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BMO, United Way and City of Toronto Announce Greater Golden Mile Neighbourhoods are First for Economic Opportunity Program
  • Community agencies, non-profit sector leaders, City officials, and Infrastructure Ontario join business leaders on Leadership Table
  • Small business catalyzer and Infrastructure joint venture will be launched

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2019 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group, United Way Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto today announced that the Greater Golden Mile area in Scarborough has been selected as the first for a new approach to build inclusive local economic opportunity and stronger neighbourhoods. This pilot follows extensive work over the last year by the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Leadership Table.

Announced in fall 2018, the ILEO Leadership Table is a ground-breaking initiative spearheaded by BMO and United Way Greater Toronto that brings together business and community leaders to work together to reduce economic disparity. BMO announced a $10 million commitment last year to support this new model for corporate-community partnerships; the bank will leverage the model in other neighbourhoods including Chicago where it has pledged $10 Million to United Way.

"Together business and community leaders have the ability to effect real, lasting change," said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group and Co-Chair, ILEO Leadership Table. "The GTA has become a sea of islands segregated by income with too many people not realizing the benefits of the economic growth across the region. Greater shared prosperity requires deeply coordinated efforts between the public and private sectors. Our pilot projects in the Greater Golden Mile represent our first on-the-ground steps to boldly grow the good in business and life by addressing pressing concerns of economic inclusion."

The Greater Golden Mile was selected for the pilots because of community engagement in the initiative, and timely local economic revitalization opportunities that can be leveraged. With significant public infrastructure investments like the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, large private redevelopments and potential corporate partnerships in the area, opportunity abounds.

"This is about leveraging opportunity for greater public good," said Daniele Zanotti, United Way Greater Toronto President & CEO and Co-Chair, ILEO Leadership Table. "It's about making sure that Greater Golden Mile residents share in the benefits of new economic opportunities, and can be a part of the change resulting from the area's rising prosperity. It's up to all of us around the table to show that we can find local solutions that bridge the gap – and create a model for future inclusive economic development."

"The growth we are seeing in the Greater Golden Mile neighbourhood makes it a perfect choice for a program that will help address issues around economic disparity. I am hopeful that the results of this innovative and collaborative initiative will help us in future planning, economic development and social infrastructure across the city," said Mayor John Tory.

The ILEO Corporate Leadership Table was established in September 2018 to identify ways businesses could bring inclusive economic growth to neighbourhoods.  Following an extensive review of the Greater Golden Mile, two corporate initiatives will soon launch.  First, a small business catalyzer led by RioCan and developed in partnership with PwC Canada that will accelerate emerging local businesses through the provision of time-limited low-rent or rent-free spaces; and second, a community-owned infrastructure joint venture led by Aecon to meet supply chain needs for construction/maintenance contracts in part resulting from the Eglinton cross-town LRT expansion.

Mr. White and Mr. Zanotti also announced the addition of new members to the ILEO Leadership Table.

"No one sector or single person can address these challenges alone," said Mr. White. "It will take multisector collaboration, working directly with the community to create systemic change and bring vitality to neighbourhoods.  

Added Mr. Zanotti: "This is the United Way: bringing together different sectors, each with their own unique way of thinking, problem-solving and set of assets to work together. ILEO is helping to ensure that neighbourhood revitalization means inclusive local economic opportunities for the residents in the Greater Golden Mile."

Contributors to the ILEO initiative include:

Community and Public Sector members:
Anne Babcock, President and Chief Executive Officer, Woodgreen Community Services
Denise Andrea Campbell, Executive Director, Social Development, Finance & Administration, City of Toronto
Giuliana Carbone, Deputy City Manager, Community & Social Services, City of Toronto
Ehren Cory, President and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Ontario
Cynthia du Mont, Executive Director, West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre
Sandy Houston, President and Chief Executive Officer, Metcalf Foundation
Colette Murphy, Executive Director, The Atkinson Foundation
Allison Pond, President and Chief Executive Officer, ACCES Employment
Marcie Ponte, Executive Director, Working Women Community Centre
Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director, Toronto Community Benefits Network
Ginelle Skerritt, Executive Director, Warden Woods Community Centre
Mike Williams, General Manager, Economic Development & Culture, City of Toronto

Founding members of the Corporate Leadership Table:
Ayman Antoun, President, IBM Canada
John M. Beck, Founder and Executive Chairman, Aecon Group Inc.
Mitchell Cohen, President, The Daniels Corporation
Dean A. Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial
Daniel L. Doctoroff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sidewalk Labs
Michael Friisdahl, President and Chief Executive Officer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto
Jonathan Gitlin, President and Chief Operating Officer, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President and President, Gas Distribution & Storage Enbridge
John A. Honderich, Chair of the Board, Torstar Corporation
Nicolas Marcoux, Chief Executive Officer, PwC Canada
Michael H. McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer, Maple Leaf Foods
Marcia Moffat, Managing Director and Head of Canada, BlackRock
Andrew Pickersgill, Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company Canada
Andrew Pringle, Principal and Chairman, RP Investment Advisors LP
Kenneth Tanenbaum, Vice-Chairman, Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Ltd.
Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group (Co-Chair)
Beth Wilson, Canada Chief Executive Officer, Dentons
Daniele Zanotti, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way Greater Toronto (Co-Chair)

About BMO Financial Group

Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $839 billion as of July 31, 2019, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About United Way

As the largest non-government funder of community services in the GTA, United Way Greater Toronto reinforces a crucial community safety net. United Way's network of agencies and initiatives in neighbourhoods across Peel, Toronto and York Region works to ensure that everyone has access to the programs and services they need to thrive today. Mobilizing the network and other community support, United Way tackles #UNIGNORABLE issues linked to poverty. United Way's work is rooted in ground-breaking research, strategic leadership, local advocacy and cross-sectoral partnerships committed to building lasting solutions to the GTA's greatest challenges.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For News Media Enquiries: Julie Smithers, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996; Laura Quinn, Director, Communications, United Way Greater Toronto, Mobile: 416-557-8508 | Email: