA

Over a period of three months, CivicAction engaged a diverse group of employers to inform the Ministry of Education’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Framework and Expansion Strategy

Infrastructure for Today and Tomorrow

In 2016, the federal government committed $60 billion in new infrastructure funding. CivicAction – in partnership with Deloitte – provided recommendations to guide this infrastructure investment strategy.

Summit: Better City Bootcamp

Better City Bootcamp drove attention to five interrelated themes influencing our region’s personal and community health and well-being. Download Jumping into Action, to learn more about the ideas and actions generated.


A youth networking and mentoring program that taps into companies and organizations from across the Toronto region. Now led by United Way Greater Toronto, 800+ youth and 540+ mentors are engaged in this program. 

NPower Canada

NPower Canada is building the pipeline of future talent through private-sector led employment training. 1,000 students have graduated from this IT skills training program with paid internships.

Race to Reduce

Award-winning competition that engaged 42% of the GTA’s offices and collectively reduced energy consumption by 12.1% between 2011-2014. The Race received national and international recognition.


Half of all elected officials from across the GTHA joined thousands of residents in signing a pledge to show their support for greater investment in our regional transportation. This led to $16 billion in dedicated provincial funding for transportation improvements.

Greening Greater Toronto

In 2008, we saw the launch of a coalition that focuses on greening procurement, increasing energy efficiency of commercial properties and providing new opportunities to deliver carbon offset credits across Canada for its investors. Find out more about this initiative.


Arts and culture festival launched in 2017, and today attracts millions of tourists each year. Dive into their history.

The Greater Toronto Leadership Project

Addresses the visible minority gap in GTHA leadership positions. To date, 230+ DiverseCity Fellows have graduated and continue to do great things for our region. Learn more about the history of DiverseCity here.

Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force

In 2004 the Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force was established and has led to 1,200 initiatives in 6 years across 13 priority neighbourhoods

Modernizing Income Security For Working Age Adults

Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)

To find ways that the region’s labour market can better leverage the skills and talent that immigrants bring, CivicAction and Maytree formed TRIEC. To date, TRIEC has facilitated 16,000 mentoring relationships.


The Toront03 Alliance was formed in June 2003 to help revitalize the tourism industry in Toronto and surrounding regions post-SARS, generating $70 million in tourism. See the full summary report.

“Between the idea and the reality falls CivicAction – mobilizing minds, partners and people to solve our region’s pressures.” 

Daniele Zanotti, CivicAction Board of Directors; President and CEO, United Way Toronto and York Region

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