News Release
November 19, 2021

The City of Toronto is partnering with eight higher education institutions (HEIs), for a two-day, free and virtual CivicLabTO Academic Summit hosted by York University on November 23 and 24.

This event will feature in-depth discussions with leading experts in areas on which the City and its academic partners York University, University of Toronto, OCAD University, Ryerson University, Humber College, Seneca, George Brown College and Centennial College have been collaborating, regarding post-pandemic recovery, renewal and resiliency. The two-day CivicLabTO Academic Summit will bring together more than 60 presenters through 13 sessions and will feature student-led arts and cultural programming.

These sessions will highlight how collaboration between academics and city government can ultimately lead to stronger public policy in the ever-changing urban environment with a focus on greater equity and inclusion. Sessions will concentrate on strategic priorities for the next chapter in the areas of public health; planning and adapting public space; stronger, safer, more just communities; arts, culture and recovery; transit and transportation; technology, innovation and equity; housing and health; climate change and green recovery; and economic resiliency.

Opening remarks on November 23 will feature Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão; Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University; Chris Whitaker, President, Humber College; and Toronto City Manager Chris Murray. The welcome address on November 24 will feature Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park) and Linda Peake, Director of the City Institute at York University.

More event information, including the full schedule, details about each discussion session, a list of all speakers and their bios, and video messages from Mayor John Tory and leaders of all eight HEIs is available on the CivicLabTO website.

All are welcome to join. Click here for free registration.

Setting the stage for the CivicLabTO Academic Summit, were five CivicLabTO Discussion Series conversations hosted earlier this year by Humber College.


“Our city is home to world-class education institutions who have played a key role in building up our city. This academic summit is one way in which we are working together to find solutions on challenges faced by our city. This is a great model of collaboration which I am proud to see come to life over a two-day summit. The results of this summit will not only make our city better, but also better the lives of its residents.”

– Mayor John Tory

“This partnership between the City of Toronto and eight post-secondary institutes helps civic and academic staff and leaders forge creative solutions to make our city better for all. I look forward to participating in the CivicLabTO Academic Summit and the discussions. These sessions are open to the public, students, faculty and City staff so we can learn from each other.”

– Chris Murray, City Manager, City of Toronto

“York University is proud to host the inaugural CivicLabTO Academic Summit on Toronto’s post-pandemic recovery, renewal and resilience. At York, we know that our success in affecting the kind of systemic changes necessary to build inclusive, resilient and safe communities relies on our ability to collaborate with government, community organizations, the private sector and other institutions of higher education. And York has a lot to contribute to these partnerships – including significant expertise in the fields of inequality, climate change, the environment, homelessness, and health and health governance. We look forward to working together with our CivicLabTO partners to ensure that the diverse community of Toronto continues to flourish.”

– Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations