annual reports

Our recent annual reports are available as PDF downloads:











Recent Publications/Library


Laidlaw Policy Priorities

2019 & Beyond

A brief outline of the three priority areas we have and continue to explore from 2018 onwards based on research, analysis and grantee consultations.


70th Anniversary Booklet

This anniversary booklet is a second product created to commemorate Laidlaw’s 70th anniversary. It includes a letter from the president and executive director, a compelling and sweeping history of the Laidlaw Foundation produced by award-winning author and journalist John Lorinc, and finally, details related to the Legacy Grant created to mark this major milestone along with a profile of the recipient. These anniversary products were developed by Heritage Professionals with support from Foundation’s 70th anniversary committee. The design work for the booklet was completed by Rubberband Creative. We would like to thank all of those involved who made the anniversary gala and special initiatives such a great success.

Grantee Voices: Strengthening Collaboration by Listening to Our Grant Recipients


Yellowhead Institute

The Yellowhead Institute’s Land Back project is about reclaiming Indigenous jurisdiction: breathing life into rights and responsibilities. This Red Paper is about how Canada dispossesses Indigenous peoples from the land, and in turn, what communities are doing to get it back.





FCJ Refugee Centre 2016 - Uprooted Education

Newcomer youth that are marked with less than stable immigration status face multiple barriers that prevent their full and equitable participation in Ontario Secondary Schools. Visitors, refugee claimants, temporary residents, and non-status youth are among the populations that are either barred access to, or have disengaging and inequitable experiences within Ontario high schools. Furthermore, less than permanent immigration status often intersects with other vulnerabilities to amplify existing oppressions, and produce multiple negative impacts. This report highlights 5 themes identified by newcomer youth with the hope that this project will result in raised awareness, increased access, more equitable participation, and more responsive and engaged learning opportunities for precarious immigration status youth across Ontario.

Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) 2016 - The Shared Platform Guidebook

We are working to change the sectors that young people work and organize in to be more supportive of young people and youth leadership! To this end, we funded the Ontario Nonprofit Network to develop the Shared Platform Guidebook.This resource will assist charities and nonprofits interested in implementing a shared platform model!

Contributing to a more inclusive Not-for-Profit Sector:

Interested in learning more about innovations in the NFP Sector to support grassroots, youth-led groups? Check out this in-depth field research on Shared Platforms by Prof. Ray Dart and Katie Allen of Trent University. Through interviews with platforms and project members, this research documents what is happening on the ground in a vibrant and innovative Shared Platforms community in Toronto. It provides new insights into shared platforms, and describes two distinct types of platforms supporting grassroots groups: Community Development Shared Platforms(CDSP) and Primarily Administrative Shared Platforms(PASP).

Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide 2016

Youth homelessness is a pressing issue worldwide that requires urgent attention. To help address the issue, a collaborative group of organizations from Canada and Europe have developed Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide for grounding strategies to end youth homelessness in international human rights law. The guide brings human rights to the forefront of decision making with an aim to assist in the identification of systemic causes of homelessness and human rights solutions. It includes steps that policy-makers, front-line workers, researchers and others can embrace a human rights approach.

People For Education 2015 - Applied of Academic: High Impact Decisions for Ontario Students

This report outlines evidence of disadvantage created by streaming grade 8 students into applied or academic courses.  It examines the gap between Ontario’s stated policy regarding student’s choices in high school and the reality on the ground.  Should grade 8 students be required to make decisions that have such important short and long term consequences in light of international evidence suggesting that it contributes to lower outcomes?

Ontario Youth Matter!

In 2008 the Ontario Youth Matter! campaign was created to pressure the Ontario Government to develop a comprehensive, outcomes-based youth policy framework for the Province. This report explores models for including youth in the policy process.


Not So Easy To Navigate 2012

A series of reports on the complex array of income security programs and educational planning for children in care in Ontario and information on how to collect child benefits  of up to $8,400 and more per year.


Municipal Funding for Recreation 2003



Working Paper Series on Social Inclusion

In 2001 the Foundation commissioned a series of working papers to examine social inclusion from a number of perspectives. Although the authors approach the topic from different starting points and emphasize different aspects of exclusion and inclusion, there are important common threads and conclusions. The working papers draw attention to the new realities and new understandings that must be brought to bear on the development of social policy and the creation of a just and healthy society.









Youth Social Infrastructure


Foundations & Pipelines

Building social infrastructure for youth organizing is based upon fostering mentorship and partnerships that provide key capacity strengthening supports, managed by coordinated work involving intermediaries, coalitions and collaboratives, delivered through both physical and online resource hubs, and supported by strategic funder alliances and social entrepreneurship strategies that provide the resources for various services. This publication outlines key propositions and a call to action.

GroundFloors Building Youth Organizing Platforms

This report provides a clear picture of what organizations, groups and young leaders have identified as key learning needed to support Youth Organizing.


Youth Innovation Lab Report

The report of a workshop looking at creating collective impact in the youth sector.


Report of the Autumn 2012 YSI Retreat

The YSI collaborative identifies a number of learning questions to better capture the collective impact of youth organizing across the province and to lead to a theory of change.



Moving from Trustee to TRUSTing Collaborations

The results of the Shared Admin Platform Research Working Group survey of funders supporting  groups providing shared administration services to grassroots groups across the city.

Youth Social Infrastructure


Laidlaw Learning: Youth-Led Community Organizing

In analyzing data from funded initiatives there emerged significant insights into the underlying values of youth-led community organizing, youth organizing strategies and tools and implications for funding practices. This series of reports share the Foundation’s learning with the broader community.

Strategies and Tools

Youth-led community organizing builds on the lived experiences of young people and communities to develop and implement interventions, strategies and initiatives that work to improve and transform communities, institutions and social systems. It is a process that nurtures personal growth and fosters broader community transformation. Throughout Laidlaw Foundation evaluation interviews, stakeholders described strategies they use in their work. This report shares candid reflections straight from the experiences of other young people, allies and community partners involved in youth organizing work in Toronto.

Values Driven Work

This report outlines youth-led community organizing practices and builds on insights that youth organizers and their partners shared that illuminate values underlying this work. This is a reflective exercise to stimulate broader sector dialogue around the values that we embody as individuals and that are inherent in our work.

Impacts & Challenges

Youth Organizing endeavours to break down traditional hierarchical power structures by subverting the position of leader, understanding that the leader is also a participant and that every participant is also a leader. In youth-led groups, participants have the power and potential to share their knowledge. The creation of safe spaces in Youth Organizing dismantles the divisions between leader and participant to address the individual needs of the community group. It is through this holistic approach to organizing and structuring advocacy that youth-led models make a distinct and meaningful contribution to social change. Youth Organizing, however, is not without its challenges. Many youth who are engaged in this type of work face real obstacles such as homelessness, violence, mental health issues, personal pain, and social trauma. The following document highlights the challenges and impacts of Youth Organizing through the voices of many Youth Organizing leaders and participants.