Community hubs have sprung up organically throughout Ontario for decades and are a common-sense approach for effectively delivering important services. The Province recognizes that community hubs need to be promoted, supported and provided with a framework to grow.
While community hubs are local initiatives, driven by local needs and powered by local leadership, the Government of Ontario recognizes that it has an important role to play. That is why Premier Kathleen Wynne launched the Community Hubs Initiative in 2015, seeking to support community hubs and break down barriers that have limited their establishment and growth, all with the aim of continuing to build our communities.
Over a period of 90 days, the Community Hubs Advisory Group heard from more than 350 organizations across Ontario and in August 2015 released Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan, which included 27 recommendations – all of which the government accepted.
This is the second annual progress report and the Province is moving forward with important initiatives. Crucial work was done throughout the year with successes on several fronts, three of which will be highlighted.
In May 2017, the Ontario Community Hubs Summit brought together hundreds of people and organizations from across the province to share ideas and learn from both expert speakers and each other about best practices in community hub development and integrated service delivery.
Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli launched a valuable new tool, the Community Hubs Resource Network (communityhubsontario.ca), an accessible, essential resource for those interested in community hub development.
The Government of Ontario also introduced an important measure to facilitate the development of community hubs. The Surplus Property Transition Initiative is designed to provide more time for communities to develop business plans and complete due diligence to determine the viability of acquiring surplus provincial, school board or hospital properties.
In addition, work continues on all 27 recommendations outlined in Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan. Key milestones in addressing the recommendations are highlighted in the appendix of this report.
While the initiative is ongoing, the Province has made significant progress in supporting Ontario’s community hubs.