Community Development

HCA facilitates the development of community strategies to improve quality of life, strengthen economic viability, and enhance community sustainability. We work with local municipalities and community organizations throughout Ontario and across Canada to undertake economic analysis, develop strategic plans, and conduct policy-oriented research and evaluation.

Applying the lessons learned in urban centres to rural, northern, and small communities – and vice-versa – we develop creative approaches to identifying new opportunities for communities. Our goal is to engage community stakeholders in developing and working toward a shared vision for their future.

Some of our more recent projects include:

  • HCA has just recently completed a study of the labour force in Huron, Perth, Bruce and Grey County on behalf of the Four County Labour Market Planning Board. The research will provide a regional overview of labour force skills, knowledge, and abilities encompassing a broad range of transferable skills, as well as occupation specific skills.  
  • An economic impact assessment of snowmobiling activity in Ontario on behalf of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. The project included a review of relevant literature related to the economic impact of snowmobiling in Ontario and comparable jurisdictions in recent years, a review of relevant economic impact models and protocols, and the completion of an economic impact study for snowmobiling activity in Ontario.
  • As assessment of the agricultural resource in the  Blackwell Marsh are of the City of Sarnia and recommendations for maintaining and improving the resource including near urban agriculture opportunities. 
  • The development of a strategic plan for Misery Bay (a non working provincial park) located on Manitoulin Island.
  • An assessment of the impacts of the Toronto Enterprise Fund (TEF) which supports social purpose enterprises that employ homeless and low-income people. The assessment was completed on behalf of the funding partners: United Way Toronto, the City of Toronto, and the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
  • An assessment of the effectiveness and replicability of Community EFFORT - a 30 month pilot project that introduced the concept of Enterprise Facilitation in communities in southwestern Ontario. The assessment was conducted on behalf of Credut Union Central of Ontario.
  • An operational review of Resource Jump Teams which were developed to resolve economic development challenges, promote regional/sectoral growth, develop capacity and partnership, build awareness and support for economic growth. The assessment was conducted in 6 Ontario communities on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
  • A strategic plan for the Volunteer Centre of Guelph and Wellington. 
  • An assessment of the services offered by the New Life Centre, a multi-functional, multi-cultural settlement agency that serves newcomer communities in Toronto.
  • An assessment of the types and effectiveness of settlement services available in several rural and remote Ontario communities on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Administration of Settlement and Integration Services.
  • A review of the Canadian Programs in World Vision Canada including Neighbourlink, Aboriginal Program, the national Refugee Sponsorship Program and the Refugee Reception Centre in Toronto.

To see additional detail on these and 
 other projects, please click  here                                

Available projects for download

2001 Assessment of Newcomer Settlement Services in Rural and Isolated Communities
2003 Markham Agriculture Strategy
2004 Huron Perth Skills Inventory and Community Mapping
2005 Bruce Grey Skills Inventory Present and Future
2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Primary Health Care Renewal Evaluation
2007 Community Transition Program Process Evaluation
2008 Norwich Township Competitive Analysis Report
2008 Norwich Township Economic Baseline Report
2008 Norwich Township SWOT Analysis Report
2009 Community Transition Program Outcome Evaluation
2010 Friends of Misery Bay Strategic Plan