Community Participation

Survey respondentsí volunteer time for community activities within and outside Pickering
2011 baseline: 44% of respondents had volunteered in the last 12 months. Respondents annually volunteered 61 hours, 67% of which were for groups in Pickering.

The following table provides a breakdown of average annual hours volunteered by all respondents to the Cityís 2011 community sustainability survey by sector:
Average Annual Volunteer Hours

Fundraising by survey respondents for Pickering-based organizations and organizations outside Pickering
2011 baseline:
Percentage of respondents who volunteer to fundraise for community organizations or activities
Percentage of funds raised for Pickering-based organizations
Average amount raised each year per respondent over 15 years of age
Percentage of respondents who contribute personal funds to community/charitable organizations
Percentage of personal contributions that go to Pickering organizations

Survey respondentsí attendance at facilities, events, and performances within Pickering
2010 baseline: 65% of survey respondents attend Pickering community events.

Music festival

Attendance at Specific Events or Performances in Pickering

Respondents were asked which activities they or members of their household attend outside the City and why. The data suggests that while people prefer to participate close to home, they are more willing to travel for events that are important to them. The most frequent responses were:
Attendance at Specific Events or Performances Outside Pickering

The most common reasons given for participating in heritage, arts, and culture activities outside Pickering were:
Reasons for Attending Events or Performances Outside Pickering

Many of these activities would appear to be special events (e.g., plays, concerts, exhibits, etc.) that have engagements in larger centres like Toronto, and would not commonly be provided in a community the size of Pickering.

Voter turnout for municipal elections
2010 baseline: 32.2% of eligible Pickering voters turned out to vote in the October municipal election.

Voter turnout is a measure of civic engagement and societal health. In Pickering, voter turnout in the 2010 municipal election was just over 32% of eligible voters. In comparison, average voter turnout for the Province of Ontario was 44.4%.

What is the City doing to encourage civic and community participation and volunteering in programs and organizations within Pickering?

Offering programs: The City offers hundreds of competitively priced programs in a variety of areas (sports, fitness, recreation, leisure, arts, heritage, culture, etc.). The programs are provided in various community centres throughout the community, and are described in three Leisure Guides mailed every year to each household in the City.

Promoting events and programs: The City promotes events and programs to its residents and businesses through various means including the Cityís website and Leisure Guides, local media print and radio advertising, newsletters, banners, trade shows, Facebook, and Twitter. Most of the Cityís events are free and open to the public.

Reaching out to youth: The City offers free youth programs for Pickering teens aged 13-19. Over 5,000 teens participate in these programs each year.

Pickering was designated a Youth Friendly Community in 2005 and in 2011 received the Gold Youth Friendly Community Builder status from Parks and Recreation Ontario and Playworks Ontario. A Youth Friendly community is one that actively supports and provides opportunities for the growth and development of youth ages 13 to 19 through play.

Encouraging volunteerism: The City coordinates two volunteer programs:

  • One for general volunteer opportunities (at City programs or events)
  • One for Museum volunteerism (specifically at the Pickering Museum Village)

Pickering Museum Village currently has more than 300 active volunteers and 10 special-focus volunteer clubs. In 2010, the total hours contributed by volunteers to Pickering Museum Village was valued at $590,000.

Since 2010, the City has partnered with Environmental Stewardship Pickering to host an annual Environmental Volunteer Expo. A number of environmental groups attended the Expo to speak with residents about volunteer opportunities.

Providing training and networking opportunities: In partnership with Environmental Stewardship Pickering, the City hosts an annual Environmental Leadership Forum. The Forum is a free day of training and networking for residents, students, and community groups interested in environmental stewardship. The Forum helps residents develop skills in organizing and implementing stewardship activities.
 Environmental Leadership Forum (Photo credit: Dave Johnson)

Promoting community beautification: The City sponsors community beautification initiatives for residents, schools, organizations, and businesses that are designed to help foster civic pride and provide volunteer opportunities. Through the Pickering Blooms Program, residents can volunteer to refurbish and enhance their neighbourhoods with sustainable perennial plantings.

Challenging residents and City staff to get involved in sustainability initiatives: Information on sustainability programs can be found at Included is material on a variety of topics and some aimed specifically at students and teachers. Since 2005, the City has hosted a Sustainable Pickering Day. The purpose of this annual event is to bring awareness to sustainability-related opportunities available for residents and businesses in Pickering.

City of Pickering staff are given training in sustainability. Lunch Ďní Learn sessions are held to educate staff on a variety of topics, including energy and water conservation, being an EcoDriver, and waste reduction. The City also has an internal Ideas Challenge through which staff can submit ideas on how the City can become more sustainable.

Pickering staff also volunteer for community initiatives like the 20-Minute Pickering Makeover, Earth Hour, and the Heart and Stroke Foundationís Big Bike fundraiser, and participate in corporate events like Bike to Work Day, and Clean Air Commute.

A few of the Pickering Museum Village volunteers

Pickering was designated a Youth Friendly Community in 2005 and in 2011 received the Gold Youth Friendly Community Builder status from Parks and Recreation Ontario and Playworks Ontario.

Theatre in the park
















The City has partnered with Environmental Stewardship Pickering to host an annual Environmental Volunteer Expo.

Pickering Activity Council For Teens (Pac4Teens)