Y​outh To Youth program
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​Youth To Youth program​​​


Youth To Youth (Y2Y) provides a platform for youth leadership to children and youth within Toronto's Neighbour​hood Improvement Areas. At schools, community centres, and youth facilities all across the city, Y2Y empowers youth to take the lead by harnessing the power of play to improve educational, health and employment outcomes for themselves and other youth in their community. 




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Right To Play partners with the Toronto District School Board's Model Schools For Inner Cities to provide inner-city schools with programs that are play-based and youth-led. 

Through a combination of training workshops and capacity building opportunities, Right To Play and TDSB staff support Youth Leaders to create a healthier, happier and safer school environment. ​Youth Leaders work to plan and lead play-based activities for other children in their school and local community. 

​The games and activities can be led in the classroom, in the gym or out on the school yard, and are designed to promote the key areas of learning that have been identified by the school. The Youth To Youth program looks different at every school because Youth Leaders are able to create programs that reflect the needs of their school and community. 


While Toronto is one of the most prosperous cities worldwide, its wealth is shared in an increasingly unequal way. The child poverty rate ranges from 5% in some neighbourhoods to over 50% in others, and many reports find that both the income gap and the opportunity gap are growing. The reality for many children and youth growing up in low-income areas of Toronto is that access to extended learning programs, recreation opportunities or extra-curricular activities are out of reach because of their high cost. 

The Three Cities Within Toronto: Income Polarization among Toronto's Neighbourhoods report (2007) stresses the need to reintegrate Toronto's widening income and opportunity gap by increasing access to extended learning programs for youth, where they can build the skills necessary for success. The Toronto District School Board Parent Census of 2012 also noted that more accessible recreation opportunities were imperative as children from low-income families are half as likely to be involved in regular extracurricular activities (arts, sports/recreation, and other) than students from more affluent backgrounds.

Youth To Youth aims to close this widening opportunity gap by taking an asset-based approach to development and investing in local youth. Youth To Youth works with schools and communities to provide programs for youth that harness their leadership potential, build their capacity and allow their voice to be heard. The result is a movement of engaged and inspired youth leaders creating positive change in their local school and community through the power of play!  ​


Are you a school, community centre or youth facility looking to provide leadership opportunities for youth, while also providing inclusive, safe and fun activities for children?

Questions to consider before applying:

  • Does your school, community centre or facility have youth that could benefit from leadership opportunities, training and capacity building opportunities?
  • Does your school, community centre or facility have children that would benefit from access to free, inclusive and fun play-based activities led by youth leaders?
  • Is your school, community centre or facility looking to improve educational, healthy relationships and/or youth employability outcomes?

If the answer to one, or all of these questions is YES, follow the link below to apply today.

Youth To Youth partners receive:

  • Support in delivering one (1) year of Youth To Youth programming (September – June)
  • Expert Right To Play training for youth, teachers or staff
  • On-going support and mentoring from Right To Play staff
  • Opportunities to participate in the Youth To Youth Leadership Symposium
  • Opportunities to participate in special events and outdoor education days


If you have any questions regarding the Youth To Youth program or the application process, please contact Matthew Judd at mjudd@righttoplay.com ​​

The Results
​Our Partners
Youth Leadership Symposium

On April 29th, 2016, the Youth To Youth program held its first annual Leadership Symposium at the Evergreen Brick Works. 225 active Youth Leaders from around the city gathered together for a day of celebrating, connecting, and activating their leadership. 



Right To Play took this chance to celebrate the Youth Leaders for their hard work in delivering consistent programming at their schools over the past year. The leaders had access to a number of activities throughout the day that allowed them to put aside their leadership caps and just play! They received visits from a number of Toronto athletes, including an inspiring talk from Canadian Junior Mens basketball Head Coach, Roy Rana! It was an amazing celebration of both leadership and play for some of the best leaders and play advocates in the city.​​


225 Youth Leaders from all across the city got a chance to meet like-minded peers and share their experiences as leaders. Leaders left having made a new network of peers and inspired to bring new ideas back to their own school.

"If I could tell youth at my school about Symposium I would say that it's a great opportunity to meet other youth leaders from across the city and that it allows you to see the change that we are making" - Youth Leader



Capitalizing on having some of the brightest young minds in the city all together, Youth Leaders spent time creating building action plans for events that use play to address some of the challenges in their school!

Overall, it was an amazing day. The ripples of the Leaders work will continue to be felt for a long time.