September 17, 2021

Future Cities Canada: The Summit reimagines back-to-school and back-to-work

Free virtual one-day gathering features TD Future Cities Speaker Series on the future of learning - Wednesday, September 22, 2021

(Toronto, ON, September 17, 2021) This month Future Cities Canada, the national cross-sector initiative designed to accelerate innovation to transform cities, presents its next series of discussions on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 focusing on changing needs of education and culture of work. The one-day free virtual event is part of Future Cities Canada: The Summit, a monthly program led by Evergreen and hosted by Future Cities Canada, that brings together urban thought leaders, private- and public-sector innovators, and community leaders to showcase the what’s-next in creating more resilient communities of the future. The TD Future Cities Speaker Series entitled Back to School: Future of Learning features a powerful discussion from those on the frontlines both inside and outside of schools on how student-centered approaches to education can build resiliency and generate a sense of community that extends beyond school.

“We know that what we do next will determine our future cities and generations,” said Geoff Cape, Founder & CEO, Evergreen, one of the founding partners of Future Cities Canada. “Our September Summit, featuring the TD Future Cities Speaker Series, explores important conversations on how we can advance learning and how we work in ways that support our physical and mental health of ourselves and our communities.”

“TD is pleased to support the TD Future Cities Speaker Series through our global corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment. Building liveable and resilient urban spaces where innovation can thrive is one of the ways we’re working towards a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow,” said Janice Farrell Jones, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship.

For more details and to register, visit

The Summit line-up for Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Reimagining Outdoor Play and Learning: A Canadian School Ground Story

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

Schoolgrounds are cornerstone public spaces in Canada. Their potential to enhance learning, promote physical and mental health, and address local impacts of climate change are vastly under realized. The session kicks off with insights from renowned German landscape architect Birgit Teichmann, who designed the new, nature-rich schoolground in Milton, Ontario as part of Evergreen’s Climate-Ready School project in partnership with the Halton District School Board. A live conversation follows with Cam Collyer, Evergreen Senior Advisor, and Dr. Mariana Brussoni, Developmental Child Psychologist and Associate Professor, University of British Columbia on why outdoor play is crucial from a mental health and well-being perspective for children and communities and how we can transform schoolgrounds into spaces that serve a deeper social and ecological purpose.

This session will be streamed live, with audience Q&A.

TD Future Cities Speaker Series – Back to School: Future of Learning

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST 

The acute impacts of social isolation and loss of community are being felt by students of all ages across Canada. As children and youth return to school this fall, we hear from those on the frontlines both inside and outside of schools, on how student-centered approaches to education build resiliency and how generating a sense of community that extends beyond schools can be used as a critical tool to help create effective systems of care and support. The session features Tariq Fancy, CEO & Founder of Rumie [Byte Library], Dave Rawnsley, Principal, Burnaby North Secondary School, Diane Roussin, Project Director, The Winnipeg Boldness Project, Arifah Yusuf, Founder & Executive Director, Lifted by Purpose, and is moderated by Nancy McGee, Senior Manager, Education & Training, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

Future of Work

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST 

In this session, Michele Fischer, Senior Advisor, Real Estate, Deloitte Canada, Tonya Surman, Founder and CEO, Centre for Social Innovation, Robert Nellams, Director, Seattle CenterPaulette Christophersen, Partner, PLH Arkitekter, with moderator Lois Lindsay, Acting Chief Advancement Officer, Evergreen, explores how place-based organizations are navigating hybrid work, and the future of collaboration. The panel looks at enhancement, embracing new tools and technologies and creating new opportunities to create community at these unique workplaces and ‘third places.’

This session will be streamed live, with audience Q&A.

About Future Cities Canada: The Summit

From May through to October, The Summit provides an important meeting place to spark partnerships and create opportunities from across the country and around the world on topics ranging from Housing & Infrastructure, Placemaking and Placekeeping, Data & Technology, Climate Change Adaptation, Education and the Future of Work. The monthly Summit began in May and continues on September 22, followed by the final gathering in October 2021.

More sessions and speakers to be announced shortly.

Led by Evergreen, this is the fourth national gathering by Future Cities Canada, a collaborative platform founded in 2018 by Evergreen, McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Maison de l’innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada.

To be the first to learn about new speakers and sessions, sign up for the Future Cities Canada newsletter and join the conversation at @FutureCitiesCA

Future Cities Canada: The Summit

Lead Funder: Infrastructure Canada

Lead Sponsors: TD Bank Group, McConnell Foundation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Lead Media Partner: The Globe and Mail

Convened by: Evergreen

Media contact:

Renee Tratch, Sr. Manager, Public Relations & Content, Evergreen

416-596-1495 Ext. 273,


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 more livable, green and prosperous. For 30 years, we’ve been facilitating change in communities through connection, innovation and sustainable actions. We work with community builders across sectors to solve some of the most pressing issues cities face: climate change, housing affordability, and access to nature and public spaces. Through our award-winning programs and collaborative initiatives across the country and at Evergreen Brick Works, our headquarters in Toronto, and through national partnerships with Future Cities Canada, we are building resilience in schools, public spaces, housing and communities as a whole.

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