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Making Toronto Fun & Accessible
for Children & Youth

My City Too

Project Objective

To advance a child-friendly Toronto.

Info / Share
  • Date: 2018 – 2019
  • City: Toronto
  • Partners: Earth Day Canada
  • Advisory support: UNICEF Canada and Green Communities Canada
  • Funding provided by: Ontario Trillium Foundation

My City Too is an initiative by Earth Day Canada and 8 80 Cities to develop a strategy that advances outdoor free play and independent mobility for children across the city of Toronto.

Why focus on outdoor free play and independent mobility?

Outdoor free play refers to child-led, imaginative, unstructured play that takes place outdoors. Opportunities for this type of play have drastically waned over time, due to changes in work patterns, dangerous street design and traffic, parental concerns, and the rise of indoor entertainment options. Instead, modern childhood takes place indoors in highly structured, regulated, adult-supervised and goal-oriented environments. Community and play are increasingly found online rather than the outdoors.

Access to outdoor free play has been compromised in part by decreasing rates of children’s independent mobility (CIM). CIM refers to the ability for a child to move around their neighbourhood or city on their own, typically by walking, biking, and/or public transit. Studies have shown that Toronto children increasingly rely on adults to drive them to everyday destinations.

There is abundant research that recognizes that both outdoor free play and independent mobility are important to children’s physical, social, cognitive and emotional well-being. According to UNICEF, there is a high correlation between children’s well-being and their freedom to travel and play without adult supervision.

My City Too is committed to advancing outdoor free play and independent mobility as cornerstones of creating a child-friendly Toronto.

My City Too is working closely with the City of Toronto’s Child-Friendly TO initiative. Check out our joint statement here.

My City Too is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation with advisory support from UNICEF Canada and Green Communities Canada.

Get involved.
My City Too wants to hear from you!

Help us make Toronto a more child-friendly city – take our My City Too survey.

This 10-minute survey is intended for parents and caregivers with a child 12 or under. It asks questions about outdoor free play (the ability for children to play outside on their own) and independent mobility (the ability for children to walk, bike, and take public transit on their own). Data and quotes will help inform and develop the strategy to advance outdoor free play and independent mobility for children across the City of Toronto.


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