Toronto Social Capital Project
The Institute is partnering with the Toronto Foundation, Maytree, Metcalf Foundation, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto on a new research initiative to map the level of social trust and community engagement among Toronto residents, and provide a foundation for strengthening the social capital of the city.
“Social capital” is the term used to describe the vibrancy of social networks and the extent to which there is trust and reciprocity within a community and among individuals. It is the essential “lubricant” that makes it possible for societies to function, and for people to get along peacefully even when they have little in common. To what extent do Torontonians feel connected to, and actively engage with, their neighbours and community organizations? How well do they trust their neighbours? These questions matter because social trust and engagement are critical to a good quality of life, a healthy population, safe streets, and economic prosperity.
Based on the principle of “you can only manage what you measure”, this project will provide the public, private, not-for-profit, and philanthropic sectors with the empirical basis for data-driven policies, programs initiatives, and investments that will sustain and strengthen the community’s social capital, social cohesion and subjective well-being, and the benefits that flow from them.
Phase 1 of the project has now been completed, and Phase 2 is now pending.