Where Young Leaders Go to Grow

Moorelands – Where Young Leaders Go to Grow

Moorelands Community Services gets a big kick out of helping transform kids into young leaders ready to tackle the world.

And, these kids are special. They come from low-income, under-served neighborhoods where getting ahead of the game is challenging, yet possible. It just takes guts, resilience, inner strength and, sometimes, a helping hand, to build their character and capability to lead happy, healthy and hopefully successful lives.

Success starts off at home. But, Moorelands – Toronto’s oldest children’s charity, and certainly one of Canada’s oldest too – creates safe opportunities for children and youth to learn about leadership and life skills – almost like what you’d expect to learn at home.

Established in 1912, Moorelands Community Services works with more than 1,100 children and youth living in low-income, under-served Toronto neighbourhoods each year. It offers fun programs and leadership opportunities designed to strengthen kids’ confidence, competence and character and to build positive connections with peers and caring adults.

The mastermind leading these inspiring programs – Lynda Tilley, Executive Director – “running Moorelands is a dream come true. It is one of those life’s greatest experiences where you can shape the character, and hopefully a positive life, for so many kids. It’s not always easy juggling the many balls associated with a charity, but, it is a life calling and a gift that I get each and every day. Our team at Moorelands – (list their names here) – are the true ambassadors for our kids. They either manage our programs, or work behind the scenes, to make it great for all kids, their families, and all volunteers associated with programs. Without our team, and the support of our generous funders, volunteers, and Board of Directors, we’d be nothing.”

Moorelands’ programs teach kids the 21st Century skills they need to be outstanding leaders and engaged citizens. Programs focus on the “whole child”, bridging the opportunity gap for low-income kids by building on one or more of the 4 C’s (competence, confidence, character and connections ) through fun activities. The 4C’s are the building blocks of the Positive Youth Development framework practiced at Moorelands.

Moorelands runs six major programs:

BLAST (Budding Leaders After School Teams) – 390 spaces for kids in the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park city neighborhoods.

With BLAST, children learn and practise new skills and character qualities while engaged in play. BLAST emphasizes cooperation, self-control, teamwork and leadership. Our aim is to help build life skills that will serve these children well as they grow into young adults.

Youth Led (Lead Excel Demonstrate) – 20 spaces for youth in grades 6-8.

Moorelands Youth LED at Valley Park Middle School helps youth develop their leadership and life skills through fun, hands-on experiences. Participants choose either a first semester or second semester 9-session program. The elements of leadership are explored and practiced through varied activities. Activities include activity planning and implementation workshops; communication & teambuilding games; and the hands-on leading of group activities.

VITAL (Volunteers In Training As Leaders) – 20 spaces for youth in grades 9 – 12.

Moorelands Volunteers In Training As Leaders helps youth develop leadership and life skills. The hands-on program is designed to help them master the skills and character qualities they need to become leaders, first of themselves and then in their community. After a series of workshops, youth spend the majority of program volunteering back in their community. They earn vital community volunteer hours and practice important community engagement.

Moorelands Camp – 600 spaces for youth aged 8 – 16.

It’s most cherished program, Moorelands Camp, located on Kawagama Lake, near Dorset, Ontario, approximately 2.5 hours north of Toronto, provides nature experiences that are invigorating and eye-opening – and pure, unforgettable fun! The overnight summer camp – a week long – provides traditional camp activities that help children master interpersonal skills, develop self-worth, learn cooperation, and build character. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, sports and high ropes are just part of the fun-filled yet life shaping experience.

Caring staff and mentors prepare campers to face life’s challenges with a positive outlook. Kids develop new skills and a strengthened sense of citizenship and self-esteem. Campers return home with incredible memories, proud achievements, and new friendships.

Baby Bundles and Christmas Sharing are two additional programs providing joy to many kids and families.

For more information about Moorelands Community Services, and how you can help to support these programs, please see the Moorelands website link below:


Contact information is:

250 Merton Street, Suite 501
Toronto ON M4S 1B1
TEL: (416) 466-9987
FAX: (416) 466-0727
E-Mail: info [at]