The trauma from adverse childhood experiences can last a lifetime, and without early intervention, can define a lifetime.
But we can help prevent the physical and mental effects that childhood trauma can lead to.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we champion the health and wellbeing of youth by stepping in before it’s too late, to give every child a chance to reach their full potential.

We Build Thriving Communities By Empowering Lives Through Mentorship


In 2017 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto empowered over 2500 children and youth in our city.


The Search Institute®’s 40 Developmental Assets framework, has become the most widely recognized and most frequently cited approach to positive youth development in the world. We use this framework as our service model foundation, building upon a solid evidence-based approach.


Every $1 invested in our programming returns between $18-$23 to society through taxes, higher incomes, volunteerism, and charitable donations.

Changing the course of young lives


We build thriving communities by empowering lives through mentorship.


Mentorship is an essential service that supports all children and youth in reaching their full potential.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is a federation comprised of 108 member agencies servicing more than 1,100 communities across the country.


Many children and youth in Toronto are not reaching their full potential.


Facing prolonged adversity creates toxic stress in the brain that can negatively impact development.


With the support of a mentor, these risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth can reach their full potential.

Our Solution

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto’s programs are based on Search Institute’s® Developmental Asset framework.

With over 50 years of research and experience, Search Institute® has created a framework of 40 Internal and External Developmental Assets to cultivate thriving children and youth.

The positive power of the 40 Developmental Assets is evident across all cultural and socioeconomic groups of youth. Levels of Assets are better predictors of high-risk involvement and thriving than poverty, family structure, or other demographic difference.

A thriving community surrounds youth with support, opportunities for empowerment, boundaries & expectations and constructive use of time.

When communities deliberately provide these critical external Development Assets for young people, positive internal assets are stimulated and young people commit to learning, build positive values, develop social competencies and build positive identities.

The Search Institute provides strong and consistent evidence that illustrates the power of asset building that can lead to thriving youth.

We are the leading voice of mentorship

For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change Canadian children and youth’s perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have over a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.

It all started in 1913, when a woman by the name of Eleanor Adams Hunter, working in the court system in Toronto, noticed quite a number of young boys coming through, as what they called then, juvenile delinquents. She had heard of the Big Brother Program that had started in 1904 in New York City, and felt that these boys, many of whom were from father absent homes, could benefit from having a positive adult role model in life. She founded the first Canadian Big Brother program here in Toronto.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada currently operates in 10 Provinces, one Territory — and in 12 countries around the world.