Here’s what you need to know about United Way Greater Toronto’s involvement in the Greater Golden Mile

A rendering of the future of the Scarborough Golden Mile.
A 3D visualization of the proposed redevelopment projects in the Golden Mile. (Courtesy Stephen Velasco/Future Model Toronto) 

The Greater Golden Mile neighbourhood is preparing for big changes in the coming years – and there are ways you can be involved.

Q. What is happening in the Greater Golden Mile?

A. The redevelopment of the Golden Mile along Eglinton Avenue East between Victoria Park Avenue and Birchmount Road comprises 14 separate development applications varying in size and complexity. Spurred by the promise of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, the first large-scale proposals began in 2015 as part of a long approval process that continues today. As of early 2024, the combined 14 redevelopment proposals envision more than 35,000 residential units and together will be one of the largest redevelopment projects in the city. 

The current mix of chain stores, strip malls, and parking lots will be transformed with approximately 75 mid- and high-rise buildings expected to house more than 45,000 residents, according to current proposals. The neighbourhoods surrounding the Golden Mile commercial area (known as the Greater Golden Mile), including Victoria Village, Ionview, Kennedy Park, and others, are also expected to be shaped by the decades-long redevelopment.

Q. What role is United Way playing in this neighbourhood?

A. United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) fights poverty and builds strong neighbourhoods. UWGT has been active in the Golden Mile community for many years, including by coordinating efforts by local agencies and residents to develop a community vision for the redevelopment as part of the Golden Mile Community Benefits Framework. For many years, UWGT has provided critical funding to a network of agencies that function as a social support system. Building on years of experience working in neighbourhoods, United Way Greater Toronto convened the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Initiative (ILEO) with BMO Financial Group in 2018 to create more economic opportunities for residents in neighbourhoods such as the Greater Golden Mile that are undergoing massive changes.

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Q. What is the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Initiative (ILEO)?

A. The Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Initiative (ILEO) brings together public, private, and community sectors to address economic gaps at the neighbourhood level. ILEO has delivered programs that have benefited over 150 residents through job training, employment opportunities, and small business support. With the impact of the initiative in the Greater Golden Mile, ILEO is considering expanding to other neighbourhoods. 

A woman stands behind a table.
Sara sells her Haitian patties at a sales event organized by the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Initiative (ILEO). She is part of the Storefront Starter program, which provides support for small business owners. (Photo courtesy of ILEO)

Q. What is the Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity (CIEO)?

A. The Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity Golden Mile (CIEO) is part of ILEO. It was founded in 2020 by 10 community organizations. It’s a nonprofit organization that helps residents of the Greater Golden Mile neighbourhood connect with jobs, training, and other economic opportunities, while also ensuring that local businesses prosper as the neighbourhood develops. CIEO is also the 51 per cent owner of the Aecon-Golden Mile (A-GM) Joint Venture, a construction company that provides training and employment opportunities for local residents and will invest part of its profits back into the community.

Read more from the Toronto Observer:

Q. How can I be involved?

A. If you have a postal code starting with M4A, M3C, M1L, M1K, or M1J, then ILEO’s free programs are here for you to find a new job, get training, and grow your local business through programs like Aecon-Golden Mile (A-GM) Joint Venture, Good Jobs, Inclusive Procurement and Storefront Starter. Each project tackles a different priority identified by local residents, such as access to stable jobs, supporting small businesses, and connecting residents with opportunities and resources.

If you’re a business owner who would like to support the ILEO project and hire people from the neighbourhood, please contact [email protected]

This story was produced as part of a partnership between Centennial College journalism students and United Way Greater Toronto.

About this article

Posted: May 14 2024 6:30 am
Filed under: News