City Kidz 601 Burlington Street East

I recently dropped by non-profit organization City Kidz. It’s an organization I’ve heard about and wanted to find out more about what they do. Having celebrated their 20th anniversary last year, the organization began with Rev. Todd Bender, who was inspired to make an impact in the lives of children who are living in low income communities right in his own city. Specifically, they aim to help children living in Hamilton’s inner city. In their own words:

We’ve always believed that every child, no matter their circumstance, deserves the opportunity to achieve greatness and fulfill their God given potential. Because of this, we are motivated to do all we can to transform the lives of inner-city children, break the cycle of hopelessness and end child poverty. via City Kidz



Their main office located on Burlington Street is an impressive building. It was a blustery day outside when I visited, and it was a relief to see a pop of red and know I was in the right place! They also have another location, The Sherman Playhouse Theatre, at 177 Sherman Ave North, which would be fun to visit another time. Tours are available at the Playhouse from March – June and September – December.

Entering the building, I signed in as a visitor and then had the chance to meet with the co-ordinator of fundraising and events, Samantha Taylor, who gave me a tour of the space. Samantha began by volunteering at City Kidz a year ago, and was inspired to become part of the team after seeing the positive impact the programs have.


Every Saturday, the City Kidz buses pick up the children and they receive a snack on the bus as they head to their destinations for the day. The programs for the 3-5 year old group (Kinder Kidz) takes place at the Burlington Street location, with programs for ages 6-11 taking place at the Sherman Playhouse Theatre. They currently have 16 bright red buses for their routes.

During my tour, I got to see the area where the Kinder Kidz program is held, for ages 3-5. There was an adorable mini theatre where plays and puppet shows are put on to entertain and instill positive messages. City Kidz programming aims to inspire the children and provide a joyful experience with every visit.



Many of the volunteers at City Kidz grew up experiencing the programming as well. Once they reach age 12, they can participate in the Junior Leadership program for ages 12-15 to begin giving back as volunteers.

City Kidz also has branches in Ottawa and Regina, with a goal to expand further across Canada. Locally, they also hope to branch to the Hamilton Mountain. They currently benefit 2300 children, with a goal to increase to 5000 children who are in need.


Leaving my tour, I spotted a bunch of buses lined up outside and thought again that it would be fun to return to see the program in action. For now, this was a great introduction to City Kidz!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

One thought on “CITY KIDZ”

  1. You should come check out the new CityKidz studio. Built a year ago, it is a spectacular theatre just for kids. Go to the Citykidz website and click on the “Tours” link.

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