Community Grants

Seed Grants

The Junior League of Toronto (JLT) supports non-profit organizations to deliver programs in the Greater Toronto Area. The JLT supports innovative programs by partnering with other non-profit organizations on both short and long term projects and offering start up funding through Seed Grants to support new programs.


If your organization is interested in partnering with the JLT on a community project, please email for more information. 


To apply for Seed Grant funding for the start up of a new program, please complete an application form to the required instructions by Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Click Here for the 2016 - 2017 Seed Grant Application Form, due  February 15th, 2017

Please email for more information about partnering with the JLT on a community project



The Centre for Dreams The JLT provided funding for their DreamWorx program – a specialized job training program that will assist people with disabilities to succeed in the workplace.

The Centre for Dreams is a York region based, non-profit day program for youth and adults, 21 years of age and older, living with a developmental disability. The Centre for Dreams provides these individuals training in subjects such as basic reading skills, how to use the public transit, how get jobs, how to handle their own financial management, general health and hygiene, and social and behavioral skills.

Children’s Aid Foundation The JLT provided funding for their Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TFCBT), an evidence-based psychotherapy, an effective interventions for managing mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, mood and trauma reduction. This treatment model is designed to assist children, adolescents, and their families in overcoming the negative effects of a traumatic experience.

The Children’s Aid Foundation funds programs that give Canada’s most neglected, vulnerable kids the support they need to reinvent their lives.

Kennedy House Youth Services The JLT provided funding for their “Essential Skills Program for Homeless Youth” at their shelter. This program will give homeless youth the essential skills and experience they will need to become part of the labour market.

The Kennedy House Youth Services helps approximately 350 homeless youth each year, by giving them a safe place to sleep, warm meals, clothing and supplies, as well as the support they need to turn their lives around.

Stonegate Community Health Centre The JLT provided funding for a sewing program geared to training women in a useful skill for employment in a low income area.

Stonegate Community Health Centre has been providing primary health care, health promotion and a wide variety of community programs since 1992. 

Trails Youth Initiatives The JLT provided funding for a mindfulness program for at-risk youth.

Trails Youth Initiatives’ mission is to challenge and equip vulnerable girls and boys from at-risk areas of Toronto to become contributing members of their communities.

Up With Women The JLT provided funding for coaching, employment, and professional training to women who have been homeless. 

Up With Women is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping recently homeless and at-risk women to build sustainable, prosperous careers and businesses with the aim of permanently exiting poverty.

Youth Without Shelter The JLT provided funding for “One Youth at A Time” a workshop for school children on youth homelessness geared toward early intervention.

Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is an emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth. They are dedicated to providing shelter and support programs for homeless youth. They provide an independent shelter, committed to diverse client ­focused services, in a safe, non­judgmental environment. Their programs enable youth to live responsibly and independently in society.




ArtHart Community Art Center - The JLT provided funding for a Syrian Refugee Resettlement Arts Project to provide a visual arts drop-in for Syrian refugees and their sponsor families to visit our visual arts studio to be creative together.  The goals of this initiative are to provide opportunities to learn about the Regent Park community, to form new friendships and to build their communication skills in English.


Child Development Institute - The JLT provided funding  for a gender specific component of the SNAP (Stop Now and Plan) program.  SNAP Girls will offer techniques and principles from a feminist perspective, tackles issues that contribute to girl-specific behaviour problems, such as social aggression, while focusing on some of the most prevalent childhood mental health issues, including anxiety and mood disorders.


LOFT Community Services - The JLT provided funding  to launch a new Art Therapy program for the Transitional Age Youth program (TAY). TAY offers support and case management for youth mental health issues and youth addictions, and assists homeless youth in finding safe and affordable housing in Toronto.  TAY is aimed at ages 16 to 26 and exists to fill the significant gaps that exist between youth and adult services sectors, and between hospital and community-based services. 


Lost Lyrics - The JLT provided funding to develop a youth-led curriculum and conference that explores issues relating to Rape and Consent through mainstream media.


VIBE Arts - Offers free arts education programs to marginalized children and youth and develop program participants into volunteers, into program assistants, into program leaders and into Toronto’s next generation of artistic leaders.  The JLT provided funding to develop peer-led session sessions a year that would include presentations by youth on their projects, techniques and learnings, panels of youth discussing topics of interest, and also some informal but facilitated discussions on topics requested by youth. 

