Startups in the MaRS ecosystem
People employed by MaRS-supported companies in 2019
Lives positively impacted through MaRS programs

In 2000, former president of the University of Toronto Dr. John Evans assembled a group of philanthropists with the dream of turning innovative ideas into action.

Canada already boasted some of the world’s greatest research and business talent, but lagged behind other countries when transforming those strengths into real-world products, services and wellness outcomes. And so, Dr. Evans and his team of visionaries founded MaRS in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District, at the Old Toronto General Hospital, site of the discovery of insulin.

Today, MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub. It supports more than 1,200 startups, is home to roughly 6,000 innovation workers, hosts 150,000 annual guests, and serves as the Canadian tech ecosystem’s strongest advocate.

Supporting MaRS is supporting inclusive

Helping Canada’s most brilliant minds (entrepreneurs, academics, investors, policymakers and more) solve real problems for real people. It’s about fulfilling the promise of technology to build sustainable cities, make breakthrough discoveries in medicine, deploy climate solutions at scale, and create an economy that works for everyone. It’s about making Canada stronger and sharing that strength with the rest of the world.

Our supporters — regular citizens, as well as private and public institutions — are forward-thinkers who believe the innovation economy can and should improve society.

Become a supporter


Our Supporters

MaRS College of Founders

  • AIC Limited
  • AstraZeneca Canada
  • Baycrest
  • Lawrence S. Bloomberg
  • Cancer Care Ontario
  • CIBC
  • Eli Lilly Canada
  • John R. Evans
  • The Henry White Kinnear Foundation
  • Arthur S. Labatt
  • MDS Inc.
  • NPS Pharmaceuticals
  • St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Peter Munk
  • RBC Financial Group
  • Joseph L. Rotman
  • Allan Slaight
  • Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

Foundational Partners

  • Government of Ontario
  • Government of Canada
  • City of Toronto
  • University of Toronto

Current Donors


  • Endowment – anonymous donor


  • Gord and Janet Nixon*
  • J W McConnell Family Foundation
  • Michael McCain & Family*
  • Richard and Donna Ivey*


  • Annette Verschuren and Stan Shibinsky*
  • Anonymous donor
  • The Co-operators
  • HSBC Canada
  • Ivey Foundation
  • RBC Tech for Nature Foundation
  • Suncor Energy Foundation
  • Thistledown Foundation
  • Trottier Family Foundation


  • Anonymous donor
  • Business + Higher Education Roundtable
  • Peter Gilgan Foundation
  • Yung and Katrina Wu*


  • Cal and Angie Stiller*
  • CIBC
  • Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation
  • Don and Elyse Allen*
  • Elaine Campbell*
  • Hamilton Community Foundation
  • Ilse Treurnicht*
  • John Manley*
  • Martha Tory*
  • Meric Gertler*
  • Michael Serbinis*
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Ron and Kathleen Close*
  • Stefan M. Larson*

$1K +

  • Grace Lee Reynolds

*MaRS acknowledges our Board of Directors not only for their time and expertise, but for their generous financial support of MaRS through the Future Fund Campaign.


What kind of impact do you want to make on the world?

The MaRS Philanthropy Office supports your ambitions to lift Canadians through inclusive innovation. MaRS donors can give:

Donate safely and securely through CanadaHelps and automatically receive a tax receipt.

Gift of securities
A donation of securities or mutual funds allows you to give more and avoid paying capital gains taxes.

Contact us
If you are unsure which donation method suits you best, feel free to consult our team. Email us at philanthropy@marsdd.com.

Donating to MaRS means fighting for a fairer economy, healthy communities and a clean planet

Want to learn more about the MaRS Philanthropy Office? Thinking about making a positive change?
MaRS is a registered charity. Our charitable registration number is 876682717-RR0001.

Donate Now
Our Team
Allyson Hewitt

Allyson Hewitt

Allyson Hewitt

With support from the JW McConnell Family Foundation and the Province of Ontario, Allyson has assisted hundreds of social ventures to become economically sustainable and increase their social impact. She has developed and helps lead the social innovation programs at MaRS, including the national initiative Social Innovation Generation (SiG); the social finance programs of the Centre for Impact Investing; the MaRS Solutions Lab, a change lab designed to tackle complex challenges; and Studio Y, an initiative designed to support youth in thriving in the new economy. She has also been instrumental in growing the social innovation ecosystem; conducting public education; and influencing public policy. She also led an initiative to develop a pro bono marketplace for Canada. Allyson is also the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the Conrad Centre at the University of Waterloo, where she helps teach the Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility courses in the Master in Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Program. She is a sought-after educator, mentor and social venture competition judge for programs that include the Social Innovation Graduate Diploma and the Lougheed Leadership program at the Banff Centre. Allyson is also a member of the Dean’s Council at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, where she helps lead the social responsibility work. A life-long social innovator, she last worked at SickKids where she led Safe Kids Canada and was a passionate advocate for children.  She was also the Executive Director of Community Information Toronto where she initiated 211, providing streamlined access to human service information.  For her leadership on this social innovation she received the Head of the Public Service Award and several other prestigious awards for meritorious public service. Allyson’s academic background is in Criminology, Law, Public Affairs, Voluntary Sector Management and Organizational development, including Leading Change. Contact: T 416-673-8410 F 416-673-8181 Email: ahewitt@marsdd.com

Josée Thibault

Josée Thibault

Josée Thibault

With a background in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, Josée turns big ideas into action. She was an early builder of Opportunity for All Youth, an initiative that aims to transform the workforce development sector so that it works better for youth who experience marginalization. She also served as Executive Director for ONE TO ONE Literacy Society, a childhood literacy program in British Columbia, and as a fundraiser for UBC, supporting the Faculty of Medicine and the university’s community outreach initiatives. In a past life, Josée led a team of Account Managers for a boutique market research company focused on customer experience metrics. Josée sat on a number of non-profit boards including the Calgary Birth Control Association (now the Centre for Sexuality), the Chicago Neighbourhood Parent Network, and Vancouver’s CircusWest. In her spare time, she is completing a Masters of Communication Management at McMaster University. Through it all, Josée brings energy to connecting passionate people with causes they care about, and to building communities devoted to meaningful social impact.