Vibrant Communities: Cities Reducing Poverty

Vibrant Communities is a network of 100 cities who are creating comprehensive poverty reduction strategies to impact the lives of 1 million Canadians living in poverty.

Launched in 2002 by Tamarack, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Vibrant Communities Canada originally invited 13 cities to build multi-sector leadership roundtables with the goal of reducing poverty. Between 2002 and 2012, this group of Vibrant Communities Trail Builders undertook an action-learning experiment to see if a place-based approach could move the needle on poverty. Their impact was significant with a number of cities reporting a 10% reduction in poverty impacting the lives of 202,931 low income Canadians.

Building on the success of these 13 cities, a movement has emerged with more than 50 additional cities joining the network. While the poverty reduction effort is customized to the local context, these cross-sector community leaders have been working on poverty reduction strategies such as increasing access to affordable transit, living wage campaigns, increasing access to affordable housing, focusing on priority neighbourhoods, and advocating for evidence-based social assistance.

We collectively believe that this effort will result in a more equitable, vibrant and healthier Canada. When citizens are marginalized because of poverty, our communities and cities suffer. Reducing poverty increases our economic capacity, our health outcomes and our community vitality.

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Become a Member

Featured Resources

Getting Started

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Vibrant Communities Brochure

Learn more about the Vibrant Communities Canada: Cities Reducing Poverty, whose goal is to create a connected learning community of 100 Canadian cities or regions with multi-sector roundtables addressing poverty reduction. Our goal is aligned poverty reduction strategies in cities, provinces and the federal government resulting in reduced poverty for 1 million Canadians.

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Approaches to Measuring: Community Change Indicators

By Liz Weaver, Paul Born & Denise Whaley

This paper consolidates the research and content of four previously published papers measuring less poverty in communities, more vibrant communities, more collaboration and more citizen engagement. This consolidated research paper was developed by Vibrant Communities with the financial assistance of The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Taking It Further


Measuring Community Capacity-Building: A Workbook-in-Progress for Rural Communities

By Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change

Measuring Community Capacity-Building is a workbook developed by the Aspen Institute to build the capacity of rural communities to measure development. The workbook’s Rural Development Triangle depicts how the three primary components of rural development: stewardship; economic development; and, civic capacity weave together to build strong rural communities. The workbook uses four metaphors to illustrate common development challenges facing many rural communities.

Poverty Policy

Poverty Policy

By Caledon Institute

This document examines the core strategies used to effectively address poverty concerns at the community level. These 10 areas include affordable housing, early childhood development and income supplementation and replacement.

Communities of Practice


Living Wage

This Community of Practice focuses on case studies, tools and techniques that members of collaborations use to research, analyse and affect living wages and employer human resource practices.


Municipal Government Representatives for Poverty Reduction

This Community of Practice is for municipal or regional government staff who are responsible for, or directly involved in, poverty reduction efforts in their official governmental capacity.

Provincial and Territorial Community of Practice

Provincial/Territorial Government Officials for Poverty Reduction

This Community of Practice is for government representatives of all provinces and territories who are responsible for, or directly involved in, poverty reduction efforts in their official governmental capacity.

FNMI Worldview

Poverty Reduction From a FNMI Worldview

This Community of Practice is for individuals who are or are working with large populations of indigenous people on poverty reduction, and are interested in sharing best practice information on programming or engagement strategies for Indigenous populations



Vibrant Communities Map


Vibrant Communities City Convenor

This Community of Practice is for individuals who belong to the Vibrant Communities Canada - Cities Reducing Poverty network to share ideas and information about their local poverty reduction efforts.



Erasing poverty

BC Communities Reducing Poverty

The BC CoP is a committed group of individuals with a common desire to learn from each other, to enable professional self- development, and to build capacities of their local poverty reduction initiatives. The group comes together to share information, experiences and best practices, strengthen collaboration, and better respond to poverty-related issues in their communities. 


Join the Vibrant Communities Learning Community

Gain access to the latest thinking around poverty reduction in Canada and contribute your own expertise to this ever-growing learning community. 

Join our Learning Community