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Position: Programs Director
Organization: High Park Nature Centre
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Position Summary:

The High Park Nature Centre (HPNC) is a charitable organization that was established in 1999. Our mission is to promote awareness and respect for nature through year-round, hands-on outdoor nature education and park stewardship. The HPNC is a small and nimble organization that serves a diverse audience of over 14,000 people annually from across the Greater Toronto Area. Our experienced team of educators operates in a collaborative, supportive and inclusive work environment that enables unique programming and opportunities for learning and growth. We are currently underway with a capital campaign to fund the High Park Visitor and Nature Centre which will create a focal point for park life. This is an exciting time to join the HPNC team.

As a senior leader, the Programs Director will report to the Executive Director and will be responsible for the strategic and operational leadership and oversight of all High Park Nature Centre programs and services. The Programs Director will ensure the parents/participants' needs are met in a manner consistent with the mandate and values of HPNC through high quality programming and customer service, meeting funder expectations and quality indicators, and maintaining and enhancing HPNC’s reputation for high quality equitable and accessible programming and nature stewardship in High Park.

The ideal candidate will have proven leadership experience in the non-profit, nature education/environmental education sector (or similar) with an awareness of relevant issues and trends impacting the diverse populations within the City of Toronto and an understanding of key sector programs and service areas. This leader will be inspirational, solutions-oriented and collaborative. They will be effective at creating and working with a variety of stakeholders, bridging stakeholders expectations, evaluating and optimizing service and program effectiveness.

The High Park Nature Centre is committed to being a progressive organization that is guided by principles of equity, respect and inclusion.

We continuously strive to broaden the diversity of our participants, staff and Board – inclusive of race, gender, sexual orientation, identity, religion, ability, ethnicity, experience, national origin and the many other traits that are reflective of the vibrant character and heritage of Canada.

As we work to honour our relationship with the Indigenous Nations of the lands we are situated upon, we encourage applications from Indigenous people and others who have experience in the area of Indigenous-Settler relations.

Position Details:

The Programs Director will lead the education team (Supervisors, Coordinators and Interpreters/Naturalist Teachers) to ensure the effective and efficient development, delivery, and on-going evaluation of Nature Centre programs, workshops, events and special projects. The Programs Director will also collaborate with the Executive Director in operational planning and budgeting, partnership development, community engagement, reporting and fundraising.

In assuming this leadership position, the Programs Director will focus on the following key priority areas:

  • Gain the confidence of, and manage relationships with, a diverse group of stakeholders, internal and external
  • Assess and develop appropriate organizational structure, team capacity, systems and process to support change and growth
  • Provide leadership and mentorship to the Centre’s nature educators to build capacity and strengthen program delivery
  • Support and personify a culture of care, wellness, and resilience to ensure staff have the support and resources they need to continue to deliver excellence
  • Oversee the supervision of the education team including recruitment, hiring, training, ensuring work plans are developed and implemented and that they align with HPNC’s strategic priorities
  • Prioritize service quality improvement and support organizational work in areas of output/ outcome reporting, data gathering and analysis
  • Take primary responsibility for management of the Nature Centre’s two park-based facilities and adjacent open spaces


The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following knowledge, experience, skills and attributes:

  • 3-5 years leadership experience in the non-profit, nature education/environmental education sector with an awareness of relevant issues and trends
  • Proven ability to forge strong supportive working relationship, and lead a team through a period of program optimization, growth and change
  • A leader who mentors and builds leadership capacity within the team while embracing and harnessing their expertise and decision-making capabilities
  • A person of high integrity, and compassion who demonstrates a strong understanding of and commitment to equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression practices
  • Experience in delivering, developing and evaluating educational resources, program outlines and coaching others
  • Ability to work with children, youth and adults providing a positive learning experience for participants of all ages
  • Effective at building and managing relationships with partners and other stakeholders
  • Inspires innovative thinking and solutions with an appetite for continuous improvement
  • Ability to provide rigorous financial oversight, meeting budget and achieving required results
  • Proactive and transparent communicator
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to evaluate service and program effectiveness
  • A collaborative decision-maker with strong commitment to teamwork
  • Strong interpersonal and conflict resolution skills including the ability to deal with a variety of sensitive issues with diplomacy and tact
  • University degree or college diploma in education, environmental studies or sciences or an environment-related discipline or equivalent work experience
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office 365 including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and database software
  • Strong knowledge of Toronto’s ecology and natural history an asset
  • Ability and willingness to work outdoors in all conditions
  • Fluency in French an asset
  • Current CPR and First Aid certificates or willingness to acquire
  • Current Vulnerable Sector Check or willingness to acquire

This is a full time salaried role requiring some evening and weekend work.

Rate of pay: $50,000+ commensurate with skills and experience

To apply:

Please email your resume and cover letter as one PDF file to Robin Sorys, HR Director, subject: "Re: Programs Director as posted on"

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. CLOSING DATE April 18th at 5pm. 

Due to the volume of applications we receive, no follow up phone calls or emails please.


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Apr 16 2021    ID: 59272