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2017 Ontario Community Hubs Summit

October 13, 2017 • 6 min read

The Summit brought together community, public and private sector leaders from across the province, the country and internationally. It provided the opportunity for a wide-ranging, intensive and enlightening exchange of ideas, best practices and practical advice for planning, building and sustaining successful community hubs.

View the Summit 2017 Program (PDF)


Hubs Summit 2017

Hubs 2017 video transcript

Why Hubs Now

Why Hubs Now? video transcript

Transcript: Hubs Summit 2017 video


Brickworks is a great example of actually repurposing a building, returning it to the community, and bringing together different partners from different sectors to actually rethink how they envision their local community.  So, Brickworks is actually one very large community hub.


So, we are at (00:00:30) the Brickworks in Toronto.  In fact, there are people from all over the province who have come to be part of this conversation.  I am really excited about this summit today because we have been talking about community hubs and putting community hubs in place in a systematic way for a long time.


This is an extraordinary event, to be able to come here and learn from the richness of communities from across our beautiful province is extraordinary.


It is over 500 people at this conference to learn about (00:01:00) hubs.


There are many sessions going on today facilitated by different community stakeholders that allows everyone to have an opportunity to connect with their unique view points.


Now, I am going to have a whole network of people that I can call and say, “could you help me,” or “have you been there,” or “what would you do,” so it’s going to be fabulous.


There is so much energy.  There are so many people here interested in this debate which is quite heartening because sometimes this can be quite a sort of banging your head against the wall type of sector (00:01:30) to work within.


And premier Wynne’s vision is really tremendous and that’s what got us here today.  The commitment of the provincial government to the hub model, that’s the energy in the room, that’s why people are here, it’s time they want to do something different.


This is an example of how the Ontario government is actually taking the steps in the right direction to support needs of the communities in a new way, and it’s encouraging to see all the people at this summit (00:02:00) that are willing to contribute to that and they really care about communities, and you know, I think this movement and momentum is really growing in Ontario.


And bringing it all together, the way that we have done in the past two days, has given me more confidence than ever that this is a solution that is going to happen now, not someday.


Transcript: Why Hubs Now? video

The world is a frightening place actually. If you look around, I think that there are some issues around, inequality, ignorance, authoritarianism, populism, people are coming out with some very simple solutions that sound initially attractive to people, actually the world is a more complicated place. Community hubs are really important because they act as a way of giving people more control over what happens in their local area.

We have heard from people all over the province that there is a real need and an interest in getting (00:00:30) together to talk about how to build local capacity because communities understand that they want to control their local destiny to make their communities a better place to live.

Community hubs are crucial to building healthy vibrant communities.

They function as the heart of a particular town or a city. They give people an access to not just services but to connecting.

Mostly what we are trying to do is work with people in the neighborhood and figure out (00:01:00) how they want to solve things together. So, community development is the backbone of what we do.

This is about small towns, it is about rural communities, it is about northern communities, and it is about larger urban centers. There are community hubs in different places around the province because people came together and were creative and found a way to do it, but there are lots of barriers.

We have a disconnect now between government and community and corporations and nonprofits, (00:01:30) and community hubs are a way to start building back those vital connections that are necessary in order to build strong communities.

So, the province plays a really important role because they bring together all of the different sectors and all of the community groups into a conversation that without that leader has really been a very disperate conversation.

We need ministries working together in order to help people on the ground in communities who have a great idea (00:02:00) but keep running up against bureaucracy or regulation and so we trying to move those barriers out of the way whether they are from the health sector or education sector or criminal justice sector, there are ways of delivering service better if we work together.

It is very, very timely. If you look at almost every new piece of legislation, every ministry initiative, all of it could be attached to hubs.

And being able to support those organizations to deliver what communities need, (00:02:30) it’s fundamental to building healthy sustainable communities in cities in Ontario.

And I think that’s one of the things the reason we touched on maybe a chord that actually resonates with people because there is a lot going on in the world that we can’t control, but community hubs is something that brings it back to our local communities. We have actually really found such an outpouring of interest and support for this initiative that will only grow in the years ahead.


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