2015 Seed Grant Recipients

Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario provides the empowerment and independence of sailing to persons with physical and mental disabilities. They will be purchasing sailing assisted devices which provide quadriplegic sailors the ability to control power assist systems using their breath. 


Girls e-Mentorship Innovation connects at-risk girls in high school with successful female professional mentors, providing them with personal and academic support to encourage success in their studies and careers. They will be expanding their tutoring, exam preparation and post-secondary application workshops. 


Jumbles Theatre Group is a community based arts organization which undertakes multiyear residencies in urban neighbourhoods. They have recently expanded to the downtown CityPlace development where they are developing a dance program for mixed income teens. 


MABELLEarts brings new Canadian women together to teach the fundamentals of homecraft, such as sewing, textiles, etc. They will be purchasing new sewing machines to expand their programming. 


St. Stephen’s Community House offers an alternative fitness program for at-risk youth. They have developed a Dance Workshop which trains peer leaders to organize dance classes, by working with local studios and instructors to offer dance classes and performances in the community. 

2013 Seed Grant Recipients

The Scarborough Women’s Centre received $2000 to expand their Building Strong Futures: Young Women’s Outreach Program. This program is structured as a series of workshops to help young women build confidence and learn how to make positive choices in all aspects of their lives, including in relationships, education and in gaining economic independence. These workshops also include a Leadership Program and Mentoring Program, encouraging the participants to share their knowledge and skills with the community. With the seed grant, the Scarborough Women’s Centre will expand the program to include a workshop about Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds. This new workshop will include and hour of physical activity, as well as discussion and education about exercise and healthy food choices. The funds will support development of the new program, supplies and snacks.

AppleTree Markets Group in partnership with Toronto Green Community received $2000 to develop the Sustainable Schools program. This program has already been run in Toronto, but the new seed grant allows Sustainable Schools to expand to schools that lack the funding to cover associated costs. AppleTree Markets Group help children to learn about healthy, local food, and will plan, launch and run their own food-based organization. The students will develop leadership, project management and entrepreneurial skills as they learn about where food comes from and building responsible communities. The seed grant will be used to cover market insurance, educational workshops, signage and decorations.

2012 Seed Grant Recipients

We awarded 5 Seed Grants for 2012. 
From the many deserving applicants, the following organizations presented innovative programs that required seed funding, related to our JLT mission:

  •  Ground Level Youth Ventures – to help with starting and running ‘The Food Chain’, a community focused commercial kitchen
  • Children’s Peace Theatre – to help develop a Theatre and Leadership Program for Refugee Youth to tell their stories
  • Yellow Brick House – to implement the Mothers in Mind Program, targeted for ‘at risk’ mothers
  •  Building Bands Canada – Music Education Program for kids and youth
  • Flemington Park Ministry – for purchasing a Good Food Box for their Community Kitchen Program


2011 Seed Grant Recipients

SEED GRANT cheque presentation to Youth Without Shelter - March, 2011

The JLT was pleased to present Youth Without Shelter with a seed grant cheque for $2000 to purchase exercise equipment, fitness clothing, runners, energy snacks and water bottles for paticipants in their new Wellness Program that will provide fitness instruction for the residents in an enviornment that is not intimidating and supports the growth of self esteem.

Youth Without Shelter is one of the recipients of the JLT Tea for Teens and we are proud to support this relationship.

 From left to right: Gerri McAskill, JLT Assistant CAT Chair, Art Tsang, Youth Without Shelter Planning and Evaluation Manager, Kathy Jaques, JLT West CAT Chair.

 1. Special Olympics Aurora

Special Olympics Aurora proposes to launch a new program for the 2011/12 season within the Aurora community of York Region.The next sport selected and recognized by the Special Olympics Ontario organization will likely be athletics (track and field), softball or soccer.

Our JLT Seed Grant will fund the purchase of equipment, uniforms for the athletes, a team banner and advertising.



2. Youth Without Shelter

Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is Etobicoke's  singular emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth  aged 16-24 years. YWS is launching a Wellness Program in January 2011 to introduce fitness into the lives of their youth residents in an environment that is not intimidating and can support the growth of self esteem.

