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Schedule Sessions

Participate in diverse activities designed to fuel real solutions

At the Summit you will:

  • Hear top international and national minds in city building speak about everything from technology and resilience, to finance and collaboration
  • Learn tools and skills needed to create thriving, inclusive cities
  • Experience hands-on workshops and tours that look at urban issues from multiple perspectives
  • Meet city builders from across sectors, including finalists of the Smart Cities Challenge, working to create better cities so that all people can thrive
  • Discover how we can work together in new and exciting ways to accelerate innovation


Day 1: November 7
Led by ULI Toronto

Kicking off the Summit is the ULI Symposium 2018. Presented in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute and Evergreen, this one-day tour-focused symposium explores innovation in the Greater Toronto Area.


Day 2: November 8

Time Session

Registration, coat check & breakfast.

With support from: Cocoon by Sealy


Welcome to the Future Cities Centre

Meet your Emcee, Mary Rowe, followed by opening remarks from Evergreen CEO Geoff Cape and opening ceremony by Red Sky Performance, Canada’s leading company of contemporary Indigenous performance in dance, theatre, music, and media.


Realizing Our Potential

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges facing our cities, and how must we respond? At the opening conversation of the Future Cities Canada Summit, you will hear from national and international leaders about how they are working today to realize the potential of our cities.

The State of Our Cities
Doug Saunders
The Future of Community
Tessy Britton & Desmond Cole
The Future of Business
Leah Lawrence, Kofi Hope, Michael Denham & Tabatha Bull

Breakout Sessions


Lunch Talk
Let's Get Moving

The world's best cities plan for how to move people and goods as part of a system that is multi-modal, IT-enabled and user focused. Learn from leading thinkers and doers, including Barbara Gray General Manager, Transportation Services, City of Toronto and Rohit T. Aggarwala, Head of Urban Systems, Sidewalk Labs, on the future trends in urban mobility and opportunities for all cities to benefit.

With support from: Bombardier Inc.


Breakout Sessions


Get to Know the Participants of the Future Cities Canada Summit

Adil Dhalla, Executive Director, Centre for Social Innovation


TD Future Cities Speaker Series:
Mega Trends for Mega Cities

No two cities are made the same, but good ideas can be adapted. Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor of New York City, will discuss how to address the greatest urban issues of our time from her city's perspective at the cutting edge of solutions for an inclusive and thriving region, followed by a conversation with Phyllis Yaffe, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada in New York.


City Builder Social

Connect with us and share your learnings from the day. Cash bar


Day 3: November 9

Time Session

Registration, coat check & breakfast

With support from: Intact Insurance


Welcome Back!

Welcome back from President & CEO of the McConnell Foundation and founding Future Cities Canada partner Stephen Huddart. Investing in Canada and innovation remarks by Parliamentary Secretary Marco Mendicino and Assistant Deputy Minister Gerard Peets, Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities, Canada.


Innovation Showcase from North and South

Great things are happening North and South of the border. In partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, we will bring you Canadian and American stories of urban solutions co-created by municipal government and local communities. Hear from city leaders to learn how it's done.

This showcase highlights projects from Winnipeg, Boston, Charleston and more.

Speakers: Sheila Foster, Andrea Coleman, Andrea Reimer, Joe Christo, Mark J. Wilbert, Jai Sahak & Garaham Marshall, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr, Stacey Gillett


Breakout Sessions


Lunch Talk
Constitution 2.0: Time for Cities to Grow Up

With 80% of Canadians living in urban centres, Canada’s success depends on building great cities. But can we do that without re-thinking the bigger governance structures currently in place in Canada today? How should our cities relate to their provincial and federal counterparts? Hear city leaders including Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson , Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern, Samara Canada's Jane Hilderman and Maytree's Alan Broadbent make their best case for why and how we need a new balance of power in Canada.


Closing Plenary
We Are Cities

At the heart of all cities are the people. The Future Cities Summit closing plenary will feature leaders from across disciplines to remind us how we can continue to build cities for all people. Hear from The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Tanya Talaga, Rashiq Fataar, Maxim Bragoli and Mary Rowe, who will be sure to leave you with a focus on what matters most to make our cities inclusive, sustainable and just!

Special thanks to: City of Toronto


Closing Performance

Jeremy Dutcher, Polaris Prize Winner

Breakout Sessions

Sessions touch on four overarching themes vital to building thriving and inclusive future cities. Look for the icons in the descriptions below to discover which themes the sessions touch upon.

