Sparking Change

Fostering community well-being in underserved neighbourhood parks


Sparking Change Where it’s Needed Most

In underserved communities, parks are a crucial but often untapped resource for youth engagement, health promotion, access to healthy local food, community economic development, environmental education, and physical recreation.

The Sparking Change program works with communities on the ground to transform underused outdoor spaces into dynamic green community hubs. Park People helps to organize local residents, create partnerships, access seed funding, and build momentum through events and activities. Download our Sparking Change report to learn more.


Park people works with its partners to spark innovative park programming in high-needs communities.

Together with TD Bank Group, Park People delivers the TD Park Builders Program which encourages community engagement and animation of vital community green space in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and low-income communities.

Under the program, Park People supports the work of existing volunteer Friends of the Park groups and community agencies in new immigrant and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. In addition, we foster the development of new Friends of the Park groups. As part of the program, there is also support for park events or small capital improvement projects ranging from $500-$5,000.

The TD Park Builders Program helps communities turn their green spaces into vital neighbourhood hubs.

More details on the program are in the attached program description below. To learn more about how to participate in the TD Park Builders Program, please review the funding guidelines here. If you have further questions, contact

Bringing the Arts to Parks

Park People Partners with creative organizations to bring Arts programming to high needs neighbourhoods. We’ve engaged in dynamic partnerships with organizations including:

  • The Toronto Arts Foundation to deliver Arts in the Parks
  • The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for TIFF in Your Park which screened movies in 10 communities, drawing over 3000 attendees across Toronto.

The Panorama Community Garden has become the “go to” space in the Rexdale Community… Park People has worked closely with gardeners to develop their leadership and empower local residents to develop their own projects and invest in the community.

Tania Fernandes

Health Promoter, Rexdale Community Health Centre

We now have a partnership with the City of Toronto, with many different organizations in Bathurst Finch and across the city as well as with the great diversity of people who live in this community.  Park People has helped us build our capacity and our confidence to work with reputable partnership like Heritage Toronto to make our community a better place to live.

Angie Buado

Coordinator, Friends of Earl Bales Park

Sparking Change Stories:

Park Events Roundup: June 30

Happy Canada Day Weekend! Celebrate our nation’s big day with one of the only tuba quartets in the country, by learning indigenous approaches to gardening or kick off an arts festival in an area of town known as “The Pocket.” Here’s our picks...

read more

Park Events Roundup: June 24

Park People’s Moonlight Movies kicks off tonight and runs all weekend. Also, Arts in the Parks is making free art happen all across the city. Here’s our picks for the weekend. Be sure to check out our full events calendar for everything that’s happening in...

read more

Park Events Roundup: June 17

Temperatures are rising this weekend. While you’re busy listening to this song, be sure to catch all of the great park events happening in Toronto this weekend including trees, paddling, knitting,  biking and sitting on your rump to watch a movie. Check out our...

read more