News Release
September 27, 2021

The City of Toronto, in partnership with eight post-secondary partner institutions, is continuing the CivicLabTO Discussion Series sessions this fall, culminating with a two-day virtual Academic Summit, November 23 and 24, focused on renewal and resilience.

The eight higher education institutions participating in CivicLabTO are colleges: Centennial, Humber, Seneca, and George Brown; and universities: York, Toronto, OCAD and Ryerson.

The discussions and summit will bring together City and academic staff, faculty, researchers, students and leaders to speak on key themes in support of Toronto’s recovery and rebuild strategy and to talk about opportunities to collaborate on solutions. Free registration and details are available here

The following CivicLabTO virtual discussions  one-hour long and available for anyone to attend:

Climate Change and Green Recovery – Tuesday, September 28 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The session will explore how academic and municipal collaboration, such as in the Toronto Ambient Air Quality Impacts from COVID-19 Study, can generate targeted, timely and useful research to inform public policy and address the climate crisis.


  • Cecilia Fernandez, Acting Manager, Policy and Research, City of Toronto Environment and Energy Division
  • Dr. Matt Adams, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Priya Patel, Graduate Student (Mitacs Intern), Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Dr. Fatih Sekercioglu, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational and Public Health and Director of the Planetary Health Research Lab, Ryerson University
  • Dr. Emre Karatas, Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University

Economic Resiliency Culture, Innovation, Inclusion – Thursday, October 7 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The panel discussion focuses on the human side of economic resilience. Panelists will assess opportunities and highlight key concerns around inclusion, as governments and organizations begin to focus on recovery and resilience.


  • Glen Lowry, Executive Director & Advisor to Provost /Partnerships, Outreach & Research, OCAD University


  • Dr. Mike DeGagné, President and CEO, Indspire
  • Umbereen Inayet, National Award Winning TEDx speaker, curator and  artistic producer
  • Dr.Tara Vinodrai, Director, Master of Urban Innovation Program; and Associate Professor, Institute for Management and Innovation, University of Toronto

Stronger, Safer, More Just Communities – Thursday, October 14 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The discussion focuses on a better understanding of the youth justice system and community well-being. Topics include violence prevention, policing, courts, government-run or community-led safety programs and what needs to be in place for stronger and safer communities for Toronto’s youth.


  • Clara Ganemtore, Policy Development Officer, City of Toronto, Social Development, Finance & Administration


  • Joanna Duarte Laudon, Policy Development Officer, City of Toronto, Social Development Finance & Administration
  • Olusola Olumogba, Founder & Executive Director, Direct Your Life

Art, Culture and Recovery – Friday, October 15 from 1 to 2 p.m.

The discussion looks at insights into the impacts the pandemic has had on the cultural sector, opportunities presented for post-pandemic recovery and how the City and higher education intuitions can collaborate on the priorities for recovery. It also explores the steps towards actionable research in support of informed public policy.


  • Jennifer Gordon, Director, Centre for Creative Business Innovation & Humber Galleries, Humber College
  • Patrick Tobin, Director, Arts and Culture Services, City of Toronto, Economic Development & Culture
  • Ramona Pringle, Associate Professor & Director, The Creative Innovation & Transmedia Zone & Global Campus Studio, Ryerson University
  • Andrea Fatona, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art, OCAD University
  • Mark Campbell, Assistant Professor, Music & Culture Program, University of Toronto Scarborough

The initiative is core to the broader CivicLabTO programming, bringing together students, faculty, researchers and City staff to seek opportunities for sharing information and best practices, It focuses on opportunities to enhance coordination, collaboration, research, and program innovation. The City’s partnerships with Toronto’s universities and colleges offers students and faculty a living lab with an opportunity for exposure to real life problems and complex challenges. It’s an opportunity to engage in strategies for change and innovation, to test theories, conduct research, use experiential learning, and increase networking. In return, academic partners offer the City opportunities for innovation, intellectual exchange of ideas, critical analysis, research and evaluation and the ability to raise research funds.

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 contact: Media Relations,