  • Fostering Resilience: How must we plan and build resilient low-carbon infrastructure in the face of the changing climate? Where are the greatest risks, and who is developing the smartest and most adaptive solutions?

  • Growing Equitably: How can we solve a widening income gap in our cities, to ensure inclusive and equitable growth and economic development that is shared? What are the most effective ways in practice to plan and build complete communities, and how do we overcome the social and economic barriers?

  • Harnessing Technology: How are we ensuring that advancements in technology enhance the livability, creativity and productiveness of all communities, and not making worse the existing ‘digital divide’? Can Canadian cities be the models for integrating new technologies in ways that respond directly to the needs and priorities of their residents?

  • Working Together: How can we collaborate across sectors and industries to make great cities for people? What are the new mechanisms we need to strengthen local decision-making and allocate resources fairly and wisely?

  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

Strategies for Inclusive Economies

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Rosemarie Powell, Colette Murphy, David Hulchanski, Daniele Zanotti, Hugo StebenPatience Adamu

There is growing interest in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in a new kind of collaboration—one that creates shared value and leverages investments in public infrastructure to benefit lower-income neighbourhoods. In response to significant growing gaps in income and opportunities across Canada, uncommon partners are experimenting with strategies to create decent work and other economic opportunities within capital development projects and procurement.

This session will examine new approaches to economic development in strengthening lower-income neighbourhoods and supporting local entrepreneurship. Drawing on insights from panelists and session participants, we will share tools, practices and processes for collaboration among residents, community groups, governments, academia, labour and business.

  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Harnessing Technology

Urban Data Done Right

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Ger Baron, Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi, Bassem Awad, Michelle German, Courtney Doagoo, Eric Rancourt, Pamela RobinsonLan Nguyen

The collection, use and control of data have become the most important issues for governments, companies and citizens across the world. Our cities depend on this digital infrastrucuture, making data management, privacy, and security of key public policy concerns.

This session will explore the components of a national and urban data policy framework from the perspective of the national statistics agencies of Canada and the Netherlands, and Chief Technology Officers in Amsterdam and a Canadian city. Panelists will discuss what is needed to build an exemplar “smart” urban environment for residents and provide insights on initiatives currently underway in the Netherlands to inform opportunities for the Canadian context.

Special thanks to: Consulate General of the Netherlands

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Harnessing Technology

Future-Planning: Smart Cities & Mobility

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Claire Hicks, Mara Bullock, Alec Knowles, Kelsey Davis, Lisa Salsberg, Eric Petersen

A wide range of trends and influencers are impacting our cities and challenging our ability to make decisions today about the future of our towns and cities.

Using scenario planning, this session led by WSP and Metrolinx will force us to consider the unexpected and examine alternative futures through the lens of smart cities and mobility. Participants will explore unanticipated impacts of automated vehicles, develop plausible scenarios to inform city planners, and discuss strategies for communities to address issues related to economic growth and digitization. This will be an interactive session, using collaborative thinking to identify and assess a series of alternative futures and responses.

Special thanks to: WSP Canada

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

Urban Territories I: Places for People

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Participants will have a choice of three streams for deep-dive learning. Project and concepts will be brought together in Urban Territories II and III.

Stream 1: Canadian Relationships and Reconciliation for Indigenous Identity and Space, with speakers Suzanne Stewart and Robert Sleeper and Clayton Shirt

Stream 2: Building new Participation Ecosystems for Resilient Cities with speakers Tessy Britton and Tom Hook

Stream 3: Revitalizing an Under-Utilized Ecological Asset in the City, the Don River Valley Park with speakers Doug Bennet and Lisa Ditschun

Public Spaces are the lifeblood of our cities, including parks, libraries, community centres and even streets. These places are what make a city, and have the potential to address our biggest economic, environmental and social challenges. Join this session to learn from different place-based projects that have contributed to making better neighbourhoods and public realms.

Go to: List of Sessions | Day 2 Schedule | Day 3 Schedule

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Growing Equitably

Who's Gonna Pay? Financing the Great Transition

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Tonya Surman, Andrea Ruckstuhl, Sara Lyons, Indy Johar, Chris Boivin, Stephen Huddart, Chloe Treger

Our urban centres are threatened by reinforcing challenges of degrading natural ecosystems and staggering economic and social inequality. For challenges of this size and scope, our current investment approaches simply will not work. It is time for the Great Transition.

This session will explore the next generation of innovation and experimentation in social and environmental financing to better meet the large scale needs of delivering radically inclusive and sustainable cities.

  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

From Disengaged to Decision-Maker

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Ryan Lo, Bojan Francuz, Veronika Bylicki, Kristina Smith, Megan Marcoux

Youth are the future. Yet, we have forgotten to teach them about city planning and design—how goals such as sustainability and equity can, and must, be achieved through city building. Neither have we prepared them to be active stakeholders in the local decision-making process, to participate in public meetings, or use their voice as power.

This session will push engagement practitioners and decision-makers to reimagine what youth participation can look like to innovate and build on their existing practices.

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Working Together

Cookshop: Recipe for Resilient Communities

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm & 1:30–2:50pm

Speakers: Gabriela Ituarte, Isaac Crosby, Morgan Zigler

Food diversity, biodiversity, cultural diversity. How does diversity, in its many dimensions, contribute to resilient urban environments? In this “cookshop,” we are inviting participants to join us for a hands-on cooking experience using traditional ingredients and methods from the Indigenous cultures of Mexico and Ontario. We will use food and art as vehicles to explore the relationship between diversity and culture, tasting the difference and making connections between social justice, food sovereignty and community resilience.

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience

Realizing the Resilient City

Nov. 8, 1:30–2:50pm

Speakers: Christine Arthurs, Elliott Cappell, Grant Ervin, Andrew Salkin, Jeb Brugmann

It’s one thing to aspire for resilience, but how do we actually get there? Hear from those leading urban resilience work through the Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities program to gain insights into the methods, tactics and must-haves for those inside government and on the front lines.

  • Theme: Growing Equitably

Housing Us All

Nov. 8, 1:30–2:50pm

Speakers: Rashiq Fataar, LoriAnn Girvan, Hadley NellesGer Baron, Derek Ballantyne

Canada is facing a housing crisis on many fronts: with decades-long wait lists for subsidized housing, as many as 30,000 chronically homeless people across Canada, and inadequate housing for indigenous communities on and off reserve. As a response, we are seeing all levels of government and civil society coalitions dedicate new funding and set ambitious targets to meet our needs—including a target by the Federal government to build 100,000 new units over the next 10 years.

This response is encouraging, but can it be done? What are the solutions that will work? This session will explore these questions. We will hear from national and international experts who have been part of ambitious housing projects. Together we will unpack the complexities of applying solutions to address our housing needs.

Special thanks to: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

Civic Innovation from the Outside In

Nov. 8, 1:30–2:50pm

Speakers: Shea Sinnott, Stephane Guidoin, Janet MooreGreg Woolner, Brad Badelt, Duane Elverum, Lhazin Nedup

With a growing number of complex urban challenges, compounded by a mounting mistrust of institutions, now more than ever we need to connect civil society with governments to foster cross-sector learning and problem-solving. Organizations and communities across Canada are rising to the challenge.

From coast to coast, we are seeing the delivery of civic innovation offices, "civic halls", and newfound partnerships with students and unusual stakeholders both inside and outside of local government. Hear about the organizations working to break down silos in this hands-on session.

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

Urban Territories II: The Living City

Nov. 8, 1:30–2:50pm

Speakers: Bill Reed, Michelle Holliday

The emerging field of regenerative development brings together the many, fragmented approaches to local resilience and prosperity into a holistic, coherent strategy, for greater impact. Specifically, it draws on a living systems worldview to work directly with the underlying dynamics that contribute to the vitality of our cities and communities.

Through presentation, storytelling and conversation, participants will leave with a new awareness of the living systems worldview, as well as examples of projects that demonstrate applied approaches for resilience and regeneration.

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Growing Equitably

Canada at 100,000,000

Nov. 8, 1:30–2:50pm

Speakers: Doug Saunders, Shari Austin, Olivia Labonté, Drew Fagan, Mayor Madeleine Redfern, Jasmine Gill

What would Canada look like with a population of 100,000,000? How might we get there and what might we gain?

Delivered in partnership with the Century Initiative, this session will share the key demographic and other macro trends expected to affect urban development in the coming decades; discuss options for distributing a larger population across communities; and spark discussion on the critical issues and challenges in preparing cities now for significant population increase.

  • Theme: Harnessing Technology
  • Theme: Working Together

Smart Cities for Smart People

Nov. 9, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Barbara Swartzentruber, Jonathan Dewar, Jean-Noé Landry, Sandra RichterNasma Ahmed

There has been a loud and growing demand for the inclusion of people-centric approaches related to smart cities.  Increasingly, cities are striving to become not just smart, but innovative with their use of data and technology, and how they work with residents to inform, co-create, and implement new solutions. 

