BMO, together with United Way Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto, has announced that the Greater Golden Mile area in Scarborough, Ontario, has been selected as the first to adopt a new approach to building inclusive local economic opportunity and stronger neighborhoods.
This pilot follows extensive work over the last year by the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Leadership Table. The corporate ILEO Leadership Table was established in October 2018 by BMO and United Way Greater Toronto to bring together business leaders to identify ways businesses could advance inclusive economic growth to neighborhoods.
“Together, business and community leaders have the ability to effect real, lasting change,” said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group and Co-Chair, ILEO Leadership Table. “The GTA has become a sea of islands segregated by income with too many people not realizing the benefits of the economic growth across the region. Greater shared prosperity requires deeply coordinated efforts between the public and private sectors. Our pilot projects in the Greater Golden Mile represent our first on-the-ground steps to boldly grow the good in business and life by addressing pressing concerns of economic inclusion.”
Projects spearheaded to operate in the Greater Golden Mile during the pilot include:
- A small business catalyzer that will accelerate emerging local businesses through the provision of time-limited low-rent or rent-free spaces
- A community-owned infrastructure joint venture to meet supply chain needs for construction/maintenance contracts in part resulting from the Eglinton cross-town LRT expansion
The Greater Golden Mile was selected for the pilots because of community engagement in the initiative, and timely local economic revitalization opportunities that can be leveraged. With significant public infrastructure investments like the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, large private redevelopments and potential corporate partnerships in the area, opportunity abounds.
BMO announced a $10 million commitment to United Way Greater Toronto last year to support this new model for corporate-community partnerships; the bank will leverage the model in other neighborhoods, including in Chicago where it has pledged $10 million to United Way.