September 26, 2019

2019 Future Cities Canada Summit Showcases Community Solutions

Solutions-focused city building event provides the knowledge and action to tackle some of the biggest issues facing communities

TORONTO, SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 – Future Cities Canada, the national cross-sector initiative designed to accelerate innovation to transform cities, is hosting its second annual gathering of international and national urban leaders at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, Ontario on November 7 and 8, 2019. Catalyzing Community Solutions, convened by Evergreen, is bringing together urban leaders and city builders from across sectors to collaborate, brainstorm, and reimagine our communities’ futures, scale innovations, and build new opportunities for collaboration.

The two-day event will pair mainstage programming with a number of concurrent workshops, learning sessions, and networking opportunities. Keynote speakers include Gabriella Gomez-Mont, Founder of Laboratorio para la Ciudad (2013 – 2018), the former award-winning experimental arm of the Mexico City government who will look at how bold experimentation is key to solving urban issues, and Bruce Katz, Founding Director of Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution and The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism, who will discuss how unlikely alliances can lead to unexpected community solutions. As part of the new Community Solutions Network, municipal and community leaders will discuss what it takes to get technology and data-focused community solutions to work for the benefit of everyone. Speakers will include the winners of Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge and their global counterparts.

“Faced with continued population growth and accelerating climate change, it is more important than ever for communities to rethink how we build, manage, and use our urban spaces,” said Geoff Cape, Evergreen CEO. “The Future Cities Canada Summit showcases the hard work being done at the community level into solutions participants can adapt to fit their specific needs and local issues. It’s all about collaboration, problem solving, and learning from others.”

The Future Cities Canada Summit is at the intersection of knowledge and action – allowing participants a unique opportunity to learn from each through sharing best practices, innovative solutions, and real-life success stories. Mainstage programming, interactive workshops and learning sessions will feature a range of urban development solutions to help build the soft-skills required to innovate for positive change that participants can replicate in their own communities.

Future Cities Canada Summit 2019 Highlights: 

Community Solutions for Future Cities: Innovation is key to survival as communities are squeezed between other levels of government who are downloading costs and the rising expectations of residents who are demanding to live in smarter, greener and more prosperous communities. Gabriella Gomez-Mont kicks off the Summit with her international perspective and rich experience running Mexico City’s Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the award-winning experimental arm of the Mexico City government. She will challenge local government and decision-makers to be agents of change by taking leadership in multi-stakeholder collaboration and bold experimentation.

Cities: Catalyst or Catastrophe? A Debate: Cities are more important than ever, but do they solve more problems than they create? Following a keynote by Bruce Katz, co-author of The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism, a diverse group of high-profile urban leaders will take to the stage for a lively debate that asks the questions: are we on the right path for sustainable, inclusive, prosperous urban future? Summit attendees will hear arguments that cities are a catastrophe for our mental and physical health and inherently unsustainable, counterbalanced by arguments that cities are hubs of arts, culture and innovation and essential to fighting and surviving climate change.

The Sandbox: Risk, Failure and Experimentation: Innovation for positive change requires risk, experimentation, and sometimes, failure. The Sandbox is the Future Cities Canada Summit’s space to play, get messy, and think big. Participants and leading change-makers, led by Stephen Huddart, President & CEO of The McConnell Foundation and Ashley Good, CEO and Founder of Fail Forward, re-cast a past failing in a positive, growth-centered light and to share their story of failure and learning.

Who owns the city? A conversation: As land and its use become more and more contested in dense urban areas, who is making the decisions about how our cities develop? What are the appropriate roles for the development industry, new technology companies, the three levels of government, communities and resident groups? The answer depends on who you ask – a passionate panel of urban leaders come together to discuss “who owns the city?”

The Summit takes place at the TD Future Cities Canada Centre, the site of the redeveloped kiln building that has been recently transformed into a dynamic year-round global demonstration hub where urban thought leaders and citizen city builders from across sectors can gather to co-create, test and prototype solutions for building inclusive low-carbon cities.

For the latest information follow: @FutureCitiesCA

Future Cities Canada is a national cross-sector initiative with the mission to accelerate innovation to transform cities for the benefit of all. Drawing on the expertise of its founding organizations – The McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Evergreen, Maison de l’innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada – and together with a diverse and growing network of partners, Future Cities Canada collectively strives to address the challenges facing cities and city-dwellers to reimagine cities that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous.

Evergreen is dedicated to making cities flourish. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at work transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive. We believe that by connecting people, natural and built worlds, we can enable Canadians to do great things that will shape our cities for the better.


Media contact:

Renee Tratch, Sr. Manager, Public Relations, Evergreen

416-596-1495 Ext. 273,

Future Cities Canada Summit 2019: Catalyzing Community Solutions

Convened by:


Lead Sponsors:

Infrastructure Canada, TD The Ready Commitment, The Globe and Mail, McConnell Foundation

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