What is the Province doing to support community hubs in Ontario?
Ontario is removing barriers, improving capacity and making better use of public spaces for local communities to access health and social services, as well as cultural and recreational activities in a community hub. What is a community hub?A community hub is a space in which multiple services – such as health, social, cultural, recreational, etc. – are offered, creating a one-stop shop for people in the community to access the resources they need. Whether located in a high-density urban neighbourhood, a rural community, or even online, each hub is as unique as the community it serves.
Why are community hubs important?
Community hubs offer easy access to client-focused services and resources that respond to the particular needs of individual communities. Among other things, community hubs can:
- increase access to many services under one roof
- enable collaboration amongst different community agencies and service providers
- reduce administrative duplication
- generate improved outcomes for residents and their communities
Who pays for community hubs?
Funding for community hubs can take many forms and often comes from multiple sources. In many cases, local community groups will work together to rent space. Depending on the services being offered, the provincial government may provide program or capital funding. Charitable foundations can be a source of funding, and community hubs have been exploring partnerships with private sector or social enterprise opportunities as a source of sustainable funding.
How can I connect with others in my community who are interested in community hubs?
Through the new Resource Network – CommunityHubsOntario.ca – individuals across the province who are working in or planning community hubs can connect easily to share best practices, troubleshoot problems and strengthen partnerships and coordination efforts. By joining the community on Communityhubsontario.ca you can search explore the profiles of other members to make new connections in your community and across the province.
Where can I get more information, tools and resources to support my community?
CommunityHubsOntario.ca is a central source of information, resources, data and tools to help people plan, build, sustain and operate community hubs. Many experienced groups and individuals are willing to share their lessons learned and support other communities seeking to launch similar initiatives. Become a member of the Resource Network to access resources and a network of community hub advocates sharing their experiences throughout the process of creating and running community hubs.
What kind of services, organizations and agencies are commonly located in a community hub?
There is no specific formula for a community hub. Each community hub is a central access point for many different services, programs and activities that respond to local needs.
Are there any surplus schools or government properties that can be accessed in my community? If so, where do I find out about these?
The Community Hubs Mapper contains data about current surplus provincially owned properties to support local planning. Community Hubs in Ontario: Strategic Framework and Action Plan (2015) identified barriers and opportunities with respect to community access to public space, and provided a series of property-related recommendations that were accepted by the provincial government. A key theme of these recommendations was the importance of greater transparency on the part of the provincial government with respect to the management of public property, including property that may not be in active program use. Information on these publicly held properties may support local planning and improve transparency and may expand opportunities for community organizations to explore the use of space in these properties and allow consideration of partnerships focused on future community use of these properties, including for possible community hub development. As a significant step toward implementation of the Action Plan recommendations the province is providing a list of properties owned by the Crown and within the control of the Ministry of Infrastructure that are no longer in active government program use. Going forward the province intends to explore opportunities with stakeholders and broader public sector property owners to expand the scope of properties that could be added to this list. An expanded list could include properties that are no longer in active program use that are controlled by other Ministries or owned by provincial agencies, school boards, hospitals, colleges or other entities funded by the province.
How can I add or update my Community Hub on the map?
To add your community hub to our map or to update it, please use the “Add my hub” link found on the Community Hubs Mapper.