Our JLT Seed Grant will be applied solely to the purchase of equipment (yoga mats); fitness clothing; runners and energy snacks/water bottles.

3. Red Door Family Shelter
The Red Door Family Shelter  provides a temporary home to abused women and their children, homeless families and newcomers to Canada. Red Door proposes the addition of an Art Therapy Program as an effective way to proactively address  mental-health issues in younger clients.

Our JLT Seed Grant will be applied to the cost of four children's courses (40  children in total) for art supplies, camera rentals, printing and a year end exhibition to showcase participant's art work.

The Children's Storefront is Toronto's oldest parent -child drop in centre.  They are proposing to build a community kitchen to offer a daily nutritious and affordable lunch program, two weekly community suppers  and two  skill  sharing 
 work bees.
Our JLT Seed Grant will be used to purchase a commercial refrigerator for the kitchen.

2010 Seed Grant Recipients

 1. Elizabeth Fry Toronto
Over the past two years the agency has been responding intensively to the needs of women who have successfully left the criminal justice system and are moving on with their lives. 
The seed grant will fund Peer Leadership training of 24 women as peer facilitators to co-facilitate 28 workshops about women and the criminal justice system.

2. Yonge Street Mission’s Evergreen Centre for Street Youth (YSM)
The JLT seed grant will provide funding for uniforms and equipment in two new innovative programs at YSM. The Midnight Martial Arts program, is aimed at high-risk youth on fridays from 11pm-2am. They hope to minimize high-risk behavior during those hours by offering structured recreation.
The Street Vents Self-defense program is geared to women in the sex trade or at high-risk of sexual exploitation. It teaches them how to respond from vulnerable positions, rather than merely from a standing position where escape is easier.

3. Community Home Assistance To Seniors (CHATS)
Currently over 40% of Canadian seniors don’t consume enough calories and protein on a daily basis. CHATS provides over 20 programs and services to help more than 6000 seniors and caregivers live well in their own home and community.
Our Seed Grant will allow them to introduce a Meals On Wheels Hot Meal Program with a moveable trolley system. It will provide a safe and high quality choice to meet senior’s nutritional needs.

The CAT team looks forward to hearing about their progress. The 2011 Seed Grant Application will be available on the JLT website by October and the deadline is December 31st, 2010.  Please pass it on!

2009 Seed Grant Recipients

1. Warden Woods Community Centre ~ Toronto
The JLT contribution will support the Vesta Women’s Group, a community catering program run by the women that provides catering services for in-house events.

2. Women’s Centre of York Region ~ NewMarket
The JLT contribution will support WCYR’s poverty relief program, Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap workshop series will assist women in financial crisis or difficulty.

3. Pathways for Children, Youth and Families ~ Markham
The JLT contribution will help Pathways implement a recreational program, aimed at increasing self confidence, team spirit and healthy living in young women and men who are experiencing crisis in their lives.

4. Distress Centres ~ Toronto
The JLT contribution will help the Distress Centre implement a new program to assist the chronically mentally ill and socially isolated – the Caller Reassurance Program.

5. Home Suite Hope Shared Living ~ Oakville
The JLT contribution would provide Home Suite Hope with the ability to develop the ‘Living Lively – Nutrition’ program. This program would provide single men with cooking skills, improve nutritional knowledge, provide network and social support enhancement, relationship building, confidence building and enjoyment. 

2008 Seed Grant Recipients

1. Community Youth Programs (link on title:
Community Youth Programs supports youth who are living independently and earning minimum wage while working towards high school graduation.  Through its Damian Neary Fund, Community Youth Programs provides tangible and practical support to these youth.    The JLT provided seed grant funding to assist Community Youth Programs in meeting the needs of their clients including providing food store vouchers, and assisting with expenses for prescription medication and urgent dental care.

2. Evergreen Centre for Street Youth 
The Evergreen Centre for Street Youth is a branch of the Yonge Street Mission focusing on meeting the complex needs of Toronto’s large street youth population.    The JLT provided a seed grant to support Evergreen’s Pimp Prevention Initiative, a mandated case management program that works with males between the ages of 16 and 25 who have been convicted of charges that include living off the avails, procuring, and/or operating a bawdy house.  This initiative seeks to provide opportunities for change, to educate young men on how their behaviour negatively affects themselves and society, and to stop the exploitation of sex workers.  Seed grant funding was spent on developing brochures, posters and program materials, and on additional supplies required to conduct workshops.

