Research & Advocacy

Understanding the barriers to arts access, the needs of the arts community and the impact the arts have on our citizens, neighbourhoods, and city.

Toronto Arts Foundation is intent on making the arts accessible to all Torontonians. By surveying, consulting with and listening to the general public, arts supporters, artists and arts organizations, we have a better understanding of the steps we need to take towards our vision of Creative City.

Each research project tells a story  ̶  of artists with a desire to reach communities but who lack the resources to do so, of the impact of free arts activities on families and seniors, of the creative magic that takes place when artists mentor and support each other, of the joy we feel when participating in the arts, of the feeling of satisfaction achieved by volunteering and giving to the arts,  and of how the arts can truly transform our communities. 

Our work with individual artists, arts organizations, community organizations, City of Toronto staff and councillors, and the extensive networks and knowledgeable staff and committees of Toronto Arts Council, has led to the creation of Creative Champions Network, Arts in the Parks, Neighbourhood Arts Network, as well as the incubation of local arts service organizations North York Arts and East End Arts. This comprehensive, inclusive research also provides Toronto’s arts sector with important advocacy tools necessary to increase awareness of the value of arts.

Supporting partners have included Leger, Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Metcalf Foundation, the Government of Canada through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the City of Toronto. If you are interested assisting with this valuable and impactful work, contact Leslie Francombe, Philanthropy and Sponsorship Manager at or make an on-line donation today.

For more information about Toronto Arts Foundation's research, publications and evaluation, contact Shawn Newman, Research and Impact Manager at or 416-392-6802 x 201