Over 500 youth from across Toronto Community Housing neighbourhood - some of the brightest young minds in the city - came together to address issues impacting their lives at the third annual If I Ruled T.O. youth summit.
If I Ruled T.O. youth leaders take a moment out their morning for a smile
"This is our city, and we are the ones who need to make the positive changes," said Andre, 24, from the Jane/Wilson area. "I thought it was a great idea to be able to speak to the people in the city who can actually make things happen.
Toronto Community Housing sponsors events such as If I Ruled T.O. to help build strong communities. The summit, which took place November 29 at the University of Toronto's Chestnut Residence and Conference Centre, gave youth the opportunity to engage with city leaders on important issues like education, jobs and the economy, police relations, space development, politics and housing.
Youth leaders enjoy beverages and conversations at the youth summit
"Today was a very resourceful day. I found it impactful and a great way to have a voice in the city," said Laura, 29, from the Birchmount/Eglinton area. "I found the discussions and workshops to be very engaging."
The If I Ruled T.O. youth summit included interactive discussion topics on:
- Economic development
- Issues with social housing
- Mental health
- Social media
- Police relations
- Civic engagement
- Accessible youth spaces
- Youth solutions to youth violence
(From left to right) President and CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn, Toronto Community Housing Board Member Munira Abukar and Vice President, Resident and Community Services Lenna Bradburn stop for a photo before the day's opening ceremonies.
The summit is a partnership with the City of Toronto's Social Development and Finance division and with inspiration and guidance from mentors, motivational speakers, politicians and other influential leaders. It gave youth the opportunity to share the ideas on the changes and decisions they would make if they were in positions of power to help build a better city for all.
"Through your dedication and passion for community building, you, Toronto's influential youth leaders, have the opportunity to engage in discussions about the things that impact your daily lives," said Greg Spearn, Toronto Community Housing's President and CEO (Interim). "It is an opportunity to talk about change with the very people who work in the systems and have the ability to translate your ideas to action."
Click to learn more on the If I Ruled T.O. summit webpage