New program aims to empower Torontonians in uncertain economic times

November 14, 2022 | Media Relations

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Toronto Public Library (TPL), in partnership with WoodGreen Community Services, North York Community House (NYCH) and Prosper Canada, has launched a new program to help low-income Torontonians navigate their financial benefits and budgeting options and work towards greater financial stability. This pilot program is part of the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Staff from WoodGreen Community Services and NYCH are providing regularly scheduled one-on-one sessions to customers at TPL’s Downsview and Riverdale branches.

Customers can register for support on the following topics:

  • Filing taxes
  • Managing debt and credit
  • Staying on budget on a low income
  • Finding government benefits
  • Navigating the application process for benefits
  • Setting and reaching financial goals
  • Coaching through financial challenges

Through this program, customers are better able to access financial information and one-on-one financial help to support them in making informed financial decisions. For more information, please visit

Service Availability

This service is available to all residents in Toronto and accessible at Downsview and Riverdale branches.

Financial Programs and Services at TPL

TPL offers a variety of services and programs to improve financial knowledge, including Personal Finance programs and Book-a-Librarian service.


“Free, easily accessible financial empowerment programs are so important, particularly as we face uncertain economic times. I am so pleased that we are offering this service at our Downsview and Riverdale library branches in collaboration with WoodGreen Community Services, North York Community House and Prosper Canada.”

- Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library

 “WoodGreen Community Services works with thousands of individuals each year and has seen the demand for free, accessible financial services across the city of Toronto heightened by the current affordability crisis.  We are thrilled to be partnering with the Toronto Public Library and other great service providers to expand the reach into previously underserved neighborhoods.”

- Ansley Dawson, Senior Manager, Financial Empowerment Program, WoodGreen Community Services

“Increasing financial literacy and building financial resilience are crucial skills in reducing poverty and improving financial health. North York Community House (NYCH) is pleased to collaborate in piloting this program to enable Torontonians to make informed decisions about their finances and become financially resilient.” 

- Noemi Garcia, Financial Empowerment Program Manager, North York Community House

“Individuals living on low-income often face the most challenges in getting unbiased, trustworthy, and affordable financial help to address their unique and complex money problems.  This new program is helping to lower the barriers to accessing financial services such as tax filing assistance and help in applying for government benefits, by bringing these critical supports to where many Torontonians already go. We are leveraging Toronto Public Library branches, long-standing trusted community spaces, as gateways to getting financial help and achieving financial stability for those most in need.”

- Marlene Chiarotto, VP, Impact and Operations, Prosper Canada

This service is generously funded by donors Shawn Kimel & Kate Schatzky as well as a gift from the Burgundy Legacy Foundation.

About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system, with more than 46 million annual visits to our branches and online. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and knowledge economy through easy access to technology, lifelong learning, and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, where, when and how our customers need us. To learn more, visit, email Answerline at [email protected] or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and subscribe to email updates.

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