Community engagement is a core part of the Race and Identity-based Data Collection (RBDC) Strategy. From the beginning, we partnered with community organizations and engaged broadly with the public, including at town halls and focus groups. We established a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) dedicated to supporting all aspects of the Strategy, and meet regularly with community stakeholders and Toronto Police Service members along the entire process of data analysis and interpretation to inform concreate solutions moving forward.

Town Halls in 2022-2023

Between October 2022 and April 2023, there were six Community Town Halls throughout Toronto hosted by community agencies in partnership with the Toronto Police Service.

These Town Halls are a forum for community members to share their perspectives and experiences, as well as give feedback on the proposed 38 action items to address the outcomes of the 2020 Use of Force and Strip Search report. 

Each Town Hall was an interactive hybrid-model with the opportunity to share and ask questions, either in-person or virtually. We heard from community leaders and the larger community about the need to rebuild trust. Community members had the opportunity to share their experiences in a Brave Space with culturally appropriate therapists and local community resources on-site. 

See below to watch the recordings:

  • Toronto Public Library - Albion Branch
    1515 Albion Rd, Etobicoke, ON M9V 1B2
    October 27, 2022, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Watch Recording

  • Jamaican Canadian Association
    Hosted by Caribbean African Canadian Social Services: CAFCAN
    995 Arrow Road, North York, ON
    November 16 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Watch Recording

  • Malvern Public Library
    30 Sewells Rd, Scarborough, ON M1B 3G5
    November 23 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Watch Recording
  • Youth Focus Town Hall
    Malvern Family Resource Centre
    90 Littles Rd, Scarborough, ON M1B 5E2
    November 29, 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Watch Recording
  • Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities Health Centre
    2660 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1K 2S3
    November 30, 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Watch Recording 
  • Lawrence Height Community Centre
    5 Replin Rd, North York, ON M6A 2N3
    NEW DATE: March 8, 2023, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Watch Recording

Starting in 2019, the Service conducted its largest engagement endeavour to raise awareness and gather public feedback about how diverse communities would like to be involved throughout the implementation process.[1]

We held 8 town halls and had 9 meetings with the Chief’s Community Consultative Committees, as well as provided quarterly updates to the Board and the Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (A.R.A.P.) responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Strategy.

Town Halls in 2020

Between November 25 and Dec 5, 2020, the Service hosted 4 virtual town halls so that we can continue to engage with members of the public on this important topic despite a city-wide lockdown due to the COVID pandemic.

At these town halls, the Service shared back what they heard from town halls held in 2019 and the 69 focus groups that were conducted between October 2019 and February 2020 (see next tabs). Communities were invited to share their perspectives on how the Service should protect and manage the data collected and what principles should guide analyses. The Service also shared information about training provided to officers and civilian staff so they understand the importance and purpose of the RBDC Strategy.

The four town halls were livestreamed and can be viewed using the links below:

Town Halls in 2019

At the Scadding Court Community Centre on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Deputy Chief Peter Yuen kicked off a series of community conversations about the Race and Identity-based Data Collection Strategy.  The Toronto Police Service asked the public to share its thoughts on race-based data collection.

Members of the community had the opportunity to hear about why police officers will be collecting race-based data on January 1, 2020 as mandated by the Ontario government to address systemic racial bias.

Attendees were asked key questions that helped to inform how the officers are trained and how best they can serve the public going forward. 

The conversation was available on social media and could be followed via #TPSRaceData on Twitter.  The meeting was live-streamed on Facebook.

Following this, there three additional town halls that took place:

  • December 9, 6:30 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion, 1050 Weston Road
  • December 17, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Ave E
  • December 19, 6:30 p.m., Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter Street

What We Heard

‘In the Communities’ Words’, a report back on what we heard, was published in 2020 and followed by additional virtual town halls in December 2020 in partnership with community agencies throughout Toronto. Tje re[prt si,,aroHere are three key themes we heard:.

Key Theme: Relationship Building 

Reconciliation and Trust

"We have to have a convo with how we are... it is part of reconciliation, which is validating what we have experieneced. This is what we need from you to be accountable and improve going forward."

"Build trust with the community. This program (RBD) requires a high degree of trust."

Community Engagement

"We need PARTICIPATION not INPUT. Police should have public participation at every step of the process."

"Consult with the public every step of the way - analysis, interpretation and implementation. The public should have the most say in what happens because it is directly affecting them."


Key Theme: Data Collection

Self-identification data

"I feel targeted and that my disclosing this info would change the service I receive from police. I feel information could be used against me, don't know where this info is going."

"I prefer the police do not assume where I am from. I feel more respected if I am asked where I am from."


Key Theme: Data Management

Data Purpose

"Other reports say what we already know. That was done in the community. How is this data different? Will you be doing something different with it?

"There has been a lot of research of how systemic racism plays out in TPS and in the country more generally. What is preventing the TPS from addressing systemic racism now?"

Good Faith Use

"It might be used to confirm deep seated biases against racialized communities...and victimize particular sections of racialized minorities, resulting in over policing."

"Although the data could serve as evidence of racial discrimination, the data alone would not be sufficent to solve the systemic racial discrimination."

[1] Check ‘In Communities’ Words’ report that summarizes community feedback at RBDC Strategy’s upfront:


In the Communities' Words: RBDC Community Engagement Report

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The Service meets quarterly with four stakeholder contact groups to enable deeper and more continuous engagement.

  • Community Focused Group comprised of community leaders and organizational representatives;

  • Policing Focused Group comprised of representatives from Internal Support Networks (ISNs), Neighbourhood Community Officers (NCOs) and RBDC Liaisons;

  • Formal Committee Group comprised of formal panels such as the Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP), Community Consultative Committees (CCCs), Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER), and Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP); and

  • Government Stakeholders Group comprised of members from such organizations as the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), and Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) etc.


The RBDC Strat­egy benefits from partnerships with institutions and academics with expertise in race data collection and analysis, equity and human rights. Working with recognized thought-leaders helps the Service to be at the forefront of making sustainable change.

The Service commissioned Dr. Lorne Foster and Dr. Les Jacobs from July 9, 2021 to June 30, 2022 to undertake an assessment of the Race and Identity-based Data Collection (RBDC) Strategy Phase 1 data. Dr. Foster, the Director of the Institute for Social Research at York University, and Dr. Jacobs, Professor and Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ontario Tech University.

Both Dr. Foster and Dr. Jacobs have led major race data collection and analysis projects with other police services in Ontario, including Ottawa, Windsor and Peel. They also have extensive experience in areas of race data collection and human rights, focusing in particular on human rights projects engaging racialized communities.

Under this partnership, they conducted an independent academic peer review of our data practices, methodologies, and analyses, and make recommendations to the Board. The submitted their independent review to the Board in June 2022.

The key assessments in this report include:

  • The TPS RBDC strategy reflects the best practices for race data collection from a human rights perspective and is a model for other police services in Canada;
  • The comprehensive approach to race-based data collection taken by the TPS is especially valuable because it lays the groundwork for undertaking analysis and reporting that examines issues of systemic racism across TPS;
  • The principled approach to race-based data analysis exemplifies the best practice standards of international human rights organizations;
  • The employment of multiple benchmarks in race data analysis has great promise for uncovering any potential racial incongruities;
  • The strength of the Use of Force (UoF) and Strip Search (SS) analysis plans is the commitment to in-depth, multi-faceted analysis that links race data from UoF and SS incidents to other sources of data;
  • The 2020 TPS. findings on UoF and SS demonstrate an advanced level of objectivity and measurability through careful statistical applications and an appropriate multiple benchmarking approach, which inform the findings about racial disparities;
  • The 2020 TPS. findings on UoF and SS. reveal concerning levels of racial disparities; and,
  • A major weakness in the RBDC stakeholder engagement is that there has not been sufficient consultation with Indigenous communities (e.g., specific to issues of Indigenous data sovereignty, data governance and data sharing agreements).

Read the Drs. Independent Expert Assessment Report submitted to the Toronto Police Services Board

First ever partnership in TPS history with Wellesley Institute, thought leader in equity research and community well-being.

From March 2020 to 2022, the Service partnered with the Wellesley Institute, a distinct charity organization which has an excellent research group with deep international experience in socio-demographic data collection, race-based analysis, and the development of equitable services.

Wellesley Institute is unique for its reputation and non-partisan experience in the field of equity, links to community agencies, and expertise in developing social policy by building the Service’s capacity to improve wellness and reduce inequities by driving change through applied knowledge mobilization and innovation.

In an effort to support individuals, we have asked some of our community partners to extend support to individuals who might be experiencing difficulties to the result of the TPS Race and Identity-Based Data Release.

Those organizations that provide FREE services are listed below.

Hong Fook Mental Health Association
3320 Midland Ave, Suite 201, Scarborough ON, M1V5E6
Telephone: 416-479-7600

Caribbean African Canadian Social Services (CAFCAN)
995 Arrow Road, North York ON M9M2Z5
Telephone: 416-740- 1056

Rexdale Community Health Centre
8 Taber Rd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 3A4
Telephone: (416) 744-0066

Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities
629 Markham Rd Unit 2, Scarborough, ON M1H 2A4
Telephone: (416) 642-9445

TAIBU Community Health Centre
Unit 1 - 27 Tapscott Road, Scarborough ON, M1B 4Y7
Telephone: (416) 644-3536

Women's Health in Women's Hands Community Health Centre
2 Carlton Street, Suite 500, Toronto, ON M5B1J3
Telephone: (416) 593-7655