Sir James Woods Award for Community Development - West Neighbourhood House

The Sir James Woods Award for Community Development is presented annually by West Neighbourhood House to recognize and encourage contemporary examples of community development.


The award is named after Sir James Woods (1855-1941), the founder of West Neighbourhood House (then St. Christopher House). A progressive thinker embodying the essence of community development, Sir James Woods exercised leadership within the community, giving his time to ensure the faintest voices would be heard.


The annual award recognizes an individual or group who:

  • Works at making change and community impact
  • Uses creative thinking and goes above and beyond the call of duty towards the betterment of society
  • Provides time and labour for the cause they believe in
  • Has demonstrated the ability to provide leadership and vision which promotes community development and has a commitment to improving the quality of life in their community
  • Shows themselves to be an agent of change, works with the community, demonstrates respect and ensures all voices are heard
  • Works with the community to develop the tools and supports for community members to take on leadership roles


Who can be nominated?

All residents of the city of Toronto, excluding West Neighbourhood House staff and their immediate family. Community groups may also be nominated (excluding service providers). Nominees do not need to live in the West Neighbourhood House catchment area and individuals are permitted to nominate themselves.

Is there a monetary prize accompanying the award?

Yes, there is a $1000 prize that goes to the award recipient. The prize may be divided between the recipient and a charity of their choice, or between two individuals depending on the situation.

Who selects the award recipient?

The Sir James Woods Award committee selects the award recipient. This committee consists of the Executive Director, one board member, one member of the West Neighbourhood House Community Response and Advocacy committee, and two volunteers or members of the community.

How to nominate someone

If you would like to nominate someone for this award, please email Salma Al Atassi at

Nominations open on March 1 and close May 31st of every year. The award recipient/s are announced at the West Neighbourhood House Annual General Meeting, which takes place every year in June.

Past Award Recipients

Click the links below to see information on our past award recipients:

2023 Recipient

2022 Recipients

2020 Recipients

2012-2019 Recipients

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