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We seek, collect, and share stories of new and developing Canadians from coast to coast to coast. 

Every story helps us learn more about the people who live in Canada. Through our projects, we share these stories in the hopes of creating a nation of empathetic citizens, public services, and policies. Stories are the key to challenging assumptions, nurturing and fostering creativity, and giving rise to citizen voices.

We use design thinking to solve challenges that face Canadians in the realm of civic engagement. We believe that an engaged, informed citizen is the key to a successful community. Our projects focus on helping new and developing Canadians through the stories they have to tell.

We define “new” as newcomers; those who have arrived in Canada and are rebuilding their life here. For them, a sense of belonging can be paramount to fitting in and feel that they are contributing to society. Our projects are designed to help them along their journey.

We define “developing” as youth; our younger generation have a voice and they need to be heard. Engaging them early in their development as citizens ensures that they become active in the development of their community, neighbourhood, and city. By helping them find their voice and giving them a platform to explore that voice, we are helping to build the leaders of tomorrow.

Our Values

The Department of Imaginary Affairs aims to:

  • Create a space that instills confidence, innovation & creativity
  • Create a space where current issues aren’t a roadblock to solving problems
  • Encourage youth to become leaders through imaginative thought and dreaming big
  • Be a place where all kinds of minds can connect, create and imagine
  • Be a space for learning about change and how to affect change in a neighbourhood
  • Create dialogue around advocacy and change
  • Be a space that is both physical and mobile to bring programming to all
  • Be a place where no idea is off the table
  • Be a safe space to test out ideas that seem totally impossible
  • Always be community focused
  • Explore the depths of our imaginations
  • Be a spaced where community conversations happen and solutions get hatched out

Do you have a design challenge in your community?

Get in touch! We are always on the look out for new partners to work with.


The Stories of Us workshop wins at Ontario Culture Days

Our project The Stories of Us was one of the winners at Ontario Culture Days this year! We ran a series of workshops at the Toronto Public Library with newcomers talking to them about their experience of moving to Canada and reflecting on the experiences they’ve had since arriving here. We’re thrilled to be recognized in the Removing Barriers to Access category and congratulate all the other winners.

Culture Days

The DIA facilitated two workshops at the Toronto Public Library (York Woods and Northern District) for The Stories of Us during Culture Days.

Newcomer Day

The DIA participated in Toronto Newcomer Day.

SDI Contribution Awarded

We were thrilled to receive notice that The Stories of Us was one of 99 recipients of the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada through the Service Delivery Improvement contribution.

Centennial College Leadership Workshop

The DIA facilitated a workshop with administrators and students for Centennial College’s Leadership Academy about what leadership means and who leaders are.

Funding for Future Happens Here

Our Future Happens Here project receives a grant from the School for Social Entrepreneurs for further development.

The Story Stitching Project Pilot

The DIA begins its pilot project of The Story Stitching Project (now known as The Stories of Us) with a group of ESL students at Sanderson Library.

First Board Meeting

Our Board of Directors holds its first official board meeting and retreat.


The DIA becomes an official federally incorporated not-for-profit!

Funding from United Church of Canada

The DIA received funding from the United Church of Canada’s Social Innovation department to present The Storybook Project at the annual Skylight Festival.

Toronto Youth Cabinet

The DIA pilots Project potaTO with two workshops at the Toronto Youth Cabinet.

Nuit Blanche

The DIA presents its first project, The East Side Story Project.

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