Samuel Family Foundation

Our Mission

The Samuel Family Foundation is dedicated to helping people improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to family, community and society. We focus our efforts on building and developing successful communities by increasing access to education, health and employment opportunities for everyone through:

  • Increased awareness and understanding
  • Supporting and learning from community-based strategies
  • Demonstrating innovative processes
  • Supporting actions leading to sustained solutions that build and deepen social connectedness

About The Foundation

From the earliest days of the Samuel family business, social responsibility has directly shaped every aspect of our enterprise. Based on his philosophy of giving back and improving our community, third-generation owner Sigmund Samuel was responsible for developing the Canadiana Collection at the Royal Ontario Museum and the undergraduate library at the University of Toronto. Building on this tradition, the Samuel Family Foundation was established by fourth-generation owners Ernest and Elizabeth Samuel in 1993, with a focus on the arts, education, and healthcare, which included support for the Royal Ontario Museum and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Under the current leadership of Kim Samuel, the Foundation’s mandate has expanded to include poverty, human rights, climate change, youth and older people’s empowerment, and universal design. The Samuel Family Foundation also works closely with several key partners and collaborators on its Social Connectedness Program. Designed to overcome social isolation and create a greater sense of community, this core Samuel Family Foundation initiative focuses on grassroots knowledge and programs to build caring communities and advocate for inclusive policy change.

In October 2019, the Foundation will be convening the third Global Symposium on Overcoming Social Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness, bringing together individuals, partners and collaborators from Canada and around the world. The theme will be Reinventing Community in the 21st Century, and we are very proud to be at the forefront of this call to action.

The Samuel Family Foundation is a proud partner of the following organizations:


Data-Driven Yale

The Data-Driven Environmental Policy Lab (Data-Driven Lab) uses cutting edge data analytics to create solutions to the world’s environmental problems. Working with scholars and policymakers across the globe, Data-Driven Lab strives to strengthen environmental policy at all levels.
Data Driven Yale logo

Human Rights Watch Canada

Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in 90 countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice. Human Rights Watch is roughly 450 people of 70-plus nationalities who are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need.
Human Rights Watch logo

Institute for the Study of International Development– McGill University

ISID's mission is to advance knowledge of the social, political, economic and environmental processes and conditions that enable people and societies to develop their full potential, living long, healthy, meaningful, and productive lives in community with others.
ISID McGill logo

Partners in Health Canada

Partners In Health's mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.
Partners in Health Canada logo

McMaster University – Faculty of Health Sciences

McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences trains physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, health care researchers, physician assistants and midwives to work together in teams, providing the finest patient care.
McMaster University logo and tagline

Misipawistik Cree Nation

In January 2015, an alternative, culturally-relevant education program (Misipawistik Pimatisimēskanaw or Life Path) was developed in Grand Rapids, Manitoba for the Misipawistik Cree Nation. Since then, it has expanded to include three teachings – History, Moose, and Medicine – with focuses on Misipawistik culture, healthy living and connections to their ancestral land.
Misipawisitk logo

Samuel Center for Social Connectedness

The SCSC works to catalyze innovative strategies in order to build connectedness within and between communities. Through interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral partnerships, SCSC conducts research, supports programming, convenes learning initiatives, and advocates for inclusive policy change. SCSC's approach is grounded in listening, awareness, and solidarity, with the objective of fostering belonging and a shared sense of humanity.
Samuel Center for Social Connectedness logo

Special Olympics Canada

Special Olympics Canada is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. For decades, Special Olympics Canada has optimized the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle through sport to improve the well-being of individuals with an intellectual disability.
Special Olympics logo

Synergos Institute Canada

The Synergos Institute helps solve the complex problems of poverty and inequality by promoting and supporting collaborations among business, government, civil society, and marginalized communities. Synergos Canada, an affiliate based in Toronto, supports several of Synergos’ leadership and partnership programs around the world.
Synergos Institute logo


TakingITGlobal is one of the world’s leading networks of young people learning about, engaging with, and working towards tackling global challenges. TakingITGlobal empowers youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges.
Taking It Global logo