What We Do


What we do: Our programs, rooted in positive youth development, provide opportunities for kids to develop leadership skills and qualities and a safe place to practise them.  Through our unique Habits & Qualities, kids develop and practise critical thinking and decision making; emotional intelligence; communication; conflict resolution; problem solving; strategic thinking; influencing skills and teamwork.

Children and youth affected by poverty face barriers that other kids don’t. One in four kids in Toronto is living in poverty. We believe that every kid has the right to succeed, regardless of their life circumstance. The Moorelands Kids’ team, and our skill-building programs, empower children and youth to overcome the barriers to achieving success.

what we do - creating connections

Our programs promote:

  • Physical literacy
  • Life skills development
  • Character development
  • Cultural competence
  • Tolerance and appreciation of diversity
  • Connections with peers, role models and community.

Kids leave our programs with the leadership skills they need to succeed and the ability to build leadership in others.

what we do - our stories

Our Stories

Don’t just take our word for it! Check out what our kids have to say about our programs and why Moorelands matters.

Moorelands Kids

Our Videos

Check out our videos and see how much fun happens at our exciting programs.

what we do - facts and stats

Facts and Stats

Get the facts about the communities we serve and the serious problems resulting from poverty in Toronto.

what we do - myMoorelands newsletter


Discover the latest news from Moorelands Kids in your myMoorelands newsletter.

what we do - programs


Learn more about our transformative summer camp, family and after-school programs.


Our Impact

Learn more about the objectives, outcomes and impact of our programs for kids.

So What is Leadership?

At Moorelands Kids, we define leadership as the ability to guide, direct or influence people through our own actions and responses. We believe in service leadership. Everyone can build on their own inner strengths to make better decisions for the benefit of all and to act on those decisions.

  • Leadership is not about power or position.
  • Leaders give others hope, encouragement and determination.
  • Leaders help others grow.

It’s about influence!

What we do: service leadership
Leadership is empowering others.

What is Positive Youth Development?

Positive Youth Development (PYD) is an intentional approach that recognizes, utilizes and enhances young people’s strengths and promotes positive outcomes.  All our programs follow a Positive Youth Development framework by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and providing kids with the support they need to build on their leadership strengths.

The Moorelands Kids Habits & Qualities curriculum promotes these assets, relationships and principles of Positive Youth Development. Kids develop and practice critical thinking and decision making; emotional intelligence; communication; conflict resolution; problem solving; strategic thinking; influencing skills and teamwork.

Our staff is taught the 40 building blocks of PYD identified by the Search Institute that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Staff use this PYD framework to underpin all their intentional activities and debriefs with kids.

We train staff to focus on making a positive difference in the lives of young people by being nurturing role models and by providing a positive environment.

For more information on Positive Youth Development check out: The Search Institute’s Developmental Assets Framework

what we do

Why Our Programs Matter:

  • 20.4% of children in Toronto live in poverty [1]
  • Child poverty has been shown to result in lower educational attainment & lower levels of income in the long-run [2]
  • Youth at risk of gang involvement tend to be from groups that suffer from the greatest levels of inequality and social disadvantage [3]
  • Poverty is no longer isolated in certain downtown neighbourhoods; in fact it is found in all 25 of Toronto’s new city wards [4] and it is moving to the inner suburbs [5].

We believe that equipping kids with the tools they need to thrive will give them a better chance to achieve success.

What our programs do:

  • Youth who are connected to their community and have good role models are less likely to participate in negative behaviour.
  • Competent children are more likely to experience academic success.
  • Youth who practise positive character qualities such as trustworthiness, respect and responsibility make great citizens.

By supporting Moorelands Kids’ programs, you not only help young people in need – you help build a stronger, safer, more connected Toronto for all.

We enable kids to create connections, build confidence, gain competence and develop character.

Did you know that youth at risk of negative behaviours tend to be from groups that suffer from the greatest levels of inequality and social disadvantage?


[1] Toronto’s Vital Signs 2019/2020

[2] Conference Board of Canada (2017) Child Poverty; International Ranking.

[3] Wortley, Scot and Julian Tanner. “Social Groups or Criminal Organizations? The Extent and Nature of Youth Gang Activity in Toronto” in From enforcement and prevention to civic engagement: research on community safety / edited by Bruce Kidd and Jim Phillips. Toronto: Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, 2004: 59-80; Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN), 2003.

[4] 2018 Toronto Child & Family Poverty Report: Municipal Election Edition

[5] Ibrahim, D. (2017) Growth and Change I Toronto’s Neighbourhoods” The challenges of planning for growth and density in the downtown n and inner suburbs.