Cities Deepening Community



Cities Deepening Community is a collective impact movement aimed at strengthening neighbourhoods and ending social isolation in Canada.

Cities Deepening Community has been working with communities and organizations across Canada and internationally since 2016. We are building a vibrant network of communities that are committed to strengthening neighbourhoods and fostering positive community change through resident-led action.

We support communities to increase a sense of belonging, citizenship, resilience, and well-being while also fostering community security and strengthening local economies.  We do this by hosting community of practices, webinars, and events, producing publications that share our learnings and supporting our members with specialized coaching.

The CDC team is here to support you. Do you have any questions? Want to get involved? Reach out to any member of the team: Heather Keam and Connor Judge


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10 - A Guide for Deepening Community


With the growing sense of disconnect and social isolation happening in communities across Canada and the lack of civic participation in our towns and cities, we need to declare community essential.

We believe that Deepening Community is the answer.

This guide has been developed to support community champions, concerned citizens, municipal staff and decision-makers such as mayors and elected officials to build the case to deepen community and make your community essential. 

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If you want support to develop a community plan or neighbourhood strategy, reach out to Heather or Dan. 

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Guide: Building Your Case for a Neighbourhood Strategy

Cities are now developing neighbourhood strategies that help guide municipal staff, organizations, and residents to work together to build healthy vibrant neighbourhoods. This guide is for municipal staff or community groups interested in building the case for the development of a neighbourhood strategy.

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Guide: Community Engagement for Developing a Neighbourhood Strategy

If you are looking to build a neighbourhood strategy, this guide will provide you with tools and resources to assist you in engaging the community and, ultimately, developing a meaningful, actionable strategy.

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ABCD at a Glance

Guide: Asset-Based Community Development at a Glance

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) starts with people’s gifts and strengths (assets). These assets equip people to respond to local needs and challenges in their neighbourhoods. ABCD also considers how individual and group assets can be harnessed and connected to create positive changes within a community.

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Guide: Five Steps for Building Strong and Sustainable Groups

Building a successful group takes time, resources, relationships and trust. In this guide, you will find five steps and associated resources to help build groups that will work together to make change in your community.

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The Power of Connection and Collaboration: Reflections from Celebrating Neighbours – Measuring the Impact of ABCD

Last month, the Deepening Community team hosted Tamarack's first in-person event in over two years. This blog post is a reflection of the most significant learning I took away from the event. 

The Gifts of Strangers: Understanding the Benefits of Diversity

One argument for diversity is that it ensures participation and creates the power of being heard. It is expressed by the popular maxim, “Nothing about us without us.” Implicit in this idea is the concept that those outside...

Would the World Work if We All Were Leaders?

In a March 2022 webinar titled Thinking like a System and Leading with Humility, celebrated author Margaret Wheatley reflected on the seemingly incompatible concepts of leading, system and humility. Who else besides Wheatley...



BOOK | 10 - A Guide for Deepening Community

With the growing sense of disconnect and social isolation happening in communities across Canada and the lack of civic participation in our towns and cities, we need to declare community essential. We believe that Deepening...

CASE STUDY | Building a Heart-Centered Movement in Cooksville

This case study by Dan Ritchie, Hardy Steinke, Nicole Bonder and Christine Bennett explores the ABCD approach of Heart Comonos in Cooksville-Mississauga, Ontario.

ARTICLE | Connecting Community, the Strategic Way!

In this article, Heather Keam, Associate Director of Cities Deepening Community, introduces what a neighbourhood strategy is, its limitations and why it is important to centre the community or neighbourhood when we develop...



WEBINAR | Creating Safety Through Connection – The Function(s) of a Safe Community

This webinar recording features a fireside chat about the role that everyday citizens can play in promoting safety in their communities.

Acknowledging the traditional role that police have played in relation to formally...

WEBINAR | A Deep Dive into “The Art of Neighboring”

This webinar recording features a fireside chat with Deanna Butz from Stony Plain and author Dave Runyon as they talk about the importance of focusing your work on building neighbour relationships and what that means for...

WEBINAR | Thinking Like a System and Leading with Humility

In this webinar, Mayor Lisa Helps of Victoria, BC, sits down with Margaret Wheatley for a fireside chat about systems thinking and changing the way we as cities/towns think about working collectively. What kind of leader do...


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Our bi-monthly Deepening Community newsletter highlights the latest resources and articles on community development as well as information for all of our upcoming events.  

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