Spatial Justice for Nonprofits: This is What Inequality Looks Like 

Prior to the pandemic, TNN’s membership identified access to space as a “founding and forever” issue. The pandemic has only magnified the challenges associated with accessing and developing space for Toronto’s nonprofits.   

Torontonians deserve to live within walking distance of nonprofits that deliver services which bring people together and make Toronto dynamic, healthy and vibrant. Yet, nonprofit organizations are being forced out of their neighbourhoods or closing at an alarming rate due to commercial landlords raising rents. Despite being critical community builders, small nonprofits are the most vulnerable to being pushed out. 

  • 92% report challenges in securing affordable and suitable space for current operations as well as rising demand for their services.
  • 74% report that their ability to operate is dependent on subsidized operational costs or on access to free, subsidized, or discounted rent. 

Nonprofits in Toronto need Spatial Justice NOW. Join us in advocating for spatial justice as a critical element of Toronto’s poverty reduction strategies and help us ensure that nonprofits have a permanent place in our neighbourhoods. The protection and growth of our city's ability to be a vibrant and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds requires multi-sector collaborations. This includes:

  • a municipal real estate and poverty reduction strategy that ensures nonprofits have access to secure and affordable space and are not displaced from their neighbourhoods.  
  • community consultations before selling, leasing, or redeveloping publicly owned lands 
  • supporting Indigenous-operated spaces throughout the city 

Do you agree?


TNN’s Steering Committee has formed an informal reference group – the TNN Spatial Justice Constellation – to document and generate evidence-based strategies for tackling spatial injustice. To inform and advance the Constellation’s work, TNN secured the consulting services of CP Planning to produce a research report in 2022.