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Three-year investment will help community agencies deliver on fundamental needs: food security, support for isolated seniors, employment and income security, and mental health

April 27, 2020 -- 407 ETR is the first United Way corporate partner in Canada to commit to a multi-year investment that addresses the long-term impact on families caused by the COVID-19 crisis. With a $4-million investment over three years in United Way’s network of agencies in Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Peel, Toronto and York, 407 ETR’s aim is to build the resilience of the GTHA’s vulnerable people and families now, and in the longer-term.

People, families and neighbourhoods across the GTHA are in crisis – and the GTHA’s social services sector is stretched beyond its limits to meet the increased demand for their essential services. 407 ETR’s COVID-19 community response will provide sustained funding to help United Way’s network of agencies deliver on fundamental needs: food security, support for isolated seniors, employment and income security, and mental health. As a three-year investment, 407 ETR will continue to support critical social capital infrastructure that will help people across the GTHA emerge from the crisis.

After government, United Way is the largest funder of socal services in the GTHA, supporting a network of frontline community agencies that meet urgent human needs and improve social conditions. Funding for this crucial network is made possible by donations like this leading investment from 407 ETR.


"The Board of 407 International has seen the clear need to respond in a meaningful way to the pandemic we are confronting together. Our Board has decided to make a 3-year commitment to the United Way agencies serving communities across the 407 ETR corridor in order to help those in need now and into the recovery period ahead. It will take time for communities, people and businesses to recover and we pleased to help that process as best we can. In addition, our immediate donations to healthcare facilities along the corridor is reflective of the very high value we place on our hospitals and rehabilitation centres and we wish to help mitigate their very significant and immediate needs during this time. Until we are past this very challenging period, our company will be there to assist the communities and drivers we serve."
David McFadden, Chair, 407 International Board of Directors

"The pandemic has impacted all of us personally and greatly impacted all businesses. At 407 ETR, our staff have always been willing to help the communities we serve and do so by both volunteering, participating in fundraisers and making donations throughout the year. Like many companies, we have an excellent team of both essential staff that are keeping the highway safe and assisting drivers on the highway and have another team working from home to assist customers with their account needs. At a time where we cannot be in the community personally, we're well aware that the need for assistance has only grown more during this very challenging period. We also know that the needs of communities across the GTHA will continue well beyond the immediate crisis and well into the recovery. It's for that reason that our Board decided to extend our commitment to the United Way to 2022. On behalf of our customers and all the communities and hospitals we seek to assist, I am very pleased to announce our donations and we wish everyone good health and look forward to returning to our regular routines."
Andres Sacristan, President & Chief Executive Officer, 407 ETR

"The COVID-19 pandemic threatens our community and its most vulnerable people in ways that we are only beginning to understand. More than ever, we need our social infrastructure, that invisible network of agencies people visit, call, and rely on in neighbourhoods across our region. We need it today, and we need it in the years to come. With this $4-million investment in United Way, 407 ETR is standing up as a true leader in our region. Thank you to the 407 ETR board and executive team for making a significant impact to strengthen the community sector and help GTA families emerge from this crisis resilient."
Daniele Zanotti, President & CEO, United Way Greater Toronto

"This multi-year support, from 407 ETR, will directly impact the lives of thousands of people in Durham Region. From emergency, to relief, to recovery—this funding will support the United Way of Durham Region's efforts to rebuild communities, provide continued service, and address the issues that matter most. We look forward to seeing how our strong community spirit and deep-rooted collaborative activities will help to shape our stronger and more resilient Durham of tomorrow."
John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Region of Durham

"As a proud supporter and Leadership Donor of the United Way Greater Toronto, I am pleased to hear of this multi-year investment from 407 ETR to Peel and our neighbour municipalities across 416 and 905. We all must work together to support our communities as we move towards recovery, and this includes working with and supporting our most vulnerable residents struggling with poverty, housing and homelessness. Together, with commitments such as this one to United Way, we will be able to support all residents as we regain strength coming out of the COVID-19 response."
Nando Iannicca, Regional Chair, Region of Peel

"Thank you to 407 ETR for stepping forward to help the United Way support families hurt by the COVID-19 emergency. This is another example of the team effort underway across Toronto to help people as much as we can right now and in the aftermath of this pandemic. The City of Toronto is proud to be part of this effort to fight COVID-19 along with all governments, the not-for-profit sector, community organizations, businesses and residents."
Toronto Mayor John Tory

"During these times of uncertainty and rapid change the health, safety and well-being of our residents has remained the top priority for York Regional Council and The Regional Municipality of York. We are all feeling the effects of COVID-19, but for those who already face significant barriers such as poverty, homelessness and food insecurity, these times are even more challenging and difficult. Through partnerships with the United Way and the generous donation from the 407 ETR we can ensure that our most vulnerable residents continue to have access to the critical supports they need in the weeks, months and years ahead. On behalf of York Regional Council, I extend my sincere thanks to the 407 ETR board and executive team for the support and compassion they have shown to those in need."
Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO

About 407 ETR: Highway 407 ETR is a 108 kilometre toll road situated just north of Toronto, Ontario and serves over 500,000 commuters from Burlington to Pickering every work day. Using Highway 407 ETR saves more than 30 million hours of driving every year, allowing more time for things that matter most and connecting people and businesses in a fast, safe and reliable way.

Using Highway 407 ETR reduces fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance costs and lowers the environmental impact of driving by keeping drivers out of the gridlock and heavy traffic elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area. Vehicles moving at consistent speeds on Highway 407 ETR reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an average 108 million kilograms per year. Since 1999, Highway 407 ETR has contributed economic benefits totaling over $16.0 billion within Ontario and is well known as the route of choice for businesses to move goods efficiently.

Making life better for customers and surrounding communities is an important focus for the Company. The Company and its employees also support local hospitals and the United Way, sponsor children and youth sports teams across the Highway 407 ETR corridor and supports environmental stewardship. Learn more at

The Company is owned by indirectly owned subsidiaries of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (total 50.01%), Cintra Global S.E., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ferrovial S. A. (43.23%), and SNC-Lavalin (6.76%).

About United Way: As the largest non-government funder of community services in the GTHA, United Way reinforces a crucial community safety net. United Way's network of agencies and initiatives in neighbourhoods across the region works to ensure that everyone has access to the programs and services they need to thrive today. Mobilizing the network and other community support, United Way tackles #UNIGNORABLE issues linked to poverty. United Way's work is rooted in ground-breaking research, strategic leadership, local advocacy and cross-sectoral partnerships committed to building lasting solutions to the region's greatest challenges.

For Media Enquiries:

Laura Quinn, United Way Greater Toronto,, (416) 557-8508

Kevin Sack, 407 ETR,, (416) 455-5262

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