Preventing homelessness through positive change

Contributing to creating societal change for people living in cities and communities is just one of York's great strengths.  Homelessness is a reality for too many in Canada, and around the world.  York is working together with partners across Canada to understand the complex causes of homelessness and undertaking world-leading research that influences government and decision-makers, and leads to policy changes that support practical solutions.

An internationally recognized leader and innovator, Prof. Stephen Gaetz of York’s Faculty of Education brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and people with lived experience of homelessness to participate in community engaged scholarship and knowledge creation. Thanks to the leadership of Prof. Gaetz, York is home to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, one of the largest research institutes of its kind in the world, dedicated to understanding the needs of homeless people in Canada.  In response to Covid-19, top social researchers and machine-learning experts from across the country are partnering to develop an algorithm using artificial intelligence to anticipate homelessness, suicide and domestic violence.

When it comes to the urban arena, the CITY Institute at York University plays a vital role in developing Canada’s next generation of leaders focused on creating innovative approaches to comprehending and addressing the complexity urbanism.  CITY’s researchers have long-standing relationships with community groups, NGOs and policymakers, within Toronto, across the Greater Toronto Area, and globally. In one project  StudentDwellTo, researchers are partnering to improve affordable housing across the GTA for Toronto’s increasingly diverse post-secondary student population.

Our standing as a global leader in The Times Higher Education IMPACT ranking, 33rd out of 767 universities, reflects the essential role we play in tackling serious societal challenges at home, across Canada and around the world. York excelled in several areas ranking first in Canada (ninth in the world) for Reduced Inequalities,  third in Canada (ninth in the world) for Sustainable Cities and Communities.

← Read more stories on positive change

Upcoming Events


Virtual Tour of Our Campus


to our previous Free Tuition winners!

2021, Ravenne
2021, Ravenne
2020, Penelope
2020, Penelope
2019, Haley
2019, Haley

Contest is now closed
Good luck!

Contest Rules