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.

“CivicAction and its one-of-a-kind model has the ability to rally diverse perspectives and experiences around a common goal. It convenes with intention, and that intention is action.”

Peter Sloly, CivicAction Board of Directors; Partner – Risk Advisory, Cyber, National Lead – Security and Justice, Deloitte

Visit our Reports page for examples of how we’ve driven real progress on pressing issues, and see our Timeline below for a snapshot of our impacts to date.

Our Approach

Our agenda is set every four years at our CivicAction Summit where we convene hundreds of civic leaders including elected officials, senior business executives, community advocates and emerging leaders from all sectors to identify the issues keeping the region up at night. Then we hit the ground running and get to work, working with partners from all sectors to create initiatives that transform our region.

As the premier civic engagement organization in Canada, we leverage nearly two decades of experience and a network of over 10,000 stakeholders to take action on the most pressing challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. 


“Toronto’s gift to the world could be this unique and powerful model of city-building that comes from collective leadership.”

David Pecaut, CivicAction Founder, 2009

Tribute to Our Founding Chair

David Pecaut (1955-2009) was the driving force and founding chair of our organization. A senior partner of The Boston Consulting Group, he was an extraordinary civic entrepreneur and visionary. He had a powerful talent for convening people from widely varying perspectives and backgrounds and working with them to build consensus and collaborate to achieve bold city-building goals.

David created and led a 40-leader Steering Committee to take a more detailed look at the challenges facing our region, resulting in the 2003 report, Enough Talk: An Action Plan for the Toronto Region and leading to the creation of this unique and enduring civic leadership organization.

David taught us civic responsibility and engagement, showing time and again how much can be achieved when energetic and passionate people like him come together to create and pursue big ideas. Before his passing, he shared his inspiring vision of collective leadership and city-building to ensure the future success of the Toronto region. Read David’s love letter to Toronto.  To find out more about David, see our leadership spotlight on him here, and read Eleven Out of Ten: The Life and Work of David Pecaut – a memoir authored by Helen Burstyn.

“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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