160 years
of building healthy communities

Watch our
160 Years and Counting
video now.

The YMCA of Greater
Toronto is leading the
change in reshaping and
rebuilding our communities.
See how change begins
at these centres.

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the 2013 YMCA
Annual Report

Download the 2013 YMCA Annual Report

to the

The world today is much different than it was when the YMCA first opened its doors to the community 160 years ago.

And yet, despite the growth of our city, and the advances we have made as a society, the complex social problems facing our communities are more challenging than
ever – particularly for
our young people.

Problems such as childhood obesity, youth unemployment, low-income prevalence, high-school drop out and illiteracy rates, and feelings of a weak sense of belonging are all in double digits. And the barriers facing many of our young people threaten to derail their development at the most crucial stages of their lives.

Our work has never been more important

Since the beginning, the YMCA has been committed to providing every young person with access to the programs and services that enable them to achieve physical, social, emotional and mental health and we continued this tradition in 2013.

Expanding our reach

In addition to the incredible reach that our programs had across the GTA, we also embarked on an ambitious campaign to build ten new YMCA Centres of Community over the next ten years. These new Centres will help build healthy communities and enable more individuals reach their full potential.

Our Strong Start, Great Future campaign received a significant boost thanks to the extreme generosity of Michael Cooper and Krystal Koo who committed a $2 million gift to support our new Cherry Street YMCA. The Toronto Cooper Koo Family Cherry St. YMCA will be the heart of a new community, and will enable us to serve more than 8,000 children, youth and families when complete.

Our dedicated people

Of course, we also owe our accomplishments, in no small part, to the volunteers, alumni and staff who dedicate themselves every day to creating an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion. It is their commitment to our principles that has helped us create a model organization that has also been recognized as one of the Top Employers in the Greater Toronto Area.

To the next 160 years

Our work is far from complete. As our population and communities continue to grow, the YMCA of Greater Toronto will be there to ensure that our young people – and everyone in our community – have the support and services they need to grow and thrive. With your help, we can achieve our goal.

Minding the Future

Every day,
parents drop off
their children
at a YMCA
Child Care Centre

Children thrive on consistency. Like adults, they learn better in a safe environment that they are familiar with. In response to the Ontario government's introduction of full-day Kindergarten and to support the vision of seamless care for children from early morning to evening, we are partnering with school boards and the government to ensure smooth transitions for children and parents as full-day kindergarten programs are introduced. This has meant that in the last year we have opened 28 new child care sites and converted 22 in order to accommodate the changing needs of parents.

For children in these programs, the ability to spend their whole day – before, during and after school – with a team of caring adults can help lessen their anxiety, and leave them free to focus on learning through play. For working parents, this continuity of care enables them to feel connected to their child's school experience, as they pick up and drop off their child. It offers peace of mind for parents to go to work and know their children are well taken care of in a quality child care setting, with trained Early Childhood Education workers who care.

Watch our
160 Years
and Counting

video now.

"Social isolation tends to be detrimental to health, while social engagement and attachment are associated with positive health outcomes."

– Statistics Canada

"Since my neighbourhood is one of the horrible neighbourhoods, I would tell kids if you want to get away from all this badness, just come with me to YMCA Teen Night – it's a good place."

– Jordan


The teen years can be fraught with challenges for young people trying to find their place in the world. Supporting teens during these transformative years is a critical focus for the YMCA.

Our YMCA Teen Nights provide young people between ages 13 and 18 with the opportunity to access a range of weekend programs – all for free. These Teen Nights offer a safe and welcoming environment where teens can socialize, participate in healthy activities and explore new interests.

To date, nearly 13,000 teens have participated in a YMCA Teen Night free weekend access program. And with the YMCA's ambitious plans to build ten new Centres of Communities in underserved neighbourhoods, we will greatly expand our reach to more parts of the GTA, providing even more teens with a safe, supportive environment where they can participate, feel connected and build confidence and self-esteem.

Watch our
160 Years
and Counting

video now.

From 2006 to 2009, the number of youth staying in shelters increased by

Stepping up to the Challenges

From childhood to adolescence, from school to work, the transition from one important life stage to the next is often a time when young people can stumble or lose their way. The YMCA places special emphasis on supporting young people during these important transitions.

This year, we provided transitional housing, counselling, workshops and employment skills training to more than 90,000 youth or young adults in at-risk circumstances.

We also expanded our capacity to serve even more young people with the opening of our Vanauley Street YMCA, an 11,400-square-foot facility in Toronto's Alexandra Park neighbourhood that allows us to provide shelter, counselling, employment programs, medical services and more – all under one roof.

1 in 3children in Ontario is overweight or obese

Active for
a Healthy

Inactivity and obesity are threatening the future of our children. 1 in 5 young people in the GTA are obese and 9 out of 10 young Canadian's aren't getting enough daily physical activity. Tackling these issues is one of the YMCA's key priorities.

In 2013, more than 165,000 members participated in YMCA's Health and Fitness programs at our Centres of Community across the Greater Toronto Area and an additional 12,960 children learned how to swim. These programs help ensure that all members of our community – regardless of their age – are able to live active, healthy lives.

In addition, the YMCA worked with a wide range of partners on the Ontario government's Healthy Kids Panel to help inform policies around reducing childhood obesity.

The YMCA is now actively examining ways to lead the implementation of the report's recommendations, turning strategy into action and taking a critical stand on the health of children and childhood obesity.

Watch our
160 Years
and Counting

video now.

Can our
be home to the
healthiest children,
teens and young
adults?Y not?

We believe that everyone deserves the chance to grow and flourish in body, mind and spirit. And more than that, we believe that with the right support and opportunities, everyone can.

That was the inspiration behind the YMCA of Greater Toronto's first major public awareness campaign, Y not? Through this campaign, we aim to spread the word about all that is achievable in our community – with the help of the YMCA and you.

of a

of the surrounding neighbourhood

It takes many hands to build a community – and many hearts. And it is only with the generosity and compassion of YMCA donors that our vision for our communities can be achieved.

This year, the largest gift in our history will support our Strong Start Great Future Campaign - a $2 million gift from Krystal Koo and Michael Cooper towards our new YMCA Centre of Community at Cherry Street.

of completed swimming pool

Following the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Cooper Koo Family YMCA will play a central role for children, youth and families in the new Canary District. It will support more than 8,000 people, ensuring access to much needed YMCA programs and services, in a neighbourhood whose population is projected to increase by 13.5% by 2020.

of the surrounding neighbourhood

of completed front entrance

160 Years
and Counting
for the
of our

We've come a long way in 160 years. And we have further to go.

Watch our story

Our Mission
The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity offering opportunities for personal growth, community involvement and leadership.

Our Vision
Our communities will be home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults.

Our Values
The YMCA of Greater Toronto is guided by values that inform the way we act and the decisions we make:

  • Caring
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Inclusiveness
  • Responsibility
  • Respect



Delivering On Our Mission

The YMCA works to improve the physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being of individuals by focusing on the social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors that affect their health.[1] We've been doing this for 160 years.

Recent research done for the Canadian government tells us that 50% of the health of the Canadian population can be attributed to education, income, social status, culture and gender, and employment and working conditions.[2]

As the YMCA of Greater Toronto undertakes our new 2010-2020 strategic plan, we are more rigorously measuring our work and its impact on health.

Improving the health of children, teens, and young adults will not only affect the quality of their lives and their opportunity to achieve their full potential but can also extend their lifespans. Simply put, people with higher levels of education, income, and social status live longer.

[1] The YMCA of Greater Toronto has adopted the World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health is seen as a resource for everyday life, not an object of living. It is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities" (WHO, 2000).

[2] The health care system accounts for 25% of health outcomes, genetics account for 15% and the physical environment including housing accounts for another 10%. See A Healthy, Productive Canada: A Determinant of Health Approach. The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Final Report of the Senate Subcommittee on Population Health.

Answering Your Questions

While it is more difficult to measure our impact on the complex social determinants of health, we also monitor our success on more traditional measures of stewardship including our cost of fundraising and transparent disclosure of our financial statements.

How does the Association
earn its revenue?

How do I get more information
about the YMCA's financials?

A complete set of financial statements is available upon request by calling 1-800-223-8024 or by email. Imagine Canada also provides information on all registered charities in Canada on their website charityfocus.ca.

The financial information reflected in the YMCA's annual report is a component of the Association's complete Audited Financial Statements. These Audited Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations and were audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The auditors review this annual report for consistency with the Audited Financial Statements.

What percentage of my
donation goes to fundraising?

For every dollar you donate an average of 72 cents goes towards enabling our mission and vision. The remainder is spent on fundraising (28 cents). The YMCA of Greater Toronto raises funds through a combination of individual donations, corporate partnerships, fundraising events and online fundraising.

How does the YMCA financially
support families in need?

The YMCA offers financial assistance each year, based on a family's financial circumstances. This assistance does not cover the full fees for a program or service, as a family contribution is always required. In 2012-2013 the Association provided $6,413,822 in financial assistance. This represents 100% of the donations raised as part of our annual YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and the remainder was funded from our Operations. For more information on supporting the YMCA, please visit www.ymcagta.org/strongstart.

How many people are served by
YMCA of Greater Toronto programs?

Our People

Our Partners

Thank You

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is grateful to all donors for their support.
We are pleased to recognize the individuals and organizations who have contributed a cumulative amount of $250 or more between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 through our annual, capital or endowment campaigns.


There are many ways that you can support the YMCA of Greater Toronto and help us continue the work of building a healthier community for all.

Lend Your Support

The YMCA of Greater Toronto has worked to respond to our society's greatest challenges for more than 155 years. By donating or volunteering your time to our cause, you can help us build healthier, stronger communities and ensure that all individuals are able to achieve their full potential.

Partners in a Healthy Tomorrow

The YMCA of Greater Toronto collaborates extensively with governments at all levels and a vast network of community organizations, corporations, foundations and institutions to creatively build on the strengths of our communities.


  • Help people improve their overall health
  • Support children and youth as they grow into adults
  • Help a newcomer settle in Canada
  • Make a difference in someone's life

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Your support helps ensure no child or youth is left out by providing access to YMCA Centres of Community, transitional housing, camping and recreation programs. With your help, we can make our communities home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults.


ANNUAL REPORT 2013   |   160 Years of Building Healthy Communities