The fifth annual Youth To Youth Leadership Symposium was an incredible opportunity for youth leaders from across Toronto to celebrate, build their networks of like-minded peers, and set goals for their future.

“Youth To Youth is an incredible celebration of what young people are capable of - their energy, vision and willingness to show up every day and make a positive difference in their communities.” - Rose Lipton, Director of Canadian Programs, Right To Play

The symposium celebrated a year of programming where youth leaders in the Youth To Youth program led their peers and younger children in their communities in play-based programs – building more inclusive, happier and healthier environments for them. While Toronto is one of the most prosperous cities worldwide, its wealth is shared in an increasingly unequal way. For children in low-income areas of Toronto access to extended learning programs, recreation opportunities or extra-curricular activities are out of reach because of their high cost. Youth To Youth is a free program focused on building the strength and voice of these children.

“Right To Play and MLSE Foundation have enjoyed a meaningful partnership focused on supporting youth outcomes locally and across Ontario,” said Tanya Mruck, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation in a press release. We are excited for the youth leaders to reach new heights through the Youth To Youth program.”


The Toronto District School Board Parent Census of 2012 found that low-income families are half as likely to be involved in regular extracurricular activities (arts, sports/recreation, and other) as students from more affluent backgrounds

Since 2010, Youth To Youth has worked with local schools, community centres, and youth services to help youth use their voice to make their communities more inclusive and vibrant. Currently, Youth To Youth operates in 52 priority schools across Toronto, offering support to 750 youth leaders who lead 2,500 school-age children through weekly activities. Seventy-three per-cent of youth leaders report feeling more confident that can succeed in and out of school since starting the program. Ninety-four per cent of program mentors report that youth work better on a team since joining Youth To Youth.


“We are so thrilled to celebrate their accomplishments, and grateful to key partners like MLSE and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, who have helped to make this program, and this incredible day, possible.” – Rose Lipton

The symposium was a huge success! Check these great photos of the games and activities the kids enjoyed!

Photographs by Callum Pinkney