15599 Warden Avenue
Stouffville, ON L4A 2M9
President: Melissa Millward
Board Chair: Greig Clark

Charitable Reg. #:13505 0755 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 89 cents are available for programs.

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About Trails Youth Initiatives:

Founded in 1992, Trails Youth Initiatives (Trails) works with at-risk youth in Toronto, challenging them to become contributing members of the community. The charity wants graduates to be employed and volunteer their time rather than becoming involved with gangs, drugs, and unhealthy relationships.  

Teachers from schools in Toronto’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods refer students to Trails. The students selected are deemed to have the potential but not the support to overcome challenges facing them. Trails doubled its program acceptance rate in F2018 and now selects 40 new at-risk youth to join its program each year. Kids participate in the program from age 12 to 16 with a two-week stay at Trails’ camp each summer and a weekend visit once a month throughout the school year. 

Students do physically challenging activities including high ropes, yoga, skiing, and canoe trips. There is also training on conflict resolution, problem solving, resume writing, career planning, communication, and First Aid. Students can receive credit for up to three high school health and fitness courses; youth collectively earned 39 high school credits at Trails in F2019, and 58 students were enrolled in credit courses at F2019 year end.

Trails Youth Initiatives also offers fifth- and sixth-year programming for select students. As a fifth-year leader in training, students work with a younger group of students. A sixth-year facilitator in training is a paid intern who receives job skills and leadership training.

After leaving the program, Trails supports students with an alumni mentorship program. It distributed $218k in F2019 in bursaries to help 37 program graduates pay for post-secondary tuition.

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence has rated Trails Youth Initiatives as Fair on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

90% of Trails participants report that Trails developed their self-confidence and leadership skills. 89% of survey participants in grade 7 said they have improved self-regulation skills, and 94% of the respondents in grade 8 said that Trails helped prepare them for high school.

Trails Youth Initiatives reports that 90% of 2015 program graduates went to post-secondary school. Of this same group, 98% are giving back to their community in a leadership or volunteer role.

Trails states in its most recent annual report that 100% of Trails participants graduate from high school, and that 98% of participants reported an improvement in both collaboration and initiative.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Trails Youth Initiatives’ results and impact.

Impact Rating: Fair

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Trails Youth Initiatives is a Medium-sized charity, with donations and special events revenue of $2.4m in F2019. Administrative costs are 7% of revenues and fundraising costs are 4% of donations. For every dollar donated, 89 cents go to the cause. This is well within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

The charity has $3.9m in funding reserves, of which $592k is donor-endowed. This means Trails could cover roughly 3.5 years of program costs with existing funding reserves.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Trails Youth Initiatives for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 09, 2020 by Eric Jose.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending September
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.8%5.6%5.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 4.4%5.0%5.2%
Total overhead spending 11.2%10.6%0.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 345.5%263.6%287.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,125,8652,049,1081,889,110
Business activities (net) 12,00012,50021,128
Special events 225,248190,499187,557
Investment income 183,77153,78759,500
Other income 35,60152,5950
Total revenues 2,582,4852,358,4892,157,295
Program costs 774,514744,748681,308
Grants 217,746149,993151,051
Administrative costs 163,999128,353116,624
Fundraising costs 102,240112,907107,025
Other costs 18,2046,1867,395
Total spending 1,276,7031,142,1871,063,403
Cash flow from operations 1,305,7821,216,3021,093,892
Capital spending 69,011(393,690)159,233
Funding reserves 3,918,0622,739,1282,873,920

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 10

Avg. Compensation: $50,004

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Comments from a previous profile update:

In 2017, a Vision Fundraising Campaign was established with the goal of raising $10 million to develop infrastructure and recruit and additional 20 youth annual for their four-year journey. To accommodate the increase in participants, our 143-acre natural environment site experienced infrastructure additions including a lodge mudroom extension, verandah enhancement and kitchen updates; two classroom/10-sleeper prospector tents and a 2,000 square foot, 40-sleeper cabin. In addition, we developed an Alumni Association, recruited three full-time staff, expanded our Mentorship Programme and added a 6th year Facilitator in Training (FIT) programme as a paid internship. 

It is imperative to continue to grow funding reserves to ensure that when each participant is accepted, they are guaranteed full support for the full four years and beyond. Through this process and into the future, we remain a committed as always to the quality and integrity of our programming and the developmental success of our youth in our "Four Seasons, Four Years, For Life" outdoor programme. We are continuing to position ourselves to meet tomorrow's challenges, relying on the investment of our supporters as we strive to make a difference.

Charity Contact

Website: www.trails.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 1-877-836-0285