Volunteer Opportunities

November 14, 2012 |

Get involved in your community and earn your volunteer hours. Then sit back and feel good!

The library offers volunteer opportunities for teens through Youth Advisory Groups and the Leading to Reading program.

The lists below are ideas of places to volunteer beyond the library. They offer a starting point only, so if you have ideas of opportunities to add please let us know: teens@torontopubliclibrary.ca



In Toronto

Art Gallery of Ontario, Youth Opportunities AGO Youth programs are designed to provide opportunities for youth to connect with artists, designers, programmers and administrators within the context of a public gallery.

City of Toronto Historic Sites Join Museums and Heritage Services in telling the stories of our great city. Volunteers support special events, public tours and the demonstration of heritage trades (including gardening) at ten museums across Toronto. Share or develop your skills, discover your local history and get involved with your community. Youth volunteers (ages 14 – 18) are welcome! 

Habitat for Humanity Toronto Must be 16 to help on a construction site.

Luminato Festival Love the arts? Want to contribute to your community? High school students between the ages of 14-18 are eligible to join. You’ll gain community service hours and build skills in the areas of customer service, leadership, communication, and collaboration, all while being part of one of the city’s most exciting multi-arts festivals.

Second Harvest Learn about food rescue and help feed hungry seniors, adults and children.

St. Steven's Community House Many volunteer positions at this social services agency in Toronto.

TIFF: Toronto International Film Festival Be a part of the world's leading public film festival, bringing the best in Canadian and international cinema to Toronto every September.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority  Do you love the outdoors? Help Toronto wildlife and parks.

YMCA of Greater Toronto The YMCA offers a wide range of programs which address community needs and as a charity we rely on thousands of volunteers to help. We offer many benefits to our volunteers, including learning new skills, meeting new people and making friends while helping people improve their overall health.

Youth Arts Movement In Etobicoke Lakeshore area.  YAM meets twice a month at the Lakeshore Arts office to share ideas, make art and plan events. Everyone is welcome.

Youth Volunteer Program at Baycrest. Ages 13-24 for youth who want to brighten up someone's day and assist with programs and fun for residents.


In Toronto - Peer to Peer

Advocates for Youth: Rights. Respect. Responsibility. Opportunities for all youth activists with want to make real change. LGBTQ+ inclusive. POC inclusive. Tons of opportunities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto  A respected organization that helps to match children who have no companionship in their lives with a suitable big brother or big sister. Volunteering as a big brother or sister will be one of the more rewarding experiences of your life. Find out how you can make a difference.

LGBTQ Youthline  Peer to peer helpline.  Peer Support Volunteers must be 26 years old or younger; identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex, two-spirit, queer, asexual, or something else along those lines; and be able to get to Toronto to volunteer. 

LOVE. Leave Out Violence is a leading Canadian youth violence prevention organization where at risk youth who have lived with violence learn to reject violence in their lives as well as teach other youth to do the same. Check out the LOVE Programs from the home page of this web resource for a list of programs available to youth who want to become mentors in this specialized program.

Ontario Science Centre has opportunities for youth interested in science and technology.

Plan Canada Volunteer office opportunities at Plan International Canada headquarters in Toronto.

Planned Parenthood Toronto  "Are you looking for a way to contribute to your community and promote healthy sexuality? Planned Parenthood Toronto’s volunteer opportunities can offer you just that. We offer peer education opportunities in our sexual and reproductive health programs, and our anti-homophobia project, T.E.A.C.H., as well as opportunities to volunteer for specific projects such as fundraising and special events."

Toronto Zoo - Youth Volunteers Enjoy interacting with people and develop your communication skills at special events on the Zoo site.

Youth Assisting Youth: The Peer Project YAY encourages young adults from all cultures and diverse backgrounds to become peer mentors. In sharing their life experiences volunteers recognize the importance of commitment to others, the value of community involvement and the positive impact that individuals can have on the world around them.


Peer to Peer with disAbled Youth

Ability Online is a free internet community where children/youth with disabilities/illness and their parents can meet others like them, make friends from all over the world, share their hopes and fears, find role-models and mentors, and feel like they belong. Volunteers are actively encouraged to participate in the development of conferences and the improvement of the service. To ensure volunteers can excel in the tasks and responsibilities they have taken on, Ability OnLine provides ongoing support, training and information as required. this is an excellent opportunity for youth who are interested in working with disabled youth from their home computers.

Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario uses the recreational and therapeutic benefits of sailing to enhance the lives of people living with a disability in Ontario.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Youth who would like to volunteer assist staff in a wide range of activities with the children and young adults. Opportunities are available mornings, afternoons and evenings, seven days a week. Youth must be at least 16 years of age, be available for an initial screening, and, if accepted, attend a training seminar. This is an enriching volunteer opportunity, especially suitable for those youth interested in working with the disabled as a career.

March of Dimes Canada is a charitable organization that assists individuals with physical disabilities to achieve a meaningful and dignified life. Volunteers assist this organization by serving the needs of adults with physical disabilities. Volunteers assist by being a friend to the disabled, assisting with fundraising, or serving on a committee. 

Ontario Track 3 Ski Association is a volunteer non-profit charitable organization that teaches children and youth with disabilities to downhill ski and snowboard.

Trailblazers Ever wanted to lead a bicycle built for two? Tandem biking with blind/low-vision people.  Volunteers aged 16+ lead the tandem bike and are the eyes for low/no vision cyclists.  Fun! Through CNIB. CNIB's video shows how this works.


In Canada and Abroad

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): Youth Zone Volunteer in Canada and in developing countries.  Also, Internship program for Aboriginal Youth

Katimavik offers learning through volunteer service programs for young Canadians looking for a unique experience that enables them to make positive change in their lives and communities.

WWOOFF Volunteer exchange on organic and sustainable properties, internationally and across Canada.


Additional Volunteer Resources

Charity Village A database of upcoming opportunities with non-profit organizations

Government of Canada's list of organizations that need youth volunteers

Idealist.org Volunteer opportunities in Canada and across the planet.

Projects Abroad offer overseas voluntary work placements including teaching, care, conservation & environment, medicine & healthcare, journalism, law & human rights, international development, business, and more.

Verge Magazine Travel with a purpose: opportunities to volunteer abroad.

Volunteer Canada Canada-wide volunteer opportunities

Volunteer Toronto Volunteer Toronto is a charity that builds caring communities by connecting volunteers to the causes that need them.

World Volunteer Web Volunteerism Worldwide