This session will present different scenarios by developing specific resident profiles to reflect diversity of experiences (levels of engagement), situations (socio-economic factors) and capacities (eg. digital literacy). It will raise important questions around reconciliation and data inclusivity, critical insights on ‘who owns the data’, identifying the role of the city in how data needs to be collected differently in order to make people more proactive in the overall smart city decision-making process.        

  • Theme: Growing Equitably

New Rules for New Ways

Nov. 9, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Indy Johar, Chloe Treger, Alex Ryan, Fang-Jui Chang, François Croteau, Patricia Pledge, Audrey Tang, Jonathan Lapalme

From Uber to Airbnb, Canada has been forced to update regulation to serve modern demands. In the face of growing 21st century challenges these tweaks are necessary, but not sufficient. Many argue that traditional regulatory bodies and accountability mechanisms are not suited to managing the emerging tensions between industry and society in a digital age. So what must be done?

This session will explore the need for radical experimentation in regulation and policy in an age of grand challenges, automation, machine readable policy & algorithmic compliance.

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Growing Equitably

Future-Planning: Infrastructure & Investment

Nov. 9, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers:  Sheila Botting, Dr. Alexander Mirescu, Greg Van Alstyne 

Facilitators: Beth McMahon, John Purkis, Patrick Robinson, Carl Skelton, Sanathan Kassiedass, Victor Willis

In the coming decades, unprecedented public and private-sector investments in urbanization will transform our cities. As we look ahead to an uncertain future, how might we leverage this investment to realize a compelling long-term vision for Canada’s cities and towns?

Using perspectives from Deloitte and Dr. Alex Mirescu, and scenario planning facilitation by OCAD University, this session will force us to consider the unexpected and imagine the opportunities for visionary urban infrastructure investment in Canada.

Special thanks to: CRH & Pontarolo Engineering

  • Theme: Fostering Resilience
  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

Urban Territories III: Building a Regenerative Practice Field

Nov. 9, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Bill Reed, Michelle Holliday

Panelists: Dr. Suzanne Stewart, Robert SleeperTessy Britton, Tom HookDoug BennetLisa Ditschun

Every organization, every project, every building - and, indeed, every human activity - has the potential to contribute to a community’s evolutionary health. Getting there requires a dedicated practice field that is (a) guided by shared intention, (b) woven with story and inspiration, and (c) rooted in place.

The purpose of this session will be to explore where and how these conditions are already present within the many projects shared at the Summit and what interest there might be in growing the regenerative practice field further together as a learning community.


  • Theme: Growing Equitably
  • Theme: Working Together

Doing More, Together

Nov. 9, 11:05am–12:30pm

Speakers: Galen MacLusky, Mary Pickering, Vicky Mochama, Chris Cowperthwaite, JP Bervoets

Collaboration and partnerships are the nuts and bolts of successful city-building. Through them, we expand our reach into communities, deepen our understanding of the issues we’re trying to address, and tap into a range of assets—expertise, networks, data, and financial capital—that can have an impact beyond any single organization.

What role can multi-sector partnerships play to ensure that cities are smart, resilient, equitable and sustainable? How can we unlock and align our collective assets to drive urban innovation? And how might the UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a frame for this work? This session will explore these questions, and share practical examples of multi-sector partnerships that are driving transformational change in communities across Canada.

Special thanks to: Suncor Energy Foundation

Tour: Explore Evergreen Brick Works with First Story

Nov. 8, 11:05am–12:30pm

Tour leader: Jon Johnson

Join First Story as we explore the Indigenous histories of Toronto and share knowledge of the plant life. The tour will include an outdoor walk through the quarry.

Tour: Evergreen Brick Works as a Low Carbon Site

Nov. 8, 1:30–2:50pm

Tour leader: Stephen McCullough, Alireza Anvari

Get a deeper understanding of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and low carbon construction with a tour and Q & A with experts. This experience will focus on the retrofit of the Future Cities Centre and the leading role Evergreen has played in capturing lessons learned from this landmark project.

Tour: Discovering Evergreen Brick Works

Nov. 9, 11:05am–12:30pm

Tour leader: Self-guided

Explore Evergreen Brick Works and discover new things about the site, its past, present and future, and the Don Valley where we're located. You'll leave with a better sense of how our site is prototyping, demonstrating and sharing the future of cities.

For any questions regarding the Future Cities Canada Summit, please email futurecitiescanada​