Illustration of a brain on a red background with yellow lightning bolts surrounding it

Illustration by Lauren Emery

7 stories to make you a smarter community member

Rev up your brain with these thoughtful pieces that explore issues people face across the GTA

Communities are made of humans, and humans have issues—that’s just a fact of life. It can be hard to be up-to-speed on everything affecting your neighbourhood or city, let alone the entire region. And with the population of the GTA pushing ever upward from the 6,417,516 people counted in the 2016 census, there’s more to know every day.

Maybe you’ve been to a concert or event and wondered about the origin of the Indigenous land acknowledgement offered at the beginning of the evening. Or you’ve seen a news item about a social problem, like poverty, homelessness or human trafficking that left you wanting to know more.

Perhaps you need to hear a smart argument for bringing more women into municipal politics or read about why we all need to check our racial biases. Or maybe it’s time to explore how the justice system is trying to better serve domestic abuse survivors.

These seven hard-hitting pieces will help you fill the knowledge gap on a wide range of issues that affect people in the GTA, and help to shine a little light on the subjects that require our collective attention and action.

Everything you thought you knew about homelessness is wrong

We must change how we see people on the streets in order to solve the problems that put them there
Illustration of a diverse group of women

Why we need more women in municipal politics

Addressing the “women can’t have it all” reality of Toronto’s political arena—and what we can do to change it
Illustration of girl in pink jacket and blue pants walking against four seasonal colour panels

Here’s just how much poverty can hold kids back

17 percent of Canadian children are experiencing poverty right now—and they might feel the impact their entire lives
illustration in cream red and black of a woman's face with arms appearing and covering her mouth and neck.

Human trafficking is happening in the GTA—and it has to stop

Meet four women who are making a difference in Canada’s human-trafficking crisis
Illustration of woman standing on scales of justice supported by other women

How one Ontario woman finally escaped her abusive husband

Domestic violence is rampant in Canada—and hard to escape. But the justice system is evolving to better serve survivors

What are land acknowledgements and why do they matter?

Indigenous writer Selena Mills illustrates the importance of land acknowledgements—a newly popular form of reconciliation

But I’m not racist! Right?

No one thinks they have prejudices—but everyone has room for improvement when it comes to biases