Research & Policy Development

Bed Bug Strategy

Client: WoodGreen and Habitat Services

Public Interest developed a comprehensive strategy on trends, best practices, and systemic responses to deal with bed bugs in Toronto and internationally. The strategy was designed based on research and interviews conducted with international and local bed bug experts, community service workers, and bed bug sufferers. Bed bugs are a quickly growing concern for vulnerable populations in Toronto and cities around the world. The research ensured that the strategy developed was grounded in effective methods and relevant to those most affected by bed bugs.

Changing Patterns for Street Involved Youth

Client: Yonge Street Mission and World Vision Canada

TORONTO Almost half of Toronto’s street youth don’t want to be homeless – getting help for them early would make a big difference, says a groundbreaking study of Torontostreet-involved youth.

Changing Patterns for Street Involved Youth, released jointly by Yonge Street Mission, World Vision Canada and Public Interest, reflects interviews with 208 youth who camefrom all over Canada and found themselves homeless in Toronto.

Community Profile and Services Study – Don Mills North Community Health Centre Satellite

Clients: Flemingdon Health Centre, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

Public Interest helped Flemingdon Health Centre to develop a community profile and service delivery model for its proposed community health centre satellite for the Don Mills North area of Toronto. The profile and research we presented was designed to help the health centre to get the community more involved in choosing relevant services and an effective service delivery model for this satellite.

Community Profile and Services Study – Northwest Scarborough CHC Satellite

Client: West Hill Community Services

To assist West Hill Community Services in the development of a satellite location in northwest Scarborough, Public Interest designed and implemented a community outreach strategy to identify key issues in health care services for the many communities in the area. The resulting model for service delivery reflected the community’s input and the health needs of residents.

East Downtown Employment Study – East Downtown

Client: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Access to stable employment has long been a problem for many residents in east downtown Toronto. To address this issue, Public Interest was contracted by the City of Toronto and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to review employment practices in low-income neighbourhoods in east downtown Toronto and to recommend alternative models of service.

Evidence Review of Place-Based Approaches

Client: United Way of Toronto

In 2011, the United Way of Toronto wanted evidence to help it further develop and improve the Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy. With our long history in place-based community development, they turned to Public Interest to conduct a systematic review of international evidence around place-based approaches. Our team helped the United Way define the model and developed a catalogue of goals, methods, outcomes and evaluation systems that have proven successful around the world.

Measuring Success in Homeless Drop-ins

Client: Toronto Drop-In Network

Public Interest carried out detailed research in the homeless services sector to determine the role and effectiveness of drop-in services, developing a complex analysis of the core functions of drop-ins and the best tools for supporting service analysis and service improvements. The project included an extensive literature review as well as interviews and focus groups with service providers and homeless people to determine service needs and preferences.

Neighbourhood Vitality Index

Client: United Way

Public Interest was asked to develop an index for measuring neighbourhood vitality. Conducting an extensive review of literature on existing community-based measurement systems, our team developed the Neighbourhood Vitality Index, a tool that gives an in-depth portrait of neighbourhoods.

Program Review – Youth Programming in Public Housing Communities

Client: Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Toronto Community Housing (TCHC), North America’s largest social housing provider, appointed us to conduct a comprehensive review of all the youth programming it provides.

Relocation Study – Regent Park Redevelopment

Client: Toronto Community Housing Corporation

In preparation for the relocation of 2,000 households during the reconstruction of Regent Park, Public Interest carried out detailed research on relocation strategies used in countries around the world. The research included a review of strategies used for each aspect of the relocation.

Research on Services and Facilities – Regent Park

Client: Toronto Community Housing Corporation

On behalf of Toronto Community Housing, Public Interest carried out research on the emerging needs of the Regent Park community, whose population is expected to rise significantly once the community redevelopment is complete.

Social Development Plan – Regent Park

Client: Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Building upon extensive research we conducted on existing services and facilities within Regent Park, Public Interest assisted Toronto Community Housing and the City of Toronto in creating a social development plan to support the Regent Park community through the process of redevelopment.

Ward Polls – City of Toronto Municipal Elections


The Toronto and York Labour Council has a lot at stake in municipal elections, but since Toronto was amalgamated with its suburbs, Council rarely took progressive issues seriously.

Since 2002, Public Interest has helped the Labour Council identify opportunities to elect progressive city councillors and school trustees by conducting focus groups, drafting and fielding large surveys and developing campaign strategies.

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