Visionary Communities

Advancing desired neighbourhood futures

Visionary Communities supports neighbourhood aspirations for just futures in the Kingston Galloway/Orton Park (KGO) neighbourhood of Scarborough that truly reflect the priorities of residents, while advancing climate and sustainability goals using a Connected Communities approach and processes of co-production grounded in authentic relationships.

UCAP, researchers from UofT and TMU, staff of the East Scarborough Storefront and Catalysts’ Circle, and local residents will envision, explore, design, evaluate, and iterate solutions to community-defined challenges by building on and enhancing community assets (relationships, knowledges, experiences).

Lessons learned along the way will inform just sustainable futures in the City of Toronto that are authentically grounded in communities’ aspirations and actions.

Guiding principles

  • Do no harm
  • Commit to and promote anti-racism, social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, reconciliation
  • Collaborate reciprocally so all involved experience mutual benefit 
  • Adopt a community growth mindset that focuses on opportunities for learning
  • Respect, celebrate, and braid differences – worlds, worldviews, disciplines, lived experiences, desires
  • Move at the pace of trust and community, and ground all planning and action in authentic relationships
  • Embrace emergence by staying focused on our purpose and principles and adapting our actions as new situations, knowledge and learning get introduced

The VC Team

Project Leads

  • John Robinson, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto
  • Kim Slater, University of Toronto


Graduate Student and Project Coordinator

  • Emily Smit, PhD, Department of Geography


Academic Team

  • Blake Poland, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Imara Rolston, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Paty Romero-Lankao, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Cheryl Teelucksingh, Department of Sociology, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Pamela Robinson, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Toronto Metropolitan University


Core Partners

  • Sahar Vermezyari, East Scarborough Storefront
  • Anne Gloger, Catalysts’ Circle


Graduate Students

  • Majd Al-Shihabi, PhD, Department of Geography
  • Desiree Kosciulek, MES, School of the Environment

Intrigued and yearning for more?