Youth Engagement Strategy

Youth aged 18 - 30 are an important segment of Toronto's population. In some parts of the city, they are the fastest-growing demographic group, and they are often drivers of economic and employment growth. Yet the voices of youth are often missing in Toronto's planning processes, where homeowners over the age of 55 typically dominate the conversation. The Youth Engagement Strategy aims to bring more youth voices into city planning conversations by:

>  Understanding how and when to engage youth on city planning issues; and,

>  Creating a framework that will mobilize a generation to take ownership of and become active on planning issues.

Developing the Youth Engagement Strategy

The Youth Engagement Strategy is a plan made for youth by youth. At the core of the process was the Youth Research Team (YRT), a talented and diverse group of ten Torontonians aged 18-29 who are passionate about city building. The YRT was tasked with studying youth engagement issues with a broader youth audience across Toronto.

The Youth Research Team connected with other youth to understand what issues matter most to them, when and how to involve youth in city building conversations and how to build youth understanding and engagement in city building.

Over an intensive five-week research period, the Team promoted, facilitated and documented engagement activities with over 400 of their peers across more than 15 Toronto neighbourhoods. In their consultations, they used a variety of methods, including surveys, pop-up town halls and facilitated workshops, resulting in over 150 pages of documentation. All of this research then formed the basis of the Strategy, which the YRT, Consultant Team and City staff developed collaboratively.