When Johnny Strides grew up in Toronto, he would walk the city’s streets with his dad, getting to know its neighbourhoods and shops on one after another.
Now, for the past four years, Mr. Strides has been building his own personal network, which has grown from a few local campaigners to 1,000 volunteers — “his army,” according to his wife, Magge Rae.
Mr. Strides, 54, has taken a very low-tech approach to uniting people from across Canada as well as the United States, building what’s called “activites,” whatever they are, from a smartphone.
“Traditionally, leaders, or organizers, or organizers-by-necessity, are trying to unite a crowd of people,” said Mr. Strides, who has presented and testified before the Toronto public health committee.
“I don’t do that — that’s the bottom line,” he said. “I put my energy into building communities of people.”