Toronto's Urban Issues Conference
July 21, 2018

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Central is a non-partisan, expert-led conference about improving Toronto's communities by examining systemic urban and civic issues like transit, housing, policing and politics.

Attendees will hear from urban leaders, be better informed for the municipal election, learn about the best ways to drive change in their communities and create a better city.

2018 Partners & Supporters


Tricia Wood

Professor of Geography, York University
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Jonathan English

PhD Candidate, Columbia University
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Julius Haag

PhD Candidate, University of Toronto
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Ilana Altman

Director Of Programming, The Bentway
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Gil Meslin

Land Use and Policy Planner, MCIP, RPP
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Cheryll Case

Planner, CP Planning
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Rishab Mehan

Planner, City of Toronto
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Marina Queirolo

Senior Lead, Evergreen
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Kevin Vuong

Founder, King Street Eats
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Naama Blonder

Partner, Smart Density Architects
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Cameron Dale

Project Manager - Public Markets, Evergreen
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Phil Pothen

Land Use Planner
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See the full list of speakers.

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Location - 86 Miller Street

Our venue is a beautiful gallery and event space at 86 Miller Street near St. Keele and St. Clair Ave West.

Via bicycle: Coming from the south, the railpath is a great way to reach the venue by bicycle or on foot.

Via public transit: The St. Clair Ave streetcar makes frequent trips. Disembark at Old Weston Road and head south on Ford Street. It's a 7-minute walk from St. Clair Ave.

Learn more on the Register page.


9:45 am

Building Transit Demand In Toronto With Regional Rail

Toronto was once a model city in North America for attracting people to transit. This session will examine what happened how the region forgot what made it successful.
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10:15 am

Creating Public Spaces In Urban Environments

Ilana will provide an overview of the planning process and programming goals driving The Bentway's ambitious urban project. She will discuss the growing demand for programming in the public sphere that can unite communities and inform development.
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12:15 pm

How Police Policies Impact A Changing Toronto

The Toronto Police Service faces many issues, including a growing backlash over high-profile cases of police brutality, resistance to the practice of 'carding' and much more. This session will ask what might be done to reform the TPS.
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1:00 pm

Urban Land Use, Mobility and Citizenship: Making the Connections

How the city plans its land use determines the nature of that mobility: how far and by what mode of travel people have to move to meet their daily needs of employment, education, shopping, services and recreation.
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2:00 pm

Creating Space For Consensus In The King Street Pilot Debate

As Toronto continues to change, debates will rage about bike lanes, gentrification, public housing and more. Kevin will describe how he framed these discussions to find consensus and meet neighbours in a productive context.
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2:45 pm

People and Place: Investigating Housing Trends and Demographics Over Time

A discussion on the changing demographics of Toronto and how City building has served different members of the City.
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3:30 pm

Panel: Making Housing Affordable In The GTA

This panel will discuss what can and should be done to make Toronto a permanent home for more people. It will examine factors like housing supply, rent control, zoning, speculation as well as alternative forms of ownership.
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4:00 pm

Making Cities Flourish

We know we cannot continue to build cities the way we’ve been doing so. We need to imagine where our cities will need to be 10, 20 or 50 years from now to ensure they are, and continue to be, inclusive, sustainable and low-carbon.
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See the full schedule.


General $60
Students $40
Full Day Of Expert Speakers
Light Breakfast
Morning Coffee & Tea
Register Now

The Issues

Housing & Affordability

How are retail estate development and planning impacting Toronto's growth?


How can we spur politicians to address urban issues rather than maintain the status quo?


The current system of transportation in Toronto is a not sustainable. How can it be improved now and in the future?


As the city grows, how can police policies create a better and more equal city?