[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/Ep-9-How-to-love-a-city-with-Shawn-Micallef.mp3"][/audio] How can Torontonians learn to adore their city in the midst of the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games? Shawn Micallef writes about Toronto and urban issues for Spacing Magazine and the Toronto Star. He’s also authored The Trouble With Brunch and Stroll from Coach House Books. Micallef brings his own experiences from exploring the city – and introduces the concept of ‘psychogeography’— to help listeners remember how to recapture a sense of wonder about Toronto and other global cities. The podcast also features Sarah Khan, explaining why she decided to become one of the 23,000 Pan Am volunteers. More about The Cities Podcast: http://news.utoronto.ca/podcasts Original music for The Cities Podcast by Jay Ferguson. Also featured, “Minerva” by Kris Magnuson. Debut episode of The Cities Podcast featuring Shawn Micallef available: http://news.utoronto.ca/podcasts/cities-podcast/strolling-shawn-micallef TRANSCRIPT   Ep 9 How to Love a City   [Ambient sound of radio music, street sounds]   Voice on loudspeaker: Okay, Sarah, give us a big wave and smile. People on the sidelines, let’s hear some cheers for our torchbearers, they are making history today as we get ready to welcome North America’s best athletes to Toronto.   [Music fades]   Brianna:   This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   It’s a beautiful day, I’m jogging next to an athlete who’s holding the torch for 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games. It’s very exciting. Seven thousand athletes coming into the city from 41 countries, it’s a huge event. Twice the number of athletes from the Olympics in Vancouver, in fact.   Not everyone is so happy about it. People have been complaining about HOV lane insanity, people have been complaining about streets being closed down. So I thought this was a really great time to dip back into the archives and grab some tape from the cutting room floor from my interview with Shawn Micallef. He’s an urban issues author for Spacing Magazine, Toronto Star, he’s written a few books for Coach House Books about the city. And he told me this great story about how he came to love the city of Toronto. So I thought in this time of Pan Am pessimism, what better time to go back, learn how to love a city again?   So here we go, as the torch gets passed off from one athlete to another…   [Cheers]   Here’s Shawn Micallef on how to love a city.   --   Micallef:     I first got interested in cities growing up in Windsor, which is a city that’s across the border and across the river from Detroit. And so we grew up looking at the Detroit skyline metaphorically and literally. Detroit news stations came into our house and we subscribed to the Detroit free press, that sort of thing. And so we had this really intimate relationship with Detroit but we weren’t really part of Detroit, we were a little detached from it. And I think watching Detroit from afar made me really fascinated by it, I always wanted to go there. But also the fact that Detroit was kind of a city in this crisis of slow and fast decay… with these weird rich suburbs. Fascinating place. And watching it decline was kind of heartbreaking because you saw the greatness of Detroit and the people that lived there and the culture that came from that place and then kind of watching it kind of crumble was heartbreaking, it’s like watching a family member decline. Being next to Detroit made me fall in love with cities and then as a Canadian, looking up the 401, Toronto always seemed this almost Oz-like city at the end of the road. Shiny skyscrapers, streetcars, subways. Decidedly not falling apart. So it was the opposite of Detroit, it was a city that was growing and had all these layers to it, human and otherwise. It had all the kind of infinite mystery that is appealing about a city.   I moved here and got a job, a regular job that had nothing to do with urbanism. A real job with benefits and everything like that. But then on my lunch hour, the office was at Bayview and Eglinton, and so I just started exploring for an hour instead of sitting in the cafeteria and wasting an hour. Eat at my desk before and then go for a walk. Go for a walk to Yonge and Eglinton and start exploring that and then on the weekends I would go for long, like five or six hour walks from my apartment or house, or take a subway somewhere and start going for walks.   I realized when I got here in 2000 I thought I was moving to a city that I knew because there were many trips up in the 90s, visiting friends who went to U of T and otherwise, and you come up here for stuff sometimes. What I realized when I moved here, I only really knew a small slice of Toronto. I knew Yonge Street, because that’s where you go when you are in late high school or early university, the destination is like that archetypal ‘Going Down the Road,’ that movie from 1971 with the two fellows from Nova Scotia. So it’s kind of like, you have to go to Yonge Street and walk it. And then going to Queen West because that was cool. And then maybe going to the Annex because that’s where U of T friends lived. And going to the Future bakery.   And so I got here and I realized, I don’t know where College Street went and I didn’t know what was around the curve as Dundas curves away. And the city’s vastness slowly became apparent. And so I started exploring it, just on my own. And then I slowly found other people who were into the city in the same way, fascinated in the same way. And started poking around ‘walking theory’ and found two things.   One was a book published in 2000 by Rebecca Solnit who is a writer from San Francisco, and she wrote a book called Wanderlust: the history of walking. Became this magical bible and it’s like, oh, there’s somebody else who’s into this thing, this walking. And she wrote it so beautifully. So there’s Wanderlust and then I came across ‘psychogeography’ as a concept. It was a way of walking around cities, exploring cities, that was developed mostly in the 1960s by the Situationists. Radical Marxists in Paris who did many things, but they did psychogeography, which was a method of breaking out of the modern cog in the machine kind of thing, way we go through the city without noticing anything. They had very different methods, guerrilla methods of walking around cities. They would use a map of London and negotiate Paris, intentionally trying to get lost. They would go on smell walks and other things. The one thing they did that I found really fascinating was this thing called the derive, or the drift. And they would just drift through Paris, so it would be like walking for the sake of walking, with no destination in mind. Just whatever intersection or fork in the road or whatever you came to. Whatever looked interesting, whatever looked like a mystery, you kind of follow it down. And that’s how, I realized, I was walking in Toronto. I was just kind of walking.   Psychogeography, I think, is a really fun way of approaching the city as an umbrella term because it’s essentially about paying attention to space and the spaces you pass through and how those spaces make you feel. So the psychology and geography. Under that umbrella you can pull aesthetic issues, architecture, you can talk about urban planning, but you can also just talk about emotional attachment. How does this place make you feel? What things have happened here? What is the social history of the place? Dip into the historic archive of the things in there. So as a writer for the city it’s, I find, a really kind of good intellectual approach, using this theory with fuzzy boundaries.   Brianna:   Shawn Micallef writes for Spacing Magazine and the Toronto Star. He also authored The Trouble with Brunch and Stroll from Coach House Books. And Shawn teaches a first-year course as part of the UC One program… learn more about that by heading to news.utoronto.ca and searching for the name Shawn Micallef… I’ll also link to the story where this podcast is found online. You can also hear more about it in my first interview with Shawn from the debut of this podcast, you can find that in our back episodes.   So now in spite of the Pan Am related grumpiness that’s even been noted by the New York Times at this point… you’re equipped to love the city once more. And I’m going to do you one better, I’m going to convince even the pessimists among you to get straight-up excited about Pan Am…   My office mate, Sarah Khan, is one of the people behind the voice of U of T’s social media. Sarah is also one of the 23,000 Pan Am volunteers – the largest force of volunteers in Canada’s peacetime history. Now, I think Pan Am is well and good but I constantly ask her why she offered to do this… to spend her spare time helping to make the games run smoothly. I can’t imagine being an awesome enough person to volunteer. But Sarah is legitimately excited about the games… and I’ll let her explain why.   Thanks to Sarah and the 22,999-or-so other volunteers for helping to realize this giant event transforming our city and the university, which is hosting many of the events on both the St. George and Scarborough campuses.   Speaking of help, I could use yours. Give me a heads up about stories you’d like to hear about on this podcast. Tweet with the hasthtag #uoftcities or send me an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca...   And, if you liked this podcast, just copy the link and share it on Facebook or Twitter… or tell a friend. I’d be grateful. Because the more people we invite into The Cities Podcast the better I can produce stories that matter to you.   Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or follow us on Soundclound. It’s free and you’ll receive new episodes as soon as they’re available… Don’t forget that you can also go back and explore earlier episodes featuring Roman Mars from Radiotopia’s design podcast 99% Invisible, last episode Izzy Ritchie from the Strumbellas and music critic Ian Gormely made their case for how Toronto could be a more music-friendly city. We’ve heard from architects, poets, city councillors and more.   Today you hear music that friend of the podcast Jay Ferguson produced just for us. I also featured original music from Kris Magnuson, he’s part of U of T’s master’s of music composition program. Additional tracks from the Free Music Archive came from Jazzafari and Ketsa.   This series is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening. And enjoy the 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

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U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/Can-we-build-a-Music-City.mp3"][/audio] In the midst of 'festival season' in Toronto, The Cities Podcast features interviews with two artists deep in TO's music scene. Izzy Ritchie, from Juno-winning group The Strumbellas, and music critic Ian Gormely explain how they made it as professionals in the industry -- and describe the changes they hope to see in Toronto's music landscape. Featuring music from The Strumbellas courtesy Six Shooter Records (Tracks: Sailing, Ride On, I Just Had a Baby and The Sheriff) -- not available for re-use. Also featuring Creative Commons tracks from Jazzafari, Pitx and Carb On via the Free Music Archive. Plus, original music for The Cities Podcast written and performed by Jay Ferguson. More about The Cities Podcast: http://news.utoronto.ca/podcasts TRANSCRIPT Ep 8 Can we build a Music City?   This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   Only the end of June and already we’re well into ‘festival season’ in Toronto. This past week alone the city hosted North By Northeast, Luminato, Taste of Little Italy, the Jazz Festival… and now it’s Pride.   Roads are closed, tents are raised, bands jam out on street corners as the smell of grilled and fried stuff wafts through the air.   And we wanted to be a part of it. So with this episode, The Cities Podcast is having a mini-music festival of its own. Tied to a big question floating around Toronto right now:   Can we build a Music City?   Mayor John Tory has been talking a lot lately about the music scene. He went down to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival and is said to be reinforcing our ties to that city as an incubator of musical innovation.   Tory established a ‘music office’ at city hall but no one is quite sure yet exactly what it will do… likely help smooth out permit issues for festivals, possibly more. There’s talk of attracting more big-name acts to Toronto.   But is any of this useful to the actual artists whose lives make up the soundtrack of Toronto?   Today we’re going to hear from two people deep in the city’s music scene. One performs as part of a Juno-winning band. The other is a veteran music journalist.   They both juggle their musical lives with work at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto.   Here’s how they got to where they are… and where they’re hoping the city’s music scene will go.   IZZY:      I'm Izzy Richie, I play violin in Strumbellas. I started playing violin when I was 5 years old. I went to Montessori School that started offering it in kindergarten. So apparently I came home one day and said I want to do this. And I started playing classical violin and I did that all through high school. I did some fiddling but it was mostly classical. And when I came to university and I sort of went away from music, I wasn't studying music, after a year I said I want to keep playing. So I was experimenting with different things. I was playing in the Hart House orchestra. I went to the Horseshoe Tavern one night and I saw this band Ohbijou  and they had string players. And I thought I could do that. And I went home and I went on craigslist and I went to the "musicians wanted" section and I started like replaying to ads. So that's kind of a fluke of how I got involved in music as an adult and into the kind of music that I play now. I had a couple of false starts. I played with one band for about 6 months or a year maybe. And then I had a couple of things that, you know, only lasted one or two rehearsals. But I came to the Strumbellas pretty quickly. Like it was the second real band I joined. I guess it was maybe a year-and-a-half or so after my first craigslist journey that I found the Strumbellas. It was at Simon's, a bachelor apartment on Jarvis. There's always this thing when you go meet a band off craigslist where you walk up to the door and you think this is something my mother probably taught me not to do - go meet a random stranger that's on the Internet. And I walk up and Simon greeted me at the door and he was really friendly. And I went in and at that point there were like 10 of us in the band and different people who had answered the ad off craigslist. 8 or 10 people in the room, everyone was super friendly. We had these paper books that Simon had made of chord books or different songs he had written. We played those and I remember this moment where I'm like I've got to get in here, I've got to make my mark so they want to keep me. And I played a solo and it went well. I was like "yeah, I'm in. I'm in, I made it." And the rest is history I guess.   IAN:       My name is Ian Gormley. I'm a Toronto based music critic. It's something that I've been doing in Toronto since 2008, but it goes back probably about a decade. So when I was finishing my Undergraduate at the University of Victoria, about a month before we were done my roommate suggested to me that I should consider Music Journalism as a path, something that I had never really thought about before. So we were standing in my room in this house we were sharing. I lived with 6 other guys in a house, not an actual frat house but it might as well have been. In my room I had several racks, probably 600 CDs, and on the wall I'd created a collage of vinyl covers. And I think he was just looking around and thought this is clearly your passion, why don't you pursue something. So when I moved back to Vancouver which is where I grew up, I started writing for a magazine there called Discorder. So that's how I got started. From there it has just kind of snowballed over the years. I was probably still really into pop/punk but more into like EMOE stuff, like I really like the Get Up Kids, like Saves The Day, Dashboard Confessional, and I was starting to bridge more into Indie Rock through bands like The Strokes.   I've done a couple of reviews at UVIC but the first thing I would kind of consider of any quality that I might show someone today was a review of Nada Surf's Let's Go. It's the first thing I did for Discorder. They were a band who had been considered a one-hit wonder in the90s and had sort of been left for dead at the end of the decade but they had put out this new album that everyone was sort of like wait that band is actually pretty awesome, and they were. And so it was a very positive review and I got a lot of positive feedback from my editor. It encouraged me to kind of continue. It made me think okay I've got something of an ear for this.   So I went to Journalism School in Halifax, the University of King's College, thinking Music Journalism. I got there and was immediately sort of knocked 360 - and I was like maybe I should do radio, maybe I should go to the Northwest Territories and work for the CBC because that was really what they hammered home for some reason. So I got a little bit like discombobulated at first. By the end of the year I'd sort of hot myself sorted...started writing for the local All Weekly and getting paid to do it. And in Halifax you can live fairly cheaply, which is nice. So between writing for the All Weekly and my day job at Halifax's version of Toronto Life, I was able to make ends meet. So I was living working as a journalist quite soon after graduating Journalism School. I also graduated in 2007, which was about the time that all the shifts in print journalism like hit immediately. Within a week my at the time girlfriend, who's now my wife, the newspaper she wrote for folded. At the end of that week the magazine I was writing for was sold to another company and I was left writing for the business magazine that a company owned. I didn't know anything about business nor did I care anything about business. So we got out of Halifax pretty quick and moved to Toronto and things were a lot tougher here. The quality of the journalism was a lot higher I thought. There's a lot more journalists running around looking for what was turning into fewer and fewer jobs. So the realities hit home pretty quick when I didn't have a job for 6 months, through both stubborness and a lack of having anything else to do, I was able to eventually start writing for Exclaim at the end of 2008/beginning of 2009. So that sort of really helped me build a bit of a reputation in the city's music journalism scene.   IZZY:      The thing with being in a band is that it has its up and downs and sometimes you're busier and sometimes you're not. So sometimes it's more difficult to balance a full-time job and sometimes it feels pretty easy. I'm lucky to have a really flexible job, take time when I need it, work some later nights, but be able to work the band into it too. So I'm really lucky to be able to sort of balance those two things.   As you're working towards doing the band full-time you're also working on your career perhaps or your other interests or you're starting a family, or whatever it is. So if you're a musician you always have multiple things you're balancing. I was lucky enough to do music full-time for about a year-and-a-half. It was really great and got to tour a lot and spend a lot of time on the road. My academic interests and working for the Martin Prosperity Institute is also huge interest of mine, so it's kind of trying to have it all and do both, and have both of my interests fulfilled to their maximum extent.   When we started off it was sort of just like I want to keep playing violin and I want to find a way to do that. I guess I didn't really have any expectations of where it would go. Just starting off playing small shows, and I remember when we had our first show. It was at a Farmer's Market and we were all worried, and then we played it, and then playing at smaller venues...we played some shows at Mitzi's Sister, and the only people who were at the shows were our family and friends and the other bands we were playing wtih. I guess the real turning point for me was when we started playing at the Cameron House a lot and we did a couple of residencies there. You had a feeling for the first time that people are coming to see us, not just because we begged our friends to come out, but people are here to see us and they're coming week after week. And that was a great feeling and we started to build a fan base off that. And then the first time we sold out the Horseshoe. That was a crazy thing. This past fall we sold out The Phoenix. So it was just like this huge ascension that starting off playing in the band I couldn't even envision playing a show at The Phoenix, much less selling it out. It was a slow start. We played a lot of years playing unknown and then it kind of ramped-up really quickly. It's hard to believe. When we released our album and we had our album release at The Horseshoe, we're like...can we do that, I don't know if we're get enough people out. And how far it's come from there it's pretty crazy.   Q: Do you know what pushed it?   IZZY:      I think it's a combination of a lot of things. I think there's just building momentum, having played so many shows across Canada and Toronto over the years, the Juno nomination and the press we got around that, and the playlists certainly helped. We did get a lot of support from CBC and Indie 88 and having that radio play certainly makes your music reach a wider audience. And that was, I think huge for us. Toronto has such a vibrant and strong music community and there's a lot of people out there trying to make things happen. And I think a lot of what the city could do isn't huge sweeping initiatives. We have CMW, we have North by Northeast, we already have so much going on in terms of festivals and industry and bands, and I think a lot of it is maybe just supporting grassroots initiatives and things that are going on now. One thing that happened recently is there's this great even in Trinity-Bellwoods Park called the Great Heart Festival. They needed to have the license. Having to pay several thousand dollars if you're just a free-fun festival that bands are playing for free, that's a lot of money to come up with. And the city did end up working with the festival to halve that cost. And I think that's the kind of thing that we need to be doing. It shouldn't be reactionary. We shouldn't say this poor festival we need to do it. There's so many initiatives that may be don't even get off the ground because they say we could never afford that, we could never do that. So maybe changing the framework around which we talk about these festivals so that people can be supported and people can start them and bands can play them and people can go to them.   IAN:       When I first got here I would open up NOW and see the concert listings and my jaw would just drop because I couldn't believe how many shows there were to go see. In Halifax maybe there was one show a week, and everyone would just go regardless of who it was because that's what was happening that week, which is fun in its own way. You sort of took what you could get. When I came here, I think we went to like 2 shows in the first 3 months we lived because there was just too much to choose from and learning how to prioritize was a real skill to learn. It's a great city to be a music critic in, in that at least in Canada, and that this is where most things are happening. The city has got a very vibrant and active local music scene which is great. And a lot of cities in Canada have that but on top of that you also get the international acts coming through. If a band puts out a new album they're going to stop in Toronto. If a band reunites they're probably eventually going to come through Toronto, which is really great as a music fan and as a music critic. And I think it's good for the scene too, or as I think some scenes do succeed because they're insulated. I think it is also good for bands to see what else is out there and realize what they're going to be up against when they leave the city. The get exposure too because they end up opening up for bigger international acts as well.   Things have really shifted in a lot of ways because the biggest artist in the city now is Drake obviously. Not that he's here that often, I assume, but like he's the biggest artist to come out of Toronto in probably, I don't know, 30 years. He's internationally massive. It's tempting to say that hip-hop is the biggest thing in Toronto but outside of Drake and a number of producers that have sort of followed him to the States, Toronto's urban music community is still really diffuse and like not part of the downtown core. And the same would go for our Caribbean music scene as well which has been extremely vibrant for the last 4 years. Jamaica to Toronto, which is a compilation put out in 2007 by Lights In The Attic Records out of Seattle...it collected a group of musicians who had moved from Jamaica to Toronto and continued to perform in like R&B Funk and Reggae bands. They just played at the Arts & Crafts Field Trip last weekend. And to me it was sort of like a signal that yes this is part of Toronto's music scene. But you still don't get that very often. They're still very like separate. And when big international Reggae acts come to town, and they do, they play at the JCA, they play in North York, they play out by the airport, they don't play downtown. These artists are not playing in the Horseshoe Tavern and they're not part of that sort of world. There are these different communities not interacting the way that if it was a smaller city maybe they would be. I always think about Minneapolis where you had a hip-hop act like Atmosphere playing shows with Lifter Puller, which was like the pre-cursor to the whole study who are kind of cited as one of the world's best bar bands basically. Those artists were interacting and playing on the same bill. And you don't get that in Toronto as much. It's a testament to the health of the scene that we can have these silos of music that are all like very healthy and do well, but I think creatively it's more interesting when they are all coming together and forced to interact with one another and therefore they're going to influence one another. We add a producer like Wonder Girl who was this teenaged producing phenom like out in the suburbs picked up by JayZ and is on the new Drake album. No-one downtown really knew her. I'm sure people in the hip-hop scene knew who she was. Same with an artist like Jazz Cartier who is really cooling up right now. He plays what people have called cinematic trap. He seems to have come out of nowhere. But again, these artists have been toiling away for years putting out mixed tape singles and stuff like that.   IZZY:      This year especially there's so many festivals and there's so many new festivals coming to town, a lot of them are a great way for people to see bands that maybe wouldn't normally come to Toronto or wouldn't play these big festivals. And it's a great way for Canadian bands and Toronto bands to get exposure on a larger stage. TURF is doing a really great thing this year where they're putting an emphasis on Toronto bands and they have all these great amazing bands, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons - huge bands playing but they're also making sure that the Toronto based bands get on the stage. So I think that organizers making sure that they're bringing great bands from outside of Canada and outside of Toronto into the city, but also supporting the community that's here.   IAN:       I think what you need to ensure is that whatever you're doing is going to be aimed at everybody and not just specific types of music or specific scenes. Like you're not just propping up what's already there. You're going to offer opportunities for new venues, new spaces, new sounds to sort of proliferate. Because otherwise it's just going to become cyclical. I've talked to Izzy a couple of times about this. I have a beef that I find the Canadian music industry, once an artist has sort of made it, they kind of are never not talked about again. Like how often do we have to hear about The Barenaked Ladies still. Whenever they do something it gets written about in the papers. All power to them. In that respect they did a lot for Canadian music back in the day. You know you've got to make room for the new, especially if the new is doing something really notable. There are very few full-time music writing gigs in the city. I don't have one. I've been successful relative to some people, but I have a day job. And I'm fine with that and I'm not complaining. But it would be nice if we could all only write about music because that's going to give you more time to explore these sorts of things. Work a full day and you come home and then you've got to do all your freelance stuff, you're probably going to stick to a bit more about what you know than maybe exploring outside of your comfort zone just because you've only got a limited number of hours in the day, you're tired, a bit burned out, and you're probably going to see a show later too, so you've got to do it in-between. It would be great if we could prop-up the media around the music scene the way we do the actual musicians, with subsidies and Pitchfork for all its might does not pay its writers that much. And from what I understand nor does BIAS and again not to pick on them, they're just two of the bigger fish, so let's call a spade a spade.   IZZY:      If you want to be in a band just do it. If you want to get into producing or recording or you want to be a session musician you just sort of have to take the leap and put yourself out there and go to shows and try and meet as many people in whatever musical community your interest lies. The thing that we always noticed as we've travelled across Canada and played so many shows is that people are really nice and people really want to help people. And we're really blessed to have the support of community and if you just get out there and talk to people I think that's a great first step.   [CONCLUDES WITH SONG " I'M NOT THE SHERIFF"]   Brianna:   That was Izzy Richie from the Strumbellas and Ian Gormely from Exclaim Magazine. They both work at U of T’s Martin Prosperity institute in their non-music-related time. They’re part of a team that looks into, among many things, ways innovation can best transform cities like ours.   Thanks to Izzy and Ian. And thanks also to friend of the podcast, Vass Bednar, for suggesting this episode in the first place.   If you want to do the same and give me a heads up about stories you’d like to hear, just tweet with the hasthtag #uoftcities or send me an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca...   Hey, there’s something else you could do to help – yes you, listener! It will take about five of your seconds and it’s free. If you liked this podcast, just copy the link and share it on Facebook or Twitter… or tell a friend. Because the more people we loop into The Cities Podcast the better we can get a sense of what’s important to people in this and other global cities… and produce stories that matter to you.   You can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or follow us on Soundclound. It costs nothing and you’ll get new episodes sent along as soon as they’re available… you can also explore previous episodes featuring Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke on the topic of police carding, author John Lorinc talking about a secret history of Toronto buried beneath our feet, Roman Mars from Radiotopia’s design podcast 99% Invisible told me about his favourite library in the whole world… check those out in our back episodes.   Music you heard in this episode comes from the Strumbellas, courtesy of Six Shooter Records. We also heard a few tunes from Jazzafari, Pitx, and Carb On – all made available on the Free Music Archive. And great big thanks to Jay Ferguson for the original music he produced for The Cities Podcast, which you heard at the top and tail.   This series is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/Ep.-7-Ghosts-of-The-Ward-John-Lorinc.mp3"][/audio] Author John Lorinc shares stories from The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House Books). He co-edited the collection that revives a demolished area bounded by College, Queen, Yonge and University -- now the realm of City Hall. More about The Cities Podcast http://news.utoronto.ca/podcasts More about The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House Books) http://www.chbooks.com/catalogue/ward   TRANSCRIPT Ep. 7 Ghosts of The Ward with John Lorinc   This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   I was talking with a friend yesterday about her family’s upcoming vacation to Europe. They’re originally from Iran. Hard-working small-business owners putting their kids through university here in Toronto. It took decades and more than a few heartbreaking episodes to finally secure their Canadian citizenship… But, with Canadian passports now in hand, she says she feels like the world is newly open to them.   They’re celebrating with a tour of global cities. Paris, London, Amsterdam… the kind of places whose names just drip with history. Deep history. Romantic history.   The kind of places that sometimes make me feel embarrassed to live in a city like Toronto. Still so young, still struggling to find its character. As urban studies professor Shauna Brail put it in episode four, not long ago we were ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water.’   It can be easy to feel at times like this city doesn’t have an interesting backstory. But maybe one of the reasons… is that we bulldozed over it.   John Lorinc covers urban issues in his writing for Spacing, the Toronto Star, the Globe and elsewhere. And he’s just co-edited a new book about a Toronto neighbourhood whose bones remain buried beneath the lands around City Hall, one that’s been likened to New York’s Lower East Side The book he co-edited with Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg and Tatum Taylor  is called The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood, published by Coach House Books.   It’s a collection of official and unofficial histories that bring the landfilled neighbourhood to life through dozens of storytellers -- including U of T’s Mariana Valverde, Mark Kingwell, Shawn Micallef who you might remember from episode one of the podcast.   Here’s what the cover copy says… Crammed with rundown housing and immigrant-owned businesses, this area, bordered by College and Queen, University and Yonge streets, was home to bootleggers, Chinese bachelors, workers from the nearby Eaton’s garment factories and hard-working peddlers.   Its citizens were Irish, Jewish, Italian, African-American… a multicultural Toronto from as early as the 1840s… until the city flattened what it saw as a slum, to make way for Nathan Philips Square after World War II.   I grabbed a coffee with Lorinc and he shared some of his favourite secrets from The Ward, from tales of shvitz steam baths to abolitionist churches… the kind of stories that could make even a sceptic like me learn to love the story of Toronto… and see it on today’s streets now that it’s finally been revealed.   Lorinc:   It’s weird as I learn more about that area, especially north of Dundas street that there was a very in-tact working class neighbourhood there until fairly recently… and it’s completely eradicated. Like, there’s not a trace of it left. You know, in the rest of Toronto things changed more incrementally because of post-Jane Jacobs planning rules. But in that area it was, like, clean cut. But until the early 70s or late 60s, the built form in the area north of Dundas and around Gerrard and Bay was pretty much in tact, right? Lots of row houses, small shops, trees. There’s a picture in the book of the corner of Hader and Laplante which is a corner nobody now knows about or goes to because it’s like the corner of nothing and nothing. But it had cottages and trees and cafes and it was one of these hangout areas in the 50s and early 60s and actually I was taken there when I was a baby, according to my mother, because my parents were Hungarian refugees and they used to go to a Hungarian joint there called Jack and Jill’s.   Brianna: And what’s there now?   Lorinc: It might be a condo or an office building, I’m not sure. Like, it’s got nothing. They’re just blocks of buildings. There’s no ‘there’ there.   Brianna: Stories of The Ward skip from personal anecdotes of bootlegging grandmothers to a look at the area as a place the rich sought vice. It touches on Public health emergencies and murders. Synagogues and strikes. Chinese cafes as a means of survival. David Hulchanski explores how the ward’s renewal quashed its sense of community. Bruce Kidd digs into a historic playground on Elizabeth Street. Mark Kingwell writes about the impact of the new City Hall buildings on our collective imagination. And then there are smaller stories that might have otherwise gone unnoticed, like one of the short essays from Lorinc’s co-author Ellen Scheinberg, about a sauna… also called a ‘shvitz’in Yiddish… at a time when only 10% of the Ward’s houses had plumbing and yet its immigrant population was being blamed for its lack of hygiene.   Lorinc: I enjoyed discovering that there was more than just destitution there. And even at an early stage. So when the city really began to get worried about slum conditions, quote unquote, was in the early 1910s. And if you look at the photographs taken by the city, they’re pretty grim. Now at that time there were a lot of Eastern European Jews coming to that neighbourhood. So Ellen has this fantastic story about this guy who came from Eastern Europe who was a peddler. Didn’t do so well as a peddler, say he’s hauling around this cart, collecting rags and bones and whatever. He didn’t do so well. So he decided to set up a shvitz bath in his house. Part of it was a ritual bath for the women but part of it was a shvitz bath and then it got kind of popular. Now this was on Centre Street. And I’ll talk about Centre Street in a second. So he bought the house next door, expanded the whole operation, advertised. The interesting thing is that, so in his business where these men would go for shvitz baths, it wasn’t just Jews. There were African-Americans and there were Italians, Macedonians. There was everybody. They’d sit there and they’d talk about politics and have a drink and whatever. It’s like a fantastic image of what this city was capable of a long time ago, long before we associated multicultural aspects to Toronto. So that, the location for this place was Centre Avenue. Centre Avenue is again one of these nothing streets. It runs north-south for a couple blocks, just east of University Avenue at the courthouse basically up to Dundas. On one side is the back of a bunch of office buildings and the other side is a parking lot which is going to become a new courthouse. But I pass Centre Avenue quite regularly when I go to City Hall. I get out at St. Patrick subway station and cut through an office building and then cross Centre and then cross that parking lot. I always think about this shvitz bath. And then on the other side of that parking lot there was a church, which was an incredible thing. And as an aside, we are incapable of not only remembering but acknowledging publicly that these places existed. So, there’s a church that was built by basically a community of African-American slaves and freemen came up through Windsor and Chatham and ended up in Toronto because Toronto was place where there was a lot of abolitionist sentiment here going way back, in 1847 or something like this. This community, small, entrepreneurial, upwardly mobile, very education-oriented community of African-Americans got enough money together to build a church which was located basically opposite where the Chestnut hotel, the U of T residence is. Now, it’s a parking lot entrance today. At the minimum there should be a plaque there saying what was there. It was the centre of the community. They had people like Frederick Douglas come up and speak in Toronto and it was a place where there was a lot of talk about all of these civil rights issues a hundred years before there was a Civil Rights movement. And there are all these ghosts in that area. And for me the great pleasure in doing this book is that I can walk around and I can see what was there now. And our publisher was terrific and allowed us to put in a lot of pictures. The pictures are really important because you can see what was there and what’s not there now. And I don’t want to be nostalgic about it but it is kind of cool to be able to sort locate yourself and say, ah, this is what was there.   Brianna:   That was John Lorinc. He’s a senior editor at Spacing Magazine and co-edited a book about The Ward, published by Coach House Books.   I’m guessing that you have a favourite secret history of Toronto, too. So tweet with the hasthtag #uoftcities or send me an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca... Your tips will help me find great stories and make their way into future episodes.   If you liked this episode, help us spread the word! Just copy the link and share it on Facebook or Twitter… or just tell a friend.   Do me a favour and take a moment to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or follow us on Soundclound. It’s free and means you’ll get new episodes as soon as they’re available…   For example, the next one I’m producing to coincide with three major festivals in the city next week… North By Northeast, the Jazz Festival and Luminato.   We’ll get the inside info from a music critic and a Juno-winning musician on what it’s really like to break into Toronto’s music scene… and hear their advice for truly making this a Music City.   That’s coming up on The Cities Podcast.   Music you heard in this episode comes from Ketsa and Jazzafari, made available on the Free Music Archive.   This series is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/Ep-6-The-Poetry-Map-with-George-Elliott-Clarke.mp3"][/audio] Poet laureate George Elliott Clarke discusses The Poetry Map from Toronto Public Libraries, diversity and police culture, and more. Also, Roman Mars from 99% Invisible shares his opinions on the greatest libraries in North America. Original music by Jay Ferguson and Kris Magnuson. More about The Cities Podcast: http://news.utoronto.ca/podcasts Explore The Poetry Map from Toronto Public Libraries: http://www.torontopoetry.ca/ TRANSCRIPT The Cities Podcast Ep 6 The Poetry Map with George Elliott Clarke   Brianna:   This is The Cities Podcast. I’m Brianna Goldberg.   I’m getting ready to head off on a road trip. With temperatures rising and the sun shining ‘til late, it feels like the perfect time to get behind the wheel and watch the country bloom.   A few people have asked if I want to borrow their maps for the trip. And, while I so appreciate that kind offer, part of me had to hold back a bit of a giggle. A paper map! At this point it seems quaint.   When I can pull out my phone and swipe through dozens of traffic-aware apps with optimized directions and construction alerts, I’m able to leave the thought of a paper map… and the horror of having to unfold and refold it… in the past. Instead I’ll touchscreen my way to the fastest route.   On one hand, it’s a shame that an app can make it so easy to mentally check out.   But then there are maps that do just the opposite, that show added history and context… maps that chart the city’s story of change.   There’s one I like called WhatWasThere. It mashes up Google street view with archival photographs from all over the world –and there are a few similar apps that help show Toronto then and now.   But recently I’ve found some new layers of meaning to my routes in the city with a project called The Poetry Map. It’s an interactive site that came from a collaboration between Toronto Public Libraries and the city’s poet laureate, who also happens to be an English Professor at U of T – George Elliott Clarke.   I wanted to learn more about how it all came together and so we took stroll in one of the neighbourhoods featured in his own poetry and included on The Poetry Map… The Beach, or The Beaches, depending who you ask… He explained the project’s implications for Toronto’s cultural scene and its public policy.   From a shaded rock on the shore of Lake Ontario, here is Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke.   Clarke:  The poetry map is a great concept of the Toronto Public Library actually. Someone had already started working on this idea before I came in as Poet Laureate, I'm not sure who it was, but I was given a sheet of paper which had a list of some neighbourhoods and some novels and poems that featured these neighbourhoods. And I thought it was a great idea and that my job should be to expand it, but really focus on the poetry. So that's how it came about. And I spent the spring and summer of 2013 tracking down poems, mainly by looking through anthologies and also of course asking members of the League of Canadian Poets to submit poems dealing with specific Toronto neighbourhoods, locales, etc; etc;   And then, I sent all of that paperwork to the library in August 2013 and I didn't really hear that much more about it. And then they invited me to, basically this preview of the map, and I was blown away by it when I saw what they had done with the information and these blue-toned circles to represent the density of the poems about a particular neighbourhood or area. You can look at the map and take it all in at a glance or you can navigate the particular sites and look up the poems, and sometimes even the photographs that go along with the area. Oh, what they've done with the basic idea is incredibly a rich significance, sophisticated, beautiful...I don't have enough superlatives to really give it the full justice.   Brianna:               Were you surprised by any of the areas of the city that had more representation than you expected?   Clarke: Well, a number of Italian Canadian poets in Toronto submitted a number of poems basically dealing with Little Italy and other parts of Toronto, but specifically that neighbourhood - that area. And what I thought interesting about these poems is that really what was happening in them was a kind of domestication of Toronto along an Italian cultural axis so-to-speak. And that was fascinating. And I think if we look at poets or new Canadians or second generation Canadians, you're probably going to see a lot of that, in particular neighbourhoods in which they may find themselves living or their families and neighbours living are going to be turned into poetry that is going to have some kind of connection to an originating homeland. That was fascinating.   Also of course the poems about the Pearson Airport area I liked very much. I unfortunately spend too much time going in and out of that airport. Also, the Toronto Islands, I've only visited one island only once, and that was only just last fall. That was Ward Island. I was there for only a couple of hours on a very cold day, so I didn't feel like staying much longer than that anyway. But I've always found them to be mysterious and appealing in some way. Although I should probably get on the ferry and go over more often and take a look at them.   So I was happy with Karen Mulholland's poems which are set on one of the islands which talk about a breakdown of a relationship. But in the context also of nature observation, the passing of the seasons, etc; etc; So a very capital R, Romantic suite of poems that take in the Toronto skyline as well as the islands. And I think that if you bother to go, or anyone bothers to go, and check for their neighbourhood, they'll probably find it represented by somebody. And if not then they may decide to take up the art of poetry themselves, published a book and have that book submitted to the library, so they can then take a poem or two from it and put it on the map.   Brianna: Just that simple.   Clarke: It is exactly that simple. I'm really happy with the fact too that the project is expandable. And folks write more poems or people discover more poems about particular neighbourhoods, and it should be specific. The Danforth is kind of well represented, the Annex is very well represented, Cabbagetown is represented very well. So there's room for more expansion - of the Junction for instance, I don't think there's a whole lot of poems yet set in that area. So we can do more, we can do more. So I'm really hopeful that poets will get excited about this project and publish more poems about Toronto. That's another ancillary effect or spinoff I suppose of the map, is that it will encourage more poets to write more poems about Toronto in the hope, maybe, that they'll end up being represented on the map.   Brianna: You're the Poet Laureate for Toronto and you're not from here, as are many/most, I think, at this point people who live in Toronto. So we're here at the beach, you've been travelling, how do you feel about Toronto? Do you feel it's your home at this point or do you just feel like you're trying to provoke people to connect with this place?   Clarke: My homeland is Nova Scotia, and I don't get there very much these days, but I still find my center of gravity more or less in Nova Scotia. Toronto is where I live, it's also where I work. And I live here because I work here. And I do have some - I had better say this - it's true anyway - I do have some feeling for the city, obviously as Poet Laureate I should. But it's not really the city so much that I truly connect with but better the neighbourhood in which I live and the people I know there, and the areas in which I circulate.   And at the same time that's true I also think Torontonians in general do not appreciate the city enough, in my opinion. I don't think we appreciate the city enough, as being this truly great world-class city. And I hate using that phrase because it doesn't really matter, why do we have to compare ourselves to anything. But I really do think that it's one of the great capitals of the world, specifically because of the fact that we have this tremendous multicultural reality that we don't seem to know what to do with except to say "we are the world, everybody is welcome here."   And I think that there's more to it than that. This is a place where a great human experiment is unfolding, better than anywhere else on the planet. And that is something to celebrate and it's something to glorify, especially these days when you have so many sectarian divisions of one sort or another. And this is a place where they seem to be under some kind of - how can I put it - under control is not the right expression - but where there's a greater tendency to seek harmony as opposed to simply stopping at the point of division.   And I don't think we do enough of that, that sensibility to really celebrate it and make it a workaday reality. One could say that we don't really talk about it very much because we don't have to, because it's unfolded pretty well as it is, so why disturb it, so why talk about it. Okay, that might be a good Canadian kind of solution.   And on the other hand I want more. I want more diversity represented in the city. I want more multiculturalism, and I want more multilingualism, I want more diversity. I think diversity should be in everybody's face everywhere you go in the city. I think that should be job number one, is to say "we are diverse and we really mean it, we're serious about this." And promote that in the arts and in everything as much as possible. And I really think the more we can do that, the more powerfully representative Toronto will be of Canada as a home and also as a great cosmopolitan magnet for everybody who wants to come to a place where they can pursue an occupation or an art and feel that they can have influence from all of the world's cultures and languages and so on. I think, better than New York even - better than new York - because there's not as much polarization around areas, issues and so on.   Brianna: You mentioned wanting to have more of this diversity sort of explicitly, and this idea of a conversation unfolding, I think it's a sort of interesting moment to talk to you because I know you've written a lot about race and the deep history of race in Canada. And in recent weeks it's been very much on the agenda, both the television show and the cultural conversation, Desmond Cole's article "The Skin I'm In," from Toronto Life. What does this say to you? Do you find this a hopeful moment that we're starting to discuss these things?   Clarke: That's another great question. For crying out loud, how can I answer it carefully? I'm going to say that...how can I answer it carefully? We've had these moments before. I'm old enough to remember 1992, the Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles, the story of the fellow who was videotaped being beaten while handcuffed and on the ground by L.A. police. And the officers responsible for this beating that was caught on videotape were exonerated, acquitted. African Americans in Los Angeles especially, erupted in a riot and violence to protest that verdict. And it was a ripple series of riots across the united States and right here in Toronto.   What made the Toronto riot interesting, basically it was confined to Yonge Street in early May of 1992, what made that riot interesting was the fact it was multiracial. It was very Toronto in a sense. It wasn't only black youth protesting police persecution, but all kinds of youth protesting what they considered to be police harassment and persecution. Rightly or wrongly. But certainly it was a perception on their part that real justice was hard to come by if you're from the wrong kind of minority or if you happened to be a young person who was attracted to certain styles of dress and certain styles of music you might not get a fair shake from the authorities.   This is a long way of saying too often when these moments of potential change arise, they turn into therapy sessions but no real long-term change happens. So that we revisit the same moment again a generation later, 5 years later, a couple of generations later, a decade later, but we will come back to that situation again because we didn't really change the root causes. Which for me are not only about illiteracy and unemployment, social alienation, lack of integration, it's not only about that, it's also about cultures within, unfortunately authority circles, who tend to think that their job is to protect what they consider to be the majority as opposed to minorities.   And so minorities can automatically then become suspects, be treated to undue surveillance, undue questioning, unfair questioning, unfair surveillance, unfair charges, and then end up perhaps incarcerated on trumped-up charges and so on. And we've had too many cases of that sort of thing happen. In particular to specific minority communities.   And so the real question then is, how do we change this? And I think, and I proposed this in a couple of my articles, that there has to be budgetary consequences for police departments that are proven to have a history of harassment against particular minorities. They need to suffer budgetary consequences. It's not enough to say we're going to investigate and maybe lay charges, maybe convict someone if they're found guilty, and incarcerate them, maybe. Certainly folks who are guilty of particularly violent offenses ought to be incarcerated if they're convicted. On the other hand it's proven to be pretty difficult to do that with officers who are considered to be offenders, potentially offenders. It's been pretty hard to make those charges stick in many cases. And maybe that's all for the better.   On the other hand it doesn't fill minority communities with any sense of confidence in their local police forces. And I think that, again, if City Councils across North America were to take the attitude that they were going to ask for race-based statistics to be kept, order them to be kept, legislate that these statistics be kept, that there be reviews annually of how police are conducting themselves vis-à-vis particularly minorities, and if patterns of harassment can be established, that police forces lose some of their budget.   And I think that would force those police forces then to be far more concerned about the folks that they term "bad apples." I've heard that excuse and explanation so many times. It's not the police force it's just a few "bad apples." Okay, great. Well then maybe we should change the culture so that you become responsible for your "bad apples," and either fire them, retire them or convict and incarcerate them if they're guilty of violent offenses in particular. As opposed to saying well it's just an isolated incident, it's one "bad apple" over here, another one over there. That's not good enough for those families who end up grieving unfortunately the death of a loved one who should never have been shot or tasered to death, for crying out loud.   I hope I haven't said anything that anyone would find completely objectionable. On the other hand, I do think that if we're going to truly move forward as a society in terms of policing matters, then we need to demand, not ask, demand that police forces be more accountable to in fact, the people they're supposed to serve and protect. And I think for anyone who thinks that this is only about race, look at the G20 Summit in Toronto in 2010. And the proven public videotaped, cellphone camera instances of notorious police misbehaviour to the point where some officers actually removed their nametags so they would not have to potentially face consequences for their unlawful behaviour against peaceful law abiding protestors, exercising democratic rights. That should never be allowed in a democratic society, in a truly democratic society. And that cannot be tolerated, cannot be tolerated. It's still not too late. Charges can still be brought.   Brianna: That was George Elliott Clarke talking about The Poetry Map and much more. He teaches poetry, postcolonial literature and other topics through the English Department at U of T.   The Poetry Map is a project of Toronto Public Libraries. You can find it at torontopoetry.ca or just search for The Poetry Map and Toronto Public Libraries.   Speaking of, I recently had a chance to hear some library musings from a fellow podcaster named Roman Mars. The success of his mega-popular show about architecture and design, called 99 % Invisible, helped launch an entire network of fascinating and highly produced podcasts, called Radiotopia. The result is that Roman Mars is somewhat of a podcasting superstar these days.   So when he was in Toronto a few weeks ago to speak at an event hosted by Format – they make online portfolio design software for photographers and visual media types – I snagged one minute with Roman before he performed a live show for a packed crowd at The Design Exchange in the downtown core. Since 99 % Invisible is all about the interaction of history, architecture and design, and this episode is all about celebrating a great work of Toronto Public Libraries, I asked if he had any favourite libraries around the world…   Roman Mars:   I have two favourites, one from the outside and one from the inside.   The Harold Washington Library in Chicago is like green and brick and has all these weird gargoyle type things and you pass it on the loop, the elevated train, and I just remember thinking it was the most crazy and absurd building and was completely fascinated by it the first time I passed it.   And then the New York Public Library in New York. I was in the reading room, I was like, I’d been away from my family for a long time and it has this beautiful painting on the ceiling and I nearly cried walking into that place, it was like a temple to reading and I think it’s one of the most amazing places on earth. I mean, it seems like one of the places where if a city was doing it right they would go all out on the library because it’s something that will be there for hundreds of years it can be admired and I guess these days you  have to keep in mind all the things a library has to do and it doesn’t necessarily, in fact probably more and more has less to do with books, they have to be probably more flexible than they have been in the past… but it just seems like a place where you should spend a lot of effort to make it right.   Brianna:   That was Roman Mars, host of 99% Invisible on the Radiotopia network. If you like this podcast, you will love 99 % Invisible, I highly recommend you check it out.   And hey, if Roman Mars can do it, so can you. I want to know about your favourite libraries in Toronto – Why do you like them? What makes them different and great? Tweet with the hasthtag #uoftcities or send me an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca. Send me some good stuff and it just  might show up in a future podcast. I’d also very much appreciate it if you might consider sharing this on Facebook or Twitter.   Music you heard in this episode comes from Jay Ferguson —who composed and performed especially for us, so thanks to Jay. Music also from Kris Manguson. He’s a student in the composition program at U of T’s Faculty of Music. Thanks so much to Kris for sending that along.   To stay in the loop and receive episodes as soon as they’re available, just subscribe to this podcast for free on iTunes or follow us on Soundclound.   This series is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/really-seeing-richmond_final.mp3"][/audio] Exploring then-and-now in the neighbourhood of Richmond and Spadina, with fourth-year students in Shauna Brail's Urban Studies course. Plus, a sneak peek into Doors Open Toronto on May 23-24, including 14 free walking tours sponsored by the University of Toronto. To learn more about Doors Open Toronto: http://news.utoronto.ca/doors-open-toronto-12-things-you-must-see-u-t For more on The Cities Podcast: news.utoronto.ca/podcasts/   TRANSCRIPT Ep. 5 Really Seeing Richmond This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   I’m standing in front of 401 Richmond, near Spadina, in downtown Toronto.   It’s an area of town where the Financial District starts melting into the Fashion District… one of those transitional spaces where money meets design. Lots of architecture offices around here. Lots of shiny condos going up. And then there’s 401 Richmond.   I first came to this building about a decade ago I was reporting for a story on the Inside Out film festival, its office is upstairs. I remember being excited by the feel of the space. It’s historic and industrial and artistic and modern at the same time and so full of light.   401 Richmond started out in the early 1900s as a factory but declined over the years. It was set for the wrecking ball in the mid-1990s … until Margie Zeidler saved the day with a plan to transform it into a mixed-use building with a focus on the arts.   Zeidler is one of the alumni from U of T’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design… celebrating its 125th anniversary this year… whose work is re-shaping Toronto. The force driving the Gladstone Hotel revitalization, the Centre for Social Innovation, Jane’s Walks…  she’s always opening new doors.   Later in the podcast you’ll get a sneak peek into Doors Open Toronto, happening May 23rd and 24th. It’s a festival of exploration where more than 150 spaces … ahem, open their doors… to anyone curious to learn more. As part of this, the University of Toronto is sponsoring 14 free walking tours throughout various areas of the city. Stick around to find out how you might be able to score an extra special take-away at Doors Open Toronto…   First, though, the doors opened by Zeidler’s vision for 401 Richmond: an innovative, affordable space fostering galleries and startups and NGOs and headquarters of indie film festivals… inspiring.   But I nearly lost my life getting there! Traffic rushes through the Richmond corridor at terrifying speeds. It never had proper sidewalks or bike-lanes. I remember shimmying along the side of the building to avoid getting flattened by cars speeding through.   Since then I’ve avoided it. When walking across the city, I’d take a different route or at the very least hurry by without bothering to look around. I’m not the only one.   401 Richmond remained this island of cool stuff surrounded by pedestrian-danger on every side.   Then Shauna Brail asked me to join her class there for an afternoon.   Brail:   Thank you for being here and on time. We’re very fortunate to go on a tour around the area. Think back to a couple hundred years ago, this was the manufacturing centre of Canada. We’re close to the railway lines, we’re close to the waterfront, and this area has undergone an enormous transformation in the last even in the last almost 20 years from what it was when we were hewers of wood and drawers of water to a very advanced knowledge economy, so let’s go inside…   Brianna:   Brail calls on her background in planning and geography as she teaches the Urban Studies Program at U of T’s Innis College. She works with students on issues of community leadership and built environments and city-planning and transit.   But on top of their research and discussions about forces changing the city… they also get out into it. The program opens doors to positions with community groups, urban organizations, city councillor’s offices. It’s all part of their coursework.   Heads up, there were a lot of them in the group and I couldn’t get my mic right into all of their faces in time… you’ll have to listen closely in a few parts.   Clip of students:   Ahmer, I’m doing my placement at the office of Councillor Bailao. Kevin, at City Hall, with councillor Joe Mihevc. Noor, I’m with the Centre for Social Innovation. Ann, with Friends of the Pan-Am Path. Flora, with Park People…   Brianna:   The class also visits important hubs in the city. Every year Brail brings her students to 401 Richmond to hear its story of transformation and to watch it change.   And then afterwards they do a little walk around the neighbourhood. If you can call it a neighbourhood.  Because as I said, I knew it as a sort of a traffic-heavy, transitional space...   Brail:   Closest to the downtown core it’s got the location, it’s got good building spaces, there’s anticipated to be something like 50,000 employees and 35,000 new residents based on the development proposals, applications, submissions, things that are approved, so let’s go east and see what’s happening there. That’s also the neighbourhood where all the nightclubs have been, there’s something like nightclub capacity of 43,000 people. That was in 2005, I think that’s declined since then, but I haven’t seen a lot about nightclub issues in the area recently…   Brianna:   Now there are high-rises full of people who call this area home. Things are changing and it’s time I paid attention. Time we paid attention.   Brail invited me to join her students as they explored the area – to see it through their eyes.   It was one of those rare calls to wake up to the city growing around you. Brail opened the door and all I had to do walk through… onto the slick new sidewalk.   Brail:   So this sidewalk is new, there used to be just a concrete barrier here, and I remember taking a class and in some places there was a barrier and in some places there wasn’t, so you were actually practically in the road. So this is something that represents a significant improvement in this area…   Brianna:   Thank goodness for that. So we walked… safely… around the neighbourhood. And for the first time in years I actually looked it.   The students had a more specific focus. Some were tasked with keeping an eye for green spaces, others built form or transit.   After our stroll, we regrouped at the corner of King and Spadina, and everything I’d been blind to for the past 10 years came into view.   [Clip of students follows.]   Brail: Okay, ‘public realm.’   Student 1: We felt that the sidewalks were still pretty congested, but there were on the other street trees that had protection, so that was good.   Student 2: It’s still really dominated by cars around here, like there’s so many surface parking lots still, and the streets are really wide so there’s a lot of parked cars and moving cars, it doesn’t really feel like the pedestrian is valued.   Brail: Alright, good. Architecture?   Student 3: We noticed a building that had like four floors of the heritage on the bottom and then an apartment on the top. I’m not a big fan of it, I don’t really like it, but I think it’s just evidence the area is changing.   Brail: You’re not a fan in the way that you don’t like how it looks, it’s not visually appealing? Or it doesn’t meet the sort of intent in terms of the original guidelines for reuse?   Student 3: Yeah, I think it’s better to just conserve the entire site rather than just building a new site on top of it.   Student 4: We felt that the mix of architecture in the area is definitely good. The mix of the heritage buildings and some of the redevelopments have an interesting juxtaposition between how the architecture of the area is developing. But we felt that some of the newer architecture takes away from the focus because it’s a bit homogenous in the way it looks.   Brail: Transit – oh, let’s hear from the transit folks.   Student 5: We highlighted the existence of the bike lanes but at the same time we made an observation that they’re not really well separated and they have often just a few poles so they’re just like in transition from being a part of the road to an actual, full-fledged bike lane. And we also discussed how the King Streetcar is massively overcrowded and it’s not very efficient, but it’s there.   Brail: Okay, any other transit.   Student 6: There’s abandoned old streetcar tracks here on Adelaide, I guess. Potential maybe for re-use…?   Brianna:   Not sure if you heard that – he mentioned abandoned streetcar tracks on Adelaide. I had never noticed these before. When I got back to the office I started searching online and there’s a whole body of literature about Toronto’s “transit ghosts” – lines long since abandoned on Mt Pleasant and Rogers Road… and Adelaide.   And another student pointed out that in this industrial area of traffic and concrete… there is greenery around. It’s just hiding.   Student 7: There’s a lot of public parking areas but I do know that some of these buildings have green roofs, so that could count. Like, I think that building has something like a green roof…   Brianna:   So, okay… still mostly parking lots. But also… green roofs. Life can flourish here, both above and amongst the flow of traffic.   [Clip of students]   Brail: How was our last field trip?   Several: Amazing, fantastic, superb.   Brail: What didn’t you like about it?   Student 8: How short it was…   Brail: I’m not actually looking for like, a… [laughs]. Okay, fine, it’s fantastic.   Brianna:   And if you would like to see more layers of the city around you then pull out your calendar and mark off May 23 and 24. Those are the dates for Doors Open Toronto.   The annual event is set take over 155 buildings in Toronto.   As part of this, the University of Toronto is sponsoring 14 free walking tours throughout various areas of the city.   One is all about where art meets nature in Guild Park.   Another is about the Islington neighbourhood’s murals.   There’s one on intersecting highways of Toronto’s Indigenous History.   Neighbouhood movie theatres…   Tours of the downtown towers, the waterfront, Fort York …   And there two that show off some of the hidden histories at U of T…   At the Scarborough campus it’s a tour of ravine lands that double as a wildlife corridor.   And at St. George campus you can learn about the past century in sports, leisure and recreation at U of T. Besides the Gothic architecture at Hart House and more historic tidbits, the tour wraps up at the very new and the state-of-the-art Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.   And here’s your insider tip:   Register for that walking tour early to better your chances of scoring a free pedometer to help you count your steps during Doors Open and every day after that. Registering will also lock you in for a few sneak peeks of the Pan-Am games… at St. George campus, see where the field hockey, football, archery and other events will go down in July, check out sports demos and meet Pan Am swim competitor Zack Chetrat, Olympic gold medalist Vicki Sunohara and others.   To register, head to utoronto.ca and click on the Doors Open Toronto banner on the homepage. We’ll also link to it wherever you find this podcast online.   You can pass this tip along to your friends by sharing the podcast… copy the link and post it to your Facebook , or email it, or just plain tell someone.   Please do. Because the more people we invite into The Cities Podcast, the more we can tell the stories of your city. Tweet with the hashtag #uoftcities or send me an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca .   Tell me who and what you’d like to hear more about in the show, tell me and about the walking routes and secret corners of the city that you love. More than likely I’ll end up using them in an episode, like this one …   Message:   Hi, my name is Heba and one of my favourite places in Toronto is the Rosedale Ravine near Yonge and St. Clair. I love going down there because it’s so peaceful and secluded and really nice place to get away from the busy city.   Brianna:   Thanks, Hebah. Hebah just wrapped up her first year at U of T where she took a course on Citizenship in the Canadian city taught by urban columnist Shawn Micallef. It’s one of the courses where they get out in the city, too, part of the UC One program. You can hear more about that and from Micallef in one of the back episodes of the podcast.   Music you heard in this episode comes from Jazzafari, found on the Free Music Archive, and from Jay Ferguson —who composed and performed this music especially for us, so thanks to Jay.   Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or follow us on Soundcloud to get new episodes as soon as they’re ready…   For example, you’ll get the one I’m so excited to share with you, where I sit down with poet laureate George Elliott Clarke…   That’s coming up on The Cities Podcast.   This series is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.  

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/Ep-4-7-Cities-7-Voices.mp3"][/audio] Seven global delegates in Toronto for the Youthful Cities summit share their visions for an ideal city. Episode also features Jane's Walk and an exclusive with city councillors Michael Thompson and Anna Bailão on spaces to explore in their wards.   For more, visit http://news.utoronto.ca/podcasts TRANSCRIPT The Cities Podcast Ep 4 - 7 Cities, 7 Voices (Coffee shop sounds)   This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   I’m here at a coffee shop. It’s lunch hour. It’s noisy. But it’s often over food that the best conversations happen. Mouths and minds open up and discussions unfold -- it doesn’t matter what culture you’re from, the table is where it happens.   This week in Toronto, urban enthusiasts from all over the world came to Toronto to talk about how to build ideal cities – it was part of a summit called Youthful Cities.   Fifty students and young professionals from around the world joined 50 youth from Toronto. They talked about lofty things like dynamism and innovation. They talked about specific things like housing affordability and challenges standing in the way of youth employment.   And all this while they explored the city together, going for walking tours of places like 401 Richmond, and diving into urban policy hackathons at places like the University of Toronto… over lunch.   I found the group talking over mealtime with cities experts like David Hulchanski – he’s the geographer behind the concept of ‘three Toronto’s. And he was chatting with delegates from places as far away as Japan and Australia.   Deb Cowen was there, too, she does some cool work on social activism, security and citizenship at U of T. Folks at my table who are members of Toronto’s Youth Cabinet dug into a really interesting discussion with her.   We’ll talk with her and Hulchanski in episodes a bit further down the line.   But, back at the Youthful Cities lunch, over dessert, my microphone and I caught up with some of the global delegates. I wanted to find out what they hope to see changing in cities like ours… and theirs.   Later in the episode, you’ll catch a quick podcast exclusive from two city councillors. They’ll share their favourite secret corners to explore in Toronto -- perfect tips for visitors like the Youthful Cities group, or anyone walking through the city this coming weekend for Jane’s Walk. More on that in a few minutes.   But first, the reasons why cities-interested youth flew, in some cases, halfway around the world to talk with each other about building cities over streetcars and side streets… and lunch.   Here are a few of their answers…   Clips:   Hi, my name is Rowin from Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Really small country, 16 million people, but we’re all awesome. And I’m here as a global delegate at the youthful cities summit because I really, really, really care about all groups in society coming together. And in Amsterdam we have a big problem with integration, if you want to call it like that, or segregation, so how do we bring everyone together – united, connected—and how do we make sure that language learning is number one, that education is not just a way that forces you into a certain direction but that everybody has the same opportunities.   My name is Marino, I’m from Rome. I’m pretty much involved with environmental issues. I’ve been working and studying a lot about development and the green economy and recently I’m trying to, what I would like to develop is that sense of sustainable enterprises. So, enterprises that can at the same time address the needs of youth in terms of employment, the needs of environment in terms of protection, and so create that sense of love of community – increase the love of community through interaction and sustainability.   Hi, I’m Julian, from Germany. Originally from Hamburg, now living in London. I’m interested in cities because I’m traveling a lot, I’m investing a lot into real estate so that’s obviously, cities is one of the main issues there. And I’m also seeing the development of megacities in all the emerging regions so that’s quite interesting how big population growth can facilitate complete new infrastructure and new cities. And in London one of our biggest problems is now shortage of housing. The space is just to dense and people are beginning to move out of the city. So that’s one challenge to be addressed basically in many areas there.   Hi, this is Nilofer, people call me Nilo. I’m from Saudi Arabia but I’m here representing the city of Bangkok. I come from a clinical background, I’m a doctor myself – a newly minted doctor, don’t get scared. But I’ve crossed over to the side of global health policy so right now I’m working in Bangkok on international development, specifically with HIV/AIDS key affected populations. We’re talking about young transgender people, young sex workers, young women and girls living with HIV and those who live in prisons. So Bangkok has been my home for a year and I’m really passionate about cities. Having lived in eight cities so far, myself, I would say that cities are a microcosm of energy, diversity, multiculturalism that youth bring and there’s lot of intersectionality between disciplines, and cities bring all of that dynamic together, so I think it’s interesting to study that intersection.   How’s it going? I’m Aaron Kanzer, I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, United States. I used to work in the city transit agency for Boston so I care a lot about moving people, getting from Point A to Point B safely. I guess what I’m most interested in with Boston, and facing other cities around the world, how can cities become more proactive? As cities become more and more populated, how can we create solutions that we won’t get hit in the face with in order to limit the inefficiencies and try to help cities prosper and that’s something I’m really concerned about. I’m hoping to go back to my city and hopefully inspire some change. I can tell ya, I mean, Boston, the population growth is exploding, especially commuting. And they actually if you search ‘Boston, transportation,’ for this past winter, it was probably, it was almost, it was a state of emergency. The city shut down for days. Economic impact was huge. And everyone started pointing fingers and what came to the conclusion was, no one planned.   My name’s Alex Lim, from South Korea. I’m an entrepreneurs major at Babson College. I’ve been taking a few years off college to run an education company in Korea, called Awesome School. So we run different entrepreneurship/changemaker education programs in Seoul, working with public middle- and high school students to encourage them to find real problems within their communities and they’re supposed to come up with a solution by developing a product, service or company. I believe in the power of learning by doing, through combining entrepreneurship into education. And I think those two key urban attributes are what makes youth really break out their potentials and make it happen. Uber, and all these startups, they’re making a huge difference in the world and I think it’s really important to give an opportunity to these younger people that are in the public schools to give it a shot, to learn by doing. And I think those are the over-arching themes for every other urban attribute.   Hi, my name is Elfredah Tetteh, I’m from Accra, Ghana, but I live here in Ottawa because I’m in school at Carleton. I’m very interested in cities because I’m very involved in the arts scene back at home. Been working with artists for a while and I’m always trying to find ways to make art a bigger part of everyday life in Ghana, how to get them proper recognition. I feel that arts and culture is very important, it’s a very important part of a youthful city especially.     Brianna:   Those were just a few of the 50 global delegates in Toronto this week as part of the Youthful Cities summit.   They gathered here because last year Toronto ranked as the number one youthful city in the world.   And if you’re hoping to be more youthful in your city, this weekend is a great time to do it. It marks the annual Jane’s Walk weekend, a festival of citizen-led walking tours in honour of Jane Jacobs. She was an urbanist who lived in Toronto and championed city building led by communities.   So on May 1, 2, and 3 in cities from here to New York and beyond, individuals who love their communities are taking groups for free guided walks around their neighbourhood.   Some tours focus on green roofs, some are about the best hiding places, some are about poetry… track one down in a neighbourhood you’d like to explore by going to janeswalk.org.   This was on my mind when I visited the Global Cities Institute a few weeks ago. I was there for a session on para-diplomacy with professors and policy makers from Toronto and academics from the University of Sao Paolo. And afterwards, I found myself waiting for an elevator with city councillor Michael Thompson, from Scarborough, and city councillor Anna Bailao, from Davenport electoral district.   I asked them to quickly share their top suggestions for places to explore on a weekend like this one in their ward.   Here’s what they had to say…   Thompson:   So, Diana’s seafood, it’s in the ward, at the Warden and Lawrence area. In the past it was a donut shop that we used to have a lot of problems with and we had a fish shop that was next door. So, convinced the owner to buy the property and turn it into a major seafood restaurant. And it has amazing food and people from all around the city actually go there and actually eat. So that’s one of my favourite places. And then, Scarborough Bluffs, of course.   Bailao:   Mine, I have, behind the Nestle factory on Sterling road, there’s a heritage building, it used to be the automotive tower. And we’re actually redeveloping, revitalizing that whole neighbourhood and we’re bringing residential employment, a daycare, a park. There’s a brewery going in there, arts facilities going in there, and just going in there and knowing that we’re approving all that and that it’s coming, it’s really exciting. So the tower is gorgeous. You go inside and the tower has a wonderful view and we’ve actually protected it to be always the tallest building in that neighbourhood but also all the work that is being done around it, that’s the exciting part.   Brianna:   It’s spring, it’s Jane’s Walk weekend, and now you don’t have any excuse – it’s time to get out from the coffee shop and discover your city anew. Pretend you’re like the youthful cities global delegates, seeing your neighbourhood for the first time.   (Transition from coffee shop sounds to outdoor sounds)   If you liked this podcast, please check out our back episodes and to stay up to date on future ones, it’s easy: just subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Or, you can follow us on SoundCloud.   It’s free and it means you’ll get our newest stories as soon as they’re available.   Sharing this podcast is just as easy – copy the link onto on Facebook or Twitter, or email it to a friend. You’ll be helping The Cities Podcast in a big way.   Because the more people we invite into this podcast, the more we’ll be able to reflect the stories of your cities. Tweet with the hashtag #uoftcities or send me an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca .   Thanks to Jay Ferguson for the music you heard in this episode.   The Cities Podcast is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/The-Cities-Podcast-Ep-3-Transforming-1-Spadina-with-Richard-Sommer.mp3"][/audio] Richard Sommer shares his vision for 1 Spadina -- future home of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design -- as a transformative space, stepping in to foster urban innovations where municipal governments cannot.   Learn more at https://soundcloud.com/the-cities-podcast and news.utoronto.ca .   TRANSCRIPT The Cities Podcast Ep 3 Transforming 1 Spadina with Richard Sommer   This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   College Street at Spadina has been a bit of a mess lately.   For the past three weeks this intersection has been completely closed down by the TTC and City of Toronto.   They’ve been replacing old streetcar tracks and generally making things newer and sturdier.   But these changes are just a blip compared to a much longer-term construction project a few steps north.   1 Spadina Crescent is the building at the centre of Spadina Circle – a huge neo-Gothic manor-like structure with turrets and peaked windows. And it’s in the middle of an ambitious reinvention.   Soon this building will be an arresting mashup of old and new – the original bones of it amplified by sleek corners and soaring glass.   It’s set to become the new home for U of T’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design – which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. Later in this series we’ll explore a few of the spaces in Toronto where its graduates have made their mark.   But today I wanted to check in with the faculty’s dean, Richard Sommer, and ask for a sneak peek into the future of 1 Spadina.   I spoke with him at the faculty’s current office, further east on College Street. He started off by sharing one of his favourite reasons for moving to Spadina Circle…   Sommer:   One of the exciting things about that is the streetcar goes around it and we hope to make some traffic improvements so that people will be able to come to the school, right up to the front, getting off on the new Spadina cars…   Brianna:   Freshly designed streetcars swirling around a freshly designed architecture school… it’s an urbanist’s dream.   But the most dramatic reinventions at this future 1 Spadina will be happening inside its walls.   Sommer says he hopes they may hold a unique potential to change the way Toronto and other global cities look, act and feel.   Sommer:   Well, actually we’re looking at developing a kind of software that looks at how you model cities according to a number of complex phenomena. Layers, if you well, of the three-dimensional volumes of cities. The way in which you can integrate data on environmental conditions, everything from traffic to weather to real-estate values, the ecology, the built morphology, the patterns of movement, light, air, all of these conditions – a tool if you will to look at the complex way in which large parts of the city can be better modeled and organized by design.   One of the things we have in minds is to actually build at the new school what I call a ‘model cities laboratory’ and a ‘model cities theatre.’ So that would be almost like a kitchen and a dining room. The kitchen is the lab where we’re going to cook up alternate visions for both Toronto and other cities, alternate ways of thinking of the future of development in the city, made in the lab. And then the theatre is a kind of black-box space where through digital and physical models we actually engage various members of the community, government, private industry, in discussions and debates around those alternate visions like you would invite people to try out new kinds of cuisine in the dining room. So through this global cities data project we’re trying to develop the metrics and the data so we can understand in a complex way what’s happening in cities, then we’re developing these visualization techniques to model alternate forms of cities so that as architects and urban designers and landscape architects, landscape architects, we can work with other colleagues with deeper expertise in, let’s say, traffic modeling or cities and health or in other areas of planning to actually have this conversation. So we think this university or universities are unique now in being able to sponsor these kinds of conversations because elections and politicians and the cycles the government exists on do not allow for the kinds of investments in time and in research that are going to drive a forward-looking way of thinking about the city.   Brianna:   That was Richard Sommer, dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.   Near the end you may have heard him mention the global cities data project… that was the topic of our previous episode called The Power of Numbers with Patricia McCarney.   She and her team at U of T’s Global Cities Institute and its spin-off, called the World Council on City Data, are gathering internationally standardized data on cities for the first time ever. Check that out in our back episodes.   If you want to hear more about the legacy and future of the urban-involved folks at work building this city and others then you might want to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Or, you can follow us on SoundCloud.   It’s free and it means new episodes will be sent to you directly - as soon as they’re available.   If you liked this episode, please consider sharing it in whatever way suits you best – facebook or email or carrier pigeon or just telling a friend.   Because the more people we invite into this podcast, the more we’ll be able to reflect the stories of your cities. So get in touch to tell us about the places and people you think should be featured. Tweet your tips with the hashtag #uoftcities or send me an email. You can also reach me at uoftnews@utoronto.ca .   Thanks to The Festive Specials for the music you heard in this episode.   The Cities Podcast is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor, Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/The-Cities-Podcast-Ep-2-The-Power-of-Numbers-with-Patricia-McCarney.mp3"][/audio] Patricia McCarney (World Council on City Data, U of T's Global Cities Institute) explains how making a first-ever international standard for cities is helping urban centres to grow, improve and take on a transformative role for citizens. Learn more at http://news.utoronto.ca TRANSCRIPT The Cities Podcast – Ep. 2 The Power of Numbers with Patricia McCarney   Brianna: This is The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   One of the things I’ve realized as I lug my recording equipment around, interviewing all sorts of urban-focused people, is that cities can be a bit of an inkblot test. Everyone sees something different; and what they see tells you what’s important to them.   Last episode we heard from Shawn Micallef. He writes about urban explorations and, through his books and tweets and columns and teaching, he reveals the hidden adventures and histories that surround us as we walk through the city.   Graffiti artists see the city as a canvas. Ecologists see it as an urban forest. Travelers see it as an amusement park.   And then there are the people who look at a city and see… numbers.   Patricia McCarney leads the World Council on City Data.   In the fall, I spoke with her as part of our podcast miniseries leading-up to the municipal election – you can find that interview in our back episodes.   McCarney’s work is making it possible for cities to measure against each other – for the first time ever – when it comes to data on health, waste management, safety, finance and more.   Her team gathers stats from urban centres across the globe. And those numbers drive a first-of-its-kind system for comparing city data that resulted in the world’s first international standard for cities: ISO37120 for you international standards enthusiasts.   For those of you who aren’t so into that kind of thing, I’ll explain why this matters: cities can use this now internationally standardized data to make the best informed decisions, to benchmark and target improvements, to seek funding, and more.   It’s the global cities equivalent of a high school basketball player taping a poster of LeBron James on the wall. You look at the best possible outcome and say – how can I get myself there?   McCarney had so many great insights on the potential for this kind of work that I wasn’t able to fit it all into that one podcast last October.   So today we’re going to dip back into the interview as she explains how cities around the world are using this now standardized data to drive global change.   Heads up, I spoke with McCarney in her office at the very busy corner of Bloor and Avenue… some sirens make a bit of an appearance. I considered editing that section out but, honestly, that’s just what happens in cities… and I think it fits quite well with her message. I hope you’ll agree.   This is Patricia McCarney.   M:          The ability to leverage is really important for cities, whether it's in North America and Europe or whether it's in global south. The cities need this evidence to one, request support, but then also to measure their investments so they can benchmark. They can have a baseline now where they say if we put 350 million into water and sanitation in Dar es Salaam or if we build transit the way we're proclaiming this will help our city to grow. We can actually start to benchmark and measure those investments, which is an incredible assistance we well for better management of cities, better efficiency in how we invest and how those investments are paying off. I think, you know, at this point in time, we were talking about the role of cities in all of the global context, given the population and demographic transition going on worldwide on cities, this whole 53% of the world is urbanized, 70% by 2050 will be living in cities. Already we're at 83% in Canada. Cities, you know, are it. And they need metrics. They need good data to promote that development. But when you pair, this is an urban here where we live, we have a lot of fire engines going by, if you pair the demographic transition with the incredible demand right now for infrastructure investment, the scale of investment needed in infrastructure, whether it's Toronto or Johannesburg, the scale and the deficit in infrastructure investment worldwide is so huge when you pair that with the knowledge we have on the growth of cities and where we're moving with these cities that are going to be larger than countries, they already are some of them, that demographic transition together with the increasing demand for infrastructure investment, the scale of investment has never been greater. The demand has never been greater. So we have to have good data to support those decisions.   Q:           So imagining that these cities take everything that you're putting together and are able to make change so that they can become better versions of themselves, how do you see cities maybe 20 years from now, and what are you most excited to watch for as we get from here to there in terms of the role of the city and the development, the rise of the city?   M:          If we think ahead 20 years, I think one of the things to watch for is how we transition in terms of energy efficiency. I think that's one of the biggest challenges right now that I do believe we're going to be able to crack that. The technology and the support from City Managers and City Planners to Mayors to Cisco to Google to Microsoft, I mean the technology around better cities.. I can't predict where it's going to be in 20 years, but I know that it's driving better efficiency around energy which is an incredible leap forward for us. I think the other big thing though is that I do, and maybe it's my optimistic side speaking, but I believe cities are going to be incredibly more livable in 20 years, and it's because of technology and support from a multidisciplinary group of players that are having a stake in city development. We will have a more inclusive prosperity track in shape. I think that's growing now. It's not just prosperity but it's inclusive prosperity. For the first time, you know, globally when you think of the global map for all of this, within the United Nation system, there's a post 2015 development agenda that's growing right now, that a colleague and I here, Richard Strenn and I are writing a lead paper for the U.N. Habitat Three which is coming up, looking back at the last 20 years and forward at the next 20 years. Cities are pivotal. We're replacing the MDGs, the Millennium Development Goals with the SDGs - Sustainable Development Goals. MDGs are somewhat retiring and what's next? It's Sustainable development Goals. And in the MDGs we had no mention of a city goal. And guess what? In the SDGs we're starting to think about an SDG dedicated to cities. But most of the SDGs in fact reflect on cities because if you're going to talk about poverty or you're going to talk about environment, of course you have to talk about cities with the planet shifting to this dominant way of living. But the SDGs now have a draft goal, Number 11, on cities, which didn't happen during the MDG era. And many of us were frustrated who worked on cities, me in the case 30 years, working on cities since my undergraduate days here at U of T, in fact is when I started working on cities. It was very frustrating because of course the Millennium Development Goal should have been paying attention to cities. But now we have a possibility, in the draft at least, we hope it stays there, there will be an SDG dedicated to cities and it's around sustainability and inclusive prosperity for cities and quality of living. So that's a big goal which can, I believe, ISO 37 120 and 121, will support not only setting the goals, because in the past there was no data to set goals for cities, and that's one of the complaints. That how can we have a goal for cities if we can't even measure what's going on