Our Timeline

  • The COVID 19 Pandemic has required that TAIC conduct its meetings using the ZOOM platform.  The following are the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2020:
  1. Members Present: The following is a list of the TAIC Members that attended the Zoom meeting on 21 October 2020

Name and OrganizationContact
1Diana Alli D’SousaAccessEmpowermentCouncil@gmail.com
2Beverley Davisbeverley.davis@rogers.com
3Davinder Dhanoadavinder_dhanoa@yahoo.com
4Pat Felskeplfelske@hotmail.com
5Faris Georgisgeorgisfanz@rogers.com
6Peter Gothepeter@petergothe.com
7Lilia Granillo Vazquezliliagranillo@gmail.com
8Charles Hillcharles.hill@yahoo.ca
9Sid Ikedaikeda.consultants@sympatico.ca
10Zul Kassamalipresident.mcos@gmail.com
11Vivian Kwok, Roman Catholicvivian.kwok@alumni.utoronto.ca
12Archbishop Mark MacDonaldmmacdonald@national.anglican.ca
13Fr. Damian MacPhersondamiana3143@gmail.com
14Daniel Niamatdniamat@archtoronto.org
15Rev. John Joseph Mastandreajmastandrea@gmail.com
16John Ryersonjohn.ryerson@bell.net
17Rabbi Shalom Schachtershalom@gilbertschachter.com
18Rev. Michelle Singhmichelle@michellesingh.com
19Rev. Earl Smithesmithn209@rogers.com
20Les TanakaLes.Tanaka@ontario.ca
21Shirley Tetreaustetreau@gmail.com
22Bob Whitebob@bri.ca
23Sam Vesunasam.vesuna@sympatico.ca


     2. Summary of Discussion: The following is a summary of the items discussed during the meeting and the proposed action to address the issues raised and the person responsible for implementation


ItemDiscussion LeaderAction
AIntroductionAll of the participants that were able to join the meeting had an opportunity to talk about their challenges and successes because of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Dignity

The Toronto Area Interfaith Council has created a Standing Committee on ‘Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Dignity’ to address the increasing levels of poverty in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).


The Standing Committee’s approach is to work with Partner Organizations in holding a Summit to address the growing problem of inequality in the GTA recognizing that the human person is fundamental in living with dignity in a healthy environment. The Summit is envisaged to be a meeting of key organizations in the GTA who are in one way or another engaged in dealing with poverty in its various forms.

Key objectives of the summit are to transform innovative ideas into long term values through strategies and implementation plans that will address poverty related issues over the next decade if not longer

TAIC’s initiative is in keeping with its Vision and Mandate which amongst other things seeks to play a leadership and catalyst role in building relationships between faith groups, the corporate sector, government and existing support communities towards the eradication of poverty

Please see the attached presentation by the Committee.

If you would like to get involved; please provide your contact details to.

Diana Alli D’Sousa Email: AccessEmpowermentCouncil@gmail.com

CRacism and Violence

Zul, Fr. Damian and Bob have been working on an initiative to mobilize the leaders of the faith communities in the Toronto area to demonstrate support for the worldwide call for justice for people of colour and indigenous people who suffer from discrimination and the way they are treated by a small number of police officers.  


See attached draft of our discussion paper.

Please let Bob know if your faith community is interested in participating in this initiative to:

·      Prepare a survey about discrimination that your members have experienced from other members of your faith community because of their race or ethical origin, colour, religion, age, sexual orientation and marital status, gender identity or expression, family status or disability and review the governance system that your faith community has in place to prevent discrimination and deal with incidents of discrimination.

o     We would ask the faith community leaders that have participated in the development of the survey to ask their individual members to complete the survey and return it to faith community leaders.  The identity of the persons completing the survey would have to be anonymous.

o     If the faith community is willing, they wound submit the results of the completed survey to TAIC to be included in a report that would be made available to the faith communities that have participated in the survey.

·      Preparing guidelines and contact information for faith community members to be used in the event they experience violent behaviour in their family members or faith community members and ask the faith community leaders to distribute the guidelines and contact information to their members. We would include representatives from the City health department and Police force in the TAIC committee preparing the guidelines.


DTAIC Website

Unfortunately the last persons responsible for completing the TAIC website have not been able to complete their work.

We have found a replacement and expect to see results before the end of the year.




  • The most significant event since TAIC was founded in 2014 was bringing over 8500 people to Toronto to participate in the Parliament of the World’s Religions for seven days in November 2018.
  • Arranging for TAIC members to get a discount on the price of participating in PWR Toronto 2018.
  • Working with Mayor John Tory and Faith leaders to show awareness and respond to the rise in hate messages and crimes.
  • Organizing an Interfaith Reception with Mayor Tory at City Hall as a way to restart the TAIC Annual Breakfast with the Mayor.
  • Forming a Committee to ‘Eradicate Poverty’ by mobilizing the people of Toronto and the governments of Toronto, Ontario and Canada and the educational and privation organizations to help the poor of Toronto end the cycle of poverty. We have asked our Faith communities to complete a survey of the services and support they are currently offering to identify best practices.
  • Organizing the annual Canada Day Celebration: ‘The 6th Sacred Journey into silence’ at the University of Toronto’s Multi-Faith Centre.
  • Creating a $5,000.00 ‘Legacy Fund’ in the spirit of reconciliation with Canada’s first peoples to be used to pay the cost of post-secondary education for Indigenous youth to complement current government projects in literacy. It is expected that other organizations will also contribute to this fund to be able to make a significant contribution to increasing the number of indigenous Canadians that get a post-secondary education.
  • Participating in the Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Memorial at City Hall.
  • Mobilizing faith communities to work with the City of Toronto to prepare for and respond to emergencies related to climate change.
  • Issuing a statement of our love and prayers to the innocent victims and their families and friends for the senseless tragedy that took place in October 2018at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, USA.
  • Writing to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to convey our message to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and the families and the victims of the terrorist attack at the Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019.
  • Writing to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to convey our message to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka and the families and victims of the horrible tragedy that took place in Catholic Churches in in Negombo and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka in April 2019.

The 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto

November 1, 2018, marked the opening of the seventh global convening of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto. More than 8300 people of faith and conscience gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with love for each other and in inclusive dialogue for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. 

By the Numbers

The world’s oldest and most diverse global interfaith event marked its 125-year anniversary by bringing together leaders and followers of more than 118 spiritual and secular traditions to “pursue global understanding, reconciliation, and change” in the world’s most culturally diverse city. In total 8,324 individuals from 81 countries participated in the Toronto Parliament. 




Participating in the Parliament of World’s Religions, Salt Lake City: Toronto’s Accepted Proposal

Program Information

Please Note: By submitting this form all presenters and participants agree to adhere to the principles of the Parliament which include the following: • respectful dialogue • non-proselytizing • a willingness to engage in interreligious dialogue • a commitment to explore potentially divisive topics from a variety of viewpoints

Title of Program *
Lessons Learned and Best Practices from 40 Years of Interfaith Experience in Toronto

Description *

Brief summary to be edited for the 2015 Parliament program and website (200 word limit)

The city of Toronto in Canada, one of the most diverse cities in the world, has a vibrant interfaith community.  The program will provide an overview of activities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over the past 40 years, in which people from different religious and spiritual traditions have come together. Many of these activities model innovative approaches to mutual understanding and cooperation. We will describe the formation and activities of interreligious associations and interfaith organizations, and joint ventures by various faith communities, including multi-faith worship services, social justice activities, alliances with municipal and environmental bodies, inter-spiritual observances, and interfaith awards. We will cover a host of educational activities to promote interreligious and inter-spiritual understanding, such as lectures, conferences, training programs, television programs, and activities with youth and with local faith and neighborhood communities. We will also discuss the development and use of interfaith resources, such as the Interfaith Unity Newsletter; Scarboro Missions’ Golden Rule poster, which has gained world-wide renown; the ecological multi-faith poster (Green Rule) of Faith in the Common Good, and a historical directory of Toronto interfaith activity. While the program will highlight best practices, it will also address some of the challenges encountered and lessons learned. 

Program Format:  Audio-visual presentation by a panel

Interfaith History and Directory of Groups in the Greater Toronto Area


The following chronology charts the history of interfaith activity in the Greater Toronto Area (Canada).  It includes a listing of events, organizations and communities, with an indication when each began interfaith activities. Please send us any corrections or additions to the descriptions and contact data. Also please send us any additional listings to be included.  

Leslie Gabriel Mezei       


Sponsored by the Toronto Area Interfaith Council (TAIC)

October, 2015  (81 History, 72 Directory)

This is now available online, with thanks to the Scarboro Missions