About Us

Do you seek community-based responses to current social challenges?


The idea for a social planning council emerged in the 1950's when local leaders recognized the need for reliable information management about social services and wanted
to build capacity to respond to changing needs in the community. Social Planning Council Kitchener-Waterloo was incorporated as a charity in 1967 (charitable number #107987166RR0001).

Craving some history? A snippet of History of the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region.

Walkgin Together

In the early years, volunteers did the work of the Council, addressing issues such as affordable housing and the needs of groups such as youth, seniors and persons with different abilities. Our continuing concern about the issues faced by these and other marginalized members of our community have been a beacon shedding light on unresolved gaps in services and policy, as well as illuminating future trends and opportunities.

50 Years: Looking to our past to set direction for our future!

Our Priorities 2021-2024 

At the 2021 Annual General Meeting, our priorities have evolved into three sustainability related streams: 

  • Lived experience has access to information and opportunities needed to create knowledge and participate in decision-making
  • Lived expertise voices are heard and incorporated in development and implementation in local strategies especially in the area of housing
  • Grassroots organizations and groups have access to space and supports they need to operate and grow through Civic Hub Waterloo Region
  • Social Development Centre is resilient, healthy, adaptable and accountable to its members and the communities it serves.

Read the Strategic Plan 2021-2024.

Our Vision

Fair and equitable access to social, economic and political life for everyone in Waterloo Region.

Our Mandate

The Social Development Centre Waterloo Region is a learning organization that supports all voices in creation of community wide solutions ensuring that lived experience is the basis for collective action.

Our Strategies

  • Creating open forums and a lifelong holistic engagement model to support lived experience groups that promote meaningful participation and deliberation beyond tokenism.
  •  Designing collaborative approaches to research that draw policy lessons from lived experience through anti-racism, anti-opression and intersectionality.     
  •  Disseminating information resources and tools that support navigation and transformation of social service and other institutional systems .

Our Goals

1. Increase citizen participation in social, economic and political life of the community.

2. Increase understanding of social context, resources, assets, issues and challenges of the local community for those who need this knowledge to take action.

3. Build the social infrastructure of the community – people, organizations, services, policy.

4. Reduce inequitable access to information particularly the one resulting from emerging technologies. 

Health of our Organization

2021 Financial Report - 2021 Activity Report
2020 Activity Report 
2020 Financial Report
2019 Activity Repor
t, 2019 Financial Report
2018 Activity Report
, 2018 Financial Report
Activity Report, 2017 Financial Report 

2016 Annual Activity Report Presentation
2016 Financial Summary Report 

2015 Annual Report Presentation
2014 Annual Activity Report Presentation
2013 Annual Report 

Meet our Board 

Board of Directors 2020-2021 elected at the October 14th 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Barbara Spronk, Co-Chair
Brad Ullner, Co-Chair
Nathan Pike, Treasurer
Debra Brown, Secretary
Ambika Opal,  Director
Myron Steinman, Director
Bob Jonkman,  Director
Laura Hamilton, Director
Ayiko Solomon, Director

Nomination Package for a Board Poistion - your space is still open!

Oral History Project 2017-2019 

Oral History Project

 The Oral History Project project was initiated in 2017 in collaboration with the Commons Studio and will continue thanks to the passionate community members who want to preserve stories and accounts about the 50 year's long community development legacy. Do you have a story to tell? You know people who we should talk to?

Our Values

Social Justice We are committed to equitable treatment and fair access to the social, economic and political engagement for all members of the community.

Participatory Democracy We value democracy practiced daily and encourage everyone to participate in decisions or on issues that affect them.

Community Knowledge We believe local community based knowledge is a public good and is essential to help all stakeholders understand the community and its people, assets, resources and needs.

Diversity We recognize, highly value and seek out the multi-dimensional character of community members which includes a rich variety of backgrounds, abilities and experiences.

Relationship Building (Social Capital) We are committed to building positive relationships in all areas of community development, fostering both horizontal and vertical social capital.

Our Operating Principles

Community We focus on geographic community where we find issues and seek solutions. We acknowledge and work with communities of interest as ways people come together to improve quality of life.

Accountability We are accountable to the community and seek direction from those who use our services and from our membership. Our governing board is elected annually by community members.

Independence Being community-driven and accountable, we have greater freedom than public sector organizations or direct service providers, to critique existing policies and systems or to propose alternatives.

Knowledge-based Action We link independent research and lived community experience to the development of action proposals and solutions to identified problems that eliminate inequity and injustice.

Inclusion We aim to engage everyone, especially those who voices are not typically heard. When we do engage we will be mindful of how we do this to be as inclusive as possible. Collaboration We work in partnership and collaboration with others to share resources, expertise and/or experience.

Our Affiliations

ActivitiesReport2021.pdf2.41 MB