Open Letter From Synapcity

Thank you for your continued support and participation as we navigate the continued change and impact of COVID-19.


Dear Synapcity Community,

Thank you for your continued support and participation, especially now as we all navigate the continued change and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are all more aware than ever of the deep disruption and huge inequalities in civil society. Family life has been turned upside down, unemployment has soared, work life has moved home, and mental health is challenged. As the COVID era continues, social isolation, political polarization and the economic disparity that exists across our city and communities are critical issues that need to be addressed. The pandemic affects us all.

Synapcity, as a non-profit organization, is likewise feeling the impacts of this time. Like so many of the Canadian charities, non-profits and organizations with whom we partner, our operations have been deeply affected by the pandemic. This has meant minimizing all costs, including staffing, safeguarding our minimal reserves and retooling our facilitation skills, while we continue to work in response to the needs of the communities we support.

Synapcity will play a vital role, as Ottawa responds and rebuilds

All levels of government have committed billions to emergency programming, but the big test for the next few years will be repairing the damage to the social safety net which had been built up over the last 70 years.

Synapcity has been bringing people and institutions together to determine and realize the public good across communities in Ottawa. We want to continue this work, which we believe is needed now more than ever, supporting Ottawa residents to respond to and ultimately recover from the devastating social impacts of this pandemic.

We see the critical need to work through the enormous implications of the pandemic. We want to create safe inclusive spaces to ask big questions; to compare notes; to test ideas; to learn what is happening in other places. We believe there are no right or wrong answers at this stage. We know that thoughtful conversations can help to calm the fear, provide a basis for hope, and decipher the way forward.

New tools, old connections

In recent months Synapcity has been adapting to the new social and physical realities. We have been exploring accessible online tools that will support our unique approach to civic and community engagement. The goal is to continue to make connections across diverse groups, fostering social connections, sharing knowledge and creating a high-value virtual space for diverse community groups. We believe we can continue to build trust and encourage creativity and experimentation despite the current barriers to ‘in person’ connections, and in time, look forward to being able to share physical space again as a community.

We are also exploring new organizational approaches, working with a core group of volunteers, including some former staff and board members. This fall we plan to host civic sessions open to the community. In 2021, we will focus on civic learning, with an emphasis on civic structure and city-building for those who are looking to effect systems change.

We are committed to being prepared to work with others so that together we can figure out how to repair the damage to Ottawa’s social fabric and then move on to build a just, healthy and creative place to live, work and play.  We hope you will consider a donation* in support of this very important work.

We will continue to bring you details as they evolve in the coming months through our ebulletins and would love to hear from you if you have an interest in playing a role as we move forward.


Synapcity Board of Directors

*Select Synapcity as the fund in the dropdown.

About Synapcity

Synapcity is a non-profit organization, incubated since 2013 by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa (SPCO), a registered charitable organization (107987208 RR 0001).

All financial contributions are directed and payable to SPCO, either by cheque to the below-mentioned address, or by donating through Canada Helps (Synapcity is designated as a specific fund under SPCO).  

Please note that we no longer maintain a separate office space at Saint Paul University, 223 Main Street. Effective immediately, our address is:

c/o Social Planning Council of Ottawa
815 St. Laurent Blvd. Suite 235
Ottawa, ON
K1K 3A7

Phone: 613-236-9300 ext. 310