We help individuals and communities lead healthier lives.

The Y takes a holistic approach to community health that embodies all aspects of physical, mental and social well-being. We engage with the community to provide insights into programs that support local needs and embrace diversity. The YMCA of Greater Toronto is dedicated to building the healthiest communities for our children, teens, adults and families.

About our Research

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity tackling the most critical social issues in the GTA. We work to improve the well-being of individuals by:

  • Promoting and supporting current health and well being
  • Focusing on the social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors that affect long-term health

We conduct research in two key areas:

  1. Health Impact
    • Impact Measurement and Improvement: We are working to measure the health outcomes of people participating in our programs who visit our centres, and who live in the communities we serve.
    • Life-Stages: We help develop the evidence base for what each individual needs as they progress through their life stages and transition from young children and teenagers into adulthood.
  2. Relevance & sustainability
    • Community research: Our research efforts also include assessing community needs and demand for YMCA programs.
    • Member research: We do ongoing research to better understand the needs of our membership and the types of programs, services, and experiences that will meet their needs and support their health

Current Research Projects:

In addition to the research that we conduct within the Y to support the development and operations of our programs and facilities, we are also involved in a number of research projects that involve the broader community. These include:

  • A multi-year research study being conducted by The Environics Institute in partnership with Ryerson's Diversity Institute, the United Way of Greater Toronto, and the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
  • The research is exploring the experiences of individuals in Black communities across the GTA to improve understanding of their opportunities, challenges, and factors leading to their success.
  • The results will help identify initiatives that contribute to the health and vibrancy of the Black community and opportunities for improving YMCA programs and services. For more information see:
  • A research project initiated by The YMCA of Greater Toronto and United Way Toronto that involved a systematic review of research to identify the critical factors that help youth to thrive.
  • The review conducted by The Students Commission of Canada and the Social Program Evaluation Group at Queen’s University and the findings will be used to help the YMCA and United Way Toronto develop and improve existing programs for youth.
  • Tools and resources have been developed to help others apply the findings to develop and deliver youth programs that have greatest possible positive impacts. For more information see:

If you have questions about any of our research projects or if you are interested in conducting research that involves the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s members, clients or staff please contact: