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, learn more about members of the team; Heather Keam, Christine Hadekel and Dan Ritchie. Feel free to connect with any of them.


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Become a Cities Deepening Community Member

We have members across Canada who have joined this national movement of cities interested in investing in the social well-being of citizens who live, work and play in their communities. These members are working on developing neighbourhood plans to strengthen the sense of belonging, connection and citizenship.


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

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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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St. Albert Includes Social Well-being in their COVID-19 Recovery Plans

Soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, municipalities across the country began setting up COVID-19 recovery task forces. The majority of these task forces had one main purpose: to help local businesses recover from...

Building Democracy “with” Community

Over the past three decades there has been a fundamental shift in informal social ties, tolerance and trust, political and civic engagement in our communities. Evidence shows that our actual experiences of being involved in...

Pivoting Towards Authentic Virtual Engagement: A Greenway-Chaplin Community Centre Story

In May 2020, the Cities Deepening Community network welcomed Greenway-Chaplin Community Centre as a member. For over 30 years this organization, based in Cambridge Ontario, has been connecting community members to...



BOOK | 10 - A Guide for a Community-Based COVID Recovery

Authored by Lisa Attygalle, Director of Community Engagement, and Paul Born, President of Tamarack Institute, 10 – A Guide for a Community-Based COVID Recovery explores both why and how cities and communities have become...

CASE STUDY | Building a Neighbourhood Plan - Doing With Not For

Traditional models of housing services are that they are responsible for social housing programs and property management of houses. But what if we changed the purpose of housing services so that they build a sense of...

CASE STUDY | Investing in Social Capital Pays Off During a Crisis

Did you know that during an emergency your neighbours will likely be your first responders? When COVID-19 forced communities into lockdown, many were unprepared. But the City of St. Albert’s efforts to cultivate social...



WEBINAR | Democracy - A New Idea For Government to Do 'With' Not 'For'

In this webinar, John McKnight and David Mathews explored why there is a loss of faith in governing institutions, why doing 'with' not 'for' can work and examples of how it has worked and what can citizens do to be producers...

WEBINAR | Cities Developing Community-Based COVID-19 Recovery

The impacts of COVID-19 have been profound. Communities have had to deal with incredible loss, businesses have suffered, children and families have struggle through a compromised education system, and our sense of well-being...

WEBINAR | Innovative Approaches to Ending Social Isolation in Canada

After months of social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are facing what some are calling a “loneliness pandemic.” Social isolation is increasingly being recognized as a public health issue in Canada. 


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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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