Our History

Our History

Born from a simple concept of believing that everyone deserves to live in a just and equitable society, the Toronto & York Region Labour Council (TYRLC) and the United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) came together to establish Labour Community Services of Metropolitan Toronto Inc. (LCS) in 1982.

How the Labour and Community Partnership Began

Communal fundraising efforts started around 1917 in Canada, where labour was a founding partner together with businesses and the Red Cross. Welfare agencies would individually ask workers to donate to their cause, which then led to the formation of one fundraising umbrella.

Many United Ways started out as Community Chests and then later changed their name to United Way. The first Community Chest in Canada was in Ottawa in 1931 and a Central Committee of Community Chests and Councils was founded in 1939 and nationalized Community Chests. The first United Way in Toronto was incorporated in 1956. In 1988, the Canadian Labour Congress formalized its partnership with United Way Centraide Canada, with over 40 United Way communities across Canada. 

Labour Community Services was formed to uphold the partnership between United Way Greater Toronto and Toronto & York Region Labour Council. 


  • Won the CALM 2022 Fighting Oppression Award for the Refugees in Canada: Facts and Myths Presentation
  • Brought the Poverty Reduction Strategy to life with the City of Toronto
  • Addressed youth violence in Rexdale (Toronto neighbourhood with a significant Somali community) with Positive Change Toronto Initiative, which resulted in a significant increase in access to parks and recreation facilities.
  • Worked with Urban Alliance on Race Relations in their work on policies of carding and racial profiling 
  • Examined issues of access, equity, and inclusion for two highly vulnerable and marginalized groups in Toronto (Somali-Canadian community and racialized LGBTQ homeless youth) with the 360 Project: Addressing Racism in Toronto with Toronto Metropolitan University and Urban Alliance on Race Relations 
  • Advocated for the Employment Standards Act reform under the Changing Workplaces Review through the Toronto & York Region Labour Council Diverse Workers’ Networks
  • Chaired George Brown College’s Community Program Advisory Committee; connecting with post-secondary institutions as they prepared students to work in the community social services sector
  • Advocated for changes to Employment Insurance with the Good Jobs for All
  • Leveraged capacity to address social issues as part of the full development of York Region Social Planning Council Working with union leaders in York Region.


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