Providing for the future of our cities: Our youth

Stephen Mensah

Written by: Daniel Bonilla

Toronto is one of the most important cities in Canada, which means it requires a lot of work. For years there have been problems that instead of finding a way to fix them, we have avoided them.

If I were mayor, I would indeed start with the youth community, because we are the ones that will take over in the future. I would provide more access to services, give more supports to community centers that focus on youth development, and most importantly decrease the current price for public transit.

I am very passionate about my community and more generally the greater population in Toronto. The children in Toronto are very important and in order to make their future more positive, our investment in them must be greater. For this reason, I would increase the child tax benefit amount. This will allow families to have children involved in their community doing productive activities and learning new skills for their future.

Going back to my concern of public transit, as mayor of the city, I would improve the bus stops by adding more technological systems where people can easily see when the other bus is coming, plus adding efficient heater systems for the winter season. This will allow our community to use more public transit allowing our society to be more environmentally friendly and use fewer cars, taxis, if possible, overall this will help reduce the number of people who get sick during the cold seasons.

I would also focus on public space. Public space such as parks either provincial or in different neighborhoods must always be clean for the benefit of our environment. Allowing people to be more informed about community cleanups, as well as increasing the amount of information given during workshops, and at schools, will allow people to be well informed and make environmentally friendly choices when using public spaces.

Another factor that I would address is housing prices- specifically the fact that for a Torontonian today, it’s really hard to be able to afford to own a home.

There is and always will be more factors that need to be addressed, but overall the main points are the ones that I feel most passionate about, and believe if we do not work on them, the city will suffer. To close, I believe that it is so important that we hear the voices of youth in order to make decision that are right for our entire society.

Thank you,

Daniel Bonilla



The “If I Were Mayor” blog series profiles the ideas of youth and rising leaders from across the GTHA as a way to add their voices to the municipal conversation. Posts have been curated by CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders NetworkFor Youth InitiativeLaidlaw FoundationToronto Youth CabinetCitizen Empowerment Project, Young Women’s Leadership Network, and the Centre for Community and Immigration Services. The views contained in this post are the author’s and are not reflective of For Youth Initiative, CivicAction or the CivicAction Leadership Foundation.