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:

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



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) 90 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. It supports and challenges them to become contributing members of their community. It provides outdoor skill development, mentorship, high school credits, bursaries and job opportunities through a multi-year multi-step program. 

Teachers from schools in Toronto’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods refer students to Trails. The students selected are chosen because they have the potential but not the support to overcome challenges facing them. Trails selects 40 new at-risk youth to join its program each summer. 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. In F2020, 148 students were part of the 4-year Trails program. 

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 $118k in F2020 in bursaries to help 28 program graduates pay for post-secondary tuition. In total, Trails supported 64 youth through its alumni support and fifth- and sixth-year programming. 

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Results and Impact

Trails states in its most recent annual report that 100% of Trails participants graduate from high school, and 72% go on to post-secondary education. 95% of participants say that Trails helps them to be successful at school and at home. 

Youth in the alumni-mentorship program are 17% more likely to be gainfully employed than non-mentored at-risk youth. 

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

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

Impact Rating: Average

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Trails Youth Initiatives received donations and special events revenue of $2.4m in F2020. Administrative costs are 4% of revenues and fundraising costs are 6% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 10%. For every dollar donated, 90 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

The charity has $6.5m in funding reserves. This means Trails could cover roughly 8.3 years of F2020 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 August 23, 2021 by Asha McMullin.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending September
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.4%6.8%5.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 5.7%4.4%5.0%
Total overhead spending 10.1%11.2%10.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 830.2%491.3%410.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,239,9512,125,8652,049,108
Business activities (net) 12,00012,00012,500
Special events 138,629225,248190,499
Investment income 214,098183,77153,787
Other income 4,55835,60152,595
Total revenues 2,609,2362,582,4852,358,489
Program costs 658,757774,514744,748
Grants 118,197217,746149,993
Administrative costs 104,464163,999128,353
Fundraising costs 135,834102,240112,907
Other costs 21,90918,2046,186
Total spending 1,039,1611,276,7031,142,187
Cash flow from operations 1,570,0751,305,7821,216,302
Capital spending 28,15169,011(393,690)
Funding reserves 6,450,3654,875,3973,673,536

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 8

Avg. compensation: $60,291

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 F2020

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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


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001