3. Hospice King-Aurora 
Hospice King-Aurora is a not-for-profit charitable organization offering specialized services and support to those who live with life threatening illness and to those who are bereaved.  Hospice King-Aurora serves the communities of King Township and south Aurora.  The JLT provided seed grant funding to support the development of the “Just in Case...” program for bereaved children.  This program involves the development and provision of a self-care take-home tool (the “Just in Case...”) to assist grieving children who have lost a loved one to death.  It will include a number of safe age-appropriate items such as picture frames, craft-making tools, activity books and journals that children can use to deal with the day to day feelings that continue to occur throughout the grieving process.  A trial of the program in the spring of 2007 was well-received by children participating in both the grieving children’s and teen’s support groups.

4. KidsFest Canada 
KidsFest is a non-profit organization committed to eradicating the root causes of child poverty in Canada.  Through education, KidsFest Canada provides the building blocks necessary for elementary aged children to break the vicious cycle of generational poverty. [Description to be completed]

5. Peace by PEACE Toronto 
Peace by PEACE is a campus-based student engagement program that works to prevent the occurrence of youth violence and bullying in Toronto. Peace by PEACE brings together student volunteers from the University of Toronto and York University to teach conflict resolution to Grade 5 students.    The JLT provided a seed grant to Peace by PEACE to help subsidize the cost of handbooks for students, teachers and volunteers.

6. Westhill Community Services
Westhill Community Services (W.H.C.S.) provides primary health care and community/social support for individuals, families, youth, adults and seniors.    The JLT provided a seed grant to W.H.C.S. to assist in the development of a community/therapeutic garden at the Adult Day Centre.  The Adult Day Centre provides essential programs for frail seniors and seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  Research studies have shown that gardening can have many benefits for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and it is anticipated that the community/therapeutic garden will contribute towards W.H.C.S.’s clients’ emotional and physical health, and provide an enjoyable setting for outdoor group activities.

7. York Region Food for Learning

 2007 Seed Grant Recipients 

1. The Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) 
METRAC works to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children.    The JLT provided seed grant funding to support the launch of METRAC’s “Healthy Families: Violence-Free Homes” campaign.  This campaign involved the development of greeting cards with messages about family violence and its impact on children, and information about resources that are available to assist children youth, women and families in crisis.  Proceeds from the sales of the cards were to be used to support METRAC’s “Respect in Action: Youth Preventing Violence (ReAct)” program.  ReAct is a peer-to-peer program that educates youth on how to deal with violence at home and how to end the cycle of violence in their lives.

2. Opportunity for Advancement
Opportunity for Advancement works, among other things, to reduce isolation among women living in poverty in the social housing community of Pelham Park and Symington.    The JLT provided seed grant funding to create program materials in English and Spanish for a project aimed at reducing isolation for women living in Toronto Community Housing.  This is part of a community development project that seeks to increase the skill capacity of women to reduce their isolation, to increase their confidence to develop strategies for their own lives, and to increase their ability to participate in their community. 

3. Parent-Child Mother Goose Program 
The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program (PCGM) provides a group experience for parents and their babies and young children which focuses on the pleasure and power of using rhymes, songs and stories together.  Parents gain skills and confidence which can enable them to create positive family patterns during their children’s crucial early years, and give their children healthy early experiences with language and communication.  The JLT provided seed grant funding to support a national conference of PCMG Canada to provide PCMG program teachers and colleagues opportunities to develop and enhance their professional skills and to network and share the experiences that make this unique program successful.

4. Scarborough Women’s Centre 
 Scarborough Women’s Centre facilitates the empowerment of any woman wanting to leave an abusive or isolating situation, so she can implement long term positive changes with confidence.  The Young Women’s Outreach Team is focused on helping young women become aware of the issues they face such as abuse, healthy relationships, personal confidence and future planning.    The JLT provided seed grant funding to support the development and distribution of training materials, resources and promotional materials to assist in peer volunteer programs.  Peer volunteers help women learn that there are community resources such as the Scarborough Women’s Centre, there to provide support.  By developing self-confidence, understanding the importance of staying in school, or the impact of abusive relationships, young women will be able to make positive choices in their lives that will better prepare them for their future