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


We see Canada as a place where everyone feels welcome and has a strong sense of well-being and belonging.


We seek, collect, and share stories of new and developing Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Every story we hear helps us learn more about the people who live in Canada and how we as a nation define what it means to be Canadian. Through our projects, we strive to utilize stories to build a nation of empathetic citizens, public services and policies.

Our practice utilizes design thinking as a way of tackling challenges facing Canadians in civic engagement. We believe that the well-being of our communities relies on the strength of each and every person in Canada feeling represented by the decisions made around them. Our projects focus on telling the stories of new and developing Canadians.

We define “new” as newcomers; individuals who have chosen to call Canada home. About 1 in 5 individuals in Canada are foreign-born bringing their own culture, languages, and stories with them.

We define “developing” as youth; individuals who are growing up in Canada. Approximately 25% of Canada’s population are youth who are more diverse, connected, socially engaged, and educated than ever before.

Our projects aim to gain a clear understanding of the evolving definition of what it means to be Canadian from these individuals, to develop a deeper sense of belonging and well-being as a citizen, and engage citizens in their communities in active decision-making.


  • Community-led
  • Future-oriented
  • Co-Design
  • Systems Change
  • Empathy

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.


HAPPENING Multicultural Festival

From May 29 to June 1, we presented the first public installation of The Stories of Us at the HAPPENING Multicultural Festival. We showcased the incredible stories of our participants and created an interactive installation where anyone who visited was encouraged to tell us where they were from.

Toronto Newcomer Day 2019

The DIA participated in Toronto Newcomer Day for the second time showcasing some of our new stories.

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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