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.

In recent years, the Foundation’s mandate has expanded to include poverty eradication, 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.

The Samuel Family Foundation is also a proud partner of the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) Symposium on Overcoming Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness. Together, the Foundation and the SCSC have convened four Global Symposia on Overcoming Social Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness. The most recent 2022 Global Symposium was held in Toronto, Canada, and brought together 160 community activists, policymakers, researchers and youth from across Canada, and the world. Seventy-five partner organizations were represented from ten countries. The theme of the three-day event was Imagination and Action: Building the Right to Belong. The gathering featured uniquely intersectional conversations and had a keen focus on practical solutions to building social connectedness and belonging in our communities.

News And Updates

As a proud partner of the Samuel Family Foundation, The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness welcomed twelve fellows as part of the Social Connectedness Fellowship Program during the summer of 2023. The Social Connectedness Fellowship empowers students, recent graduates, youth, and people with lived experience to carry out innovative research that will inspire local and global action to build community and belonging.

Fellows from this year’s cohort joined from countries including Canada, the United States, Nepal, Kenya, and Malawi. Throughout the summer they worked with their respective partner organizations on research projects that address issues related to social isolation and belonging.

Learn more about the 2023 fellows and read their research reports here.

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


Human Rights Watch Canada

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the world's leading organizations conducting research and advocacy on human rights. Publishing over 100 reports and briefs per year, HRW has extensive experience in partial reporting, effective social media use, targeted advocacy and partnership development with local groups.

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.

Partners in Health Canada

Partners In Health's mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. They work in close partnership with local government officials and the world's leading medical and academic institutions to build capacity and strengthen health systems.

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.

Samuel Center for Social Connectedness

The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) works to catalyze innovative strategies to overcome social isolation and 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.

Special Olympics Canada

Special Olympics International is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. The organization is helping to make the world a better, healthier and more joyful place—one athlete, one volunteer, one family member at a time.


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.


Founded and led by Dr. Angel Hsu in 2015, Data-Driven Lab seeks to create solutions to environmental challenges using cutting edge data analytics. The research group consists of data analysts, policy experts, visual designers and interactive programmers. In December 2018, they launched the Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index, which leverages high-resolution, large-scale data to analyze the performance of cities at the intersection of environment and social equity.

The Stop Community Food Centre

The Stop Community Food Centre uses good food to grow community and feed change in West-end Toronto. They grow, share, and distribute good food—while challenging the systems that cause hunger and poverty.
Learn More

Contact Us

Laura Macchione
Executive Director

180 John Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1X5

The Samuel Family Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding requests. We work to nurture, develop and sustain key partnerships dedicated to overcoming social isolation and building social connectedness. 

Samuel meets the needs of our customers every single time with the help of our superior businesses.