The East Scarborough Storefront uses the power of collaboration to support people and build community in an inner suburban neighbourhood in East Scarborough.

East Scarborough is one of the most diverse communities in the country. Almost 30% of the people living in East Scarborough live below the poverty line. East Scarborough is home to the highest concentration of social housing in Ontario and to the largest Aboriginal community in Toronto outside of the downtown. East Scarborough is geographically located on the fringes of Toronto and is plagued by lack of economic opportunities and poor transit.

The problem The Storefront sets out to solve is that people, especially people in marginalized communities like East Scarborough are in real danger of being disconnected and disenfranchised from each other the systems designed to support them; those systems and organizations are often disconnected from the very people they are trying to support.

The Storefront believes that it takes collective community responses to keep people engaged to address complex community based and social issues.

Therefore, The Storefront focuses on helping networks of residents, social service organizations, academic institutions, businesses, planners and architects engage in meaningful discussions, run programs, organize events, share learning and participate in a wide range of activities effectively and collectively.

What this means is that because of The Storefront:

  • Residents can find the services they need because The Storefront operates a service hub where 35 organizations bring social services like legal advice, youth groups and settlement services to the neighbourhood
  • Residents are connected with local employment and economic opportunities through Storefront's Community Wealth strategy
  • Residents are supported by The Storefront to run their own events and volunteer in ways that improve community knowledge and collective action
  • The Storefront nurtures Innovation, bringing the best of institutions like University of Toronto Scarborough and professions like architecture and integrating them in the myriad activities designed to increase resident voice, knowledge and opportunity in East Scarborough

The Storefront is a project on MakeWay's shared platform. MakeWay is a national charity, #13056 0188 RR0001. MakeWay provides uncommon solutions for the common good by helping Canadians secure a healthy environment in ways that promote social equity and economic prosperity. MakeWay holds full legal and fiduciary responsibility for the work of the East Scarborough Storefront.