DANIELS’ SOCIAL IMPACT
Supporting the social fabric of our communities
As builders and developers, we have a powerful vision to leverage real estate development as a platform for positive social impact and city-building.
We recognize the potential our industry has to impact the way people live and the way communities come together.
We are committed to leading by example, listening to and learning from local communities, developing partnerships with not-for-profit organizations, and challenging ourselves to innovate in a socially responsible manner.
That’s why we believe that when we create thoughtful places, we sow seeds of impact that grow houses into homes, ideas into businesses and neighbours into communities.
Our history has demonstrated the importance of creating opportunities for communities to come together over common interests including food and urban agriculture, arts and culture, sports and recreation as well as capacity and skill building. These unifying elements create dialogue, spark connections and ultimately foster inclusion, building community resilience.
It is for these reasons that our team works to incorporate these unifying elements into the design of each community we build and support other organizations working towards community connectivity.
And we don’t just stop there. We go beyond corporate social responsibility to advance city-building initiatives including affordable and accessible housing, social procurement, inclusive local economic development, and building community capacity.
Organizations that we support
Daniels Spectrum is a 60,000 sq. ft. community cultural hub in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood. This innovative space represents an important part of the social fabric that continues to be woven through the Regent Park revitalization. Daniels Spectrum is named in recognition of a generous lead gift from The Daniels Corporation and The John and Myrna Daniels Charitable Foundation. It is also a joint venture between Artscape, Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and the Regent Park community. Daniels Spectrum hosts a range of culturally diverse programming and is home to seven innovative organizations: ArtHeart Community Art Centre, Centre for Social Innovation, Native Earth Performing Arts, Pathways to Education, Regent Park Film Festival, Centennial College Performing Arts Commons, and Regent Park School of Music.
Artscape Daniels Launchpad
Located at Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts community, Artscape Daniels Launchpad is Toronto’s one-stop hub for creative entrepreneurship offering not only an amazing space where artists can create, but also experiment with innovative techniques and learn new skills. With 30,000 square feet of space, it exists to empower all artists, designers and creators to prosper from their creative practice. Artscape Daniels Launchpad is named in recognition of the financial support of The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation, whose leadership gift of $5.75 million includes $625,000 in support from Daniels’ City of the Arts development partner WJ Properties.
Second Harvest is an organization that rescues and prepares excess fresh food, which it then delivers daily to social service agencies in Toronto. Daniels has played an ongoing role as Presenting Sponsor of Toronto Taste for 25 years, Second Harvest’s annual gala fundraising event, as well as helping build a major extension on the organization’s warehouse in 2009. Members of the Daniels’ team enjoy participating in Second Harvest’s annual campaigns including Lunch Money Days, Hero Day and the holiday turkey drive.
Habitat for Humanity GTA
Giving a hand up, not a hand out, Habitat for Humanity GTA partners with working, low-income families to provide safe and affordable homes. For over 24 years, Daniels has partnered with Habitat for Humanity GTA and local affiliates to empower families in need of a place to call home. Daniels has contributed over $6 million to Habitat, which has resulted in safe, affordable and healthy homes for 86 Habitat partner families across the GTA.
Friends of Ruby
In late 2020, Daniels celebrated the opening of Friends of Ruby Home, Canada’s first residence providing transitional housing and in-house counselling for homeless LGBTQI2S youth in Toronto. More than a place to sleep, Friends of Ruby welcomes young people into a supportive community that helps them move toward independent living. Friends of Ruby is a response to the LGBTQI2S youth homelessness crisis resulting from disproportionately high rates of family rejection, violence and trauma. Daniels’ contribution of over $4 million as well as our teams work aligns with our mandate of using development as a platform for social change, as Friends of Ruby will have a significant positive impact on thousands of young lives for decades to come.
Regent Park School of Music
Regent Park School of Music is a community music school that provides youth in need with a rich and rewarding music education by removing the financial obstacle. As a Whole Note sponsor of the Regent Park School of Music’s annual fundraising event CRESCENDO, Daniels supports high-quality, affordable music education and mentoring to help kids flourish through music.
For over seven years, Daniels has been supporting Covenant House Toronto, Canada’s largest homeless youth agency, by providing deeply subsidized rental apartments for a transitional housing program. This ongoing program, integrated within a Daniels condominium building, provides youth aged 18 to 24 with access to stable housing, which has a positive effect on mental health by removing the day-to-day worry of survival. Covenant House Toronto changes lives, helping vulnerable young people learn life skills, access job training, and gain confidence to live independently.
Visions for Science
Visions of Science Network for Learning is a charitable organization that empowers youth from low-income communities through meaningful engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). As Visions of Science was keen to deepen their impact in communities, developing their operational capacity became a priority. In order to support this growth, Visions of Science have relocated their headquarters to 71 Regent Park Blvd. Catalyzed with seed funding from The Daniels Corporation, this move will enrich Visions of Science’s impact in communities.
Erin Mills Farmers’ Market
To expand access to healthy food, in 2013 the Daniels team transformed land awaiting development in Erin Mills into a farmers’ market and urban farm. In 2016, the Erin Mills Farmers’ Market was established as a not-for-profit organization. In 2020, the market moved to its new permanent home within the courtyard of Arc Condominiums at the Daniels Erin Mills community. Food and urban agriculture Initiatives expand access to healthy food choices. They also demonstrate sustainability, well-being and education around food security and provide a platform to develop and nurture a spirit of community within residents of all ages and backgrounds.
Akin is a Toronto-based arts organization that offers arts-based programming and studio space where artists can work on creative endeavours and entrepreneurial undertakings. Akin builds community through monthly art critique, workshops, open studio events, gallery tours and exhibitions, as well as various other projects. Daniels’ donation to the Akin Studio Rent Relief Fund provided Akin artists and creatives with an anonymous, one-time emergency grants toward rent for their studios.
University of Toronto John. H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
John and Myrna Daniels have made historic gifts totalling $30 million to the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. The gifts established an endowment for financial aid to students in perpetuity, and also launched the implementation of the expansion and renovation of the Faculty’s building. In recognition of the gifts, the Faculty’s name has been changed to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. In 2017, the Faculty celebrated the opening of its new home, the Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent. The Daniels Corporation has also contributed $1 million, evenly divided between Daniels Faculty capital campaign and The John and Myrna Daniels Scholar Award program.
Daniels has partnered with L’Arche Toronto to custom build an eight-bedroom condominium within the Artworks Tower in Regent Park. Designed to meet the assisted-living needs of L’Arche clients, this new home will provide a fully-accessible, barrier-free and inclusiveenvironment for people with intellectual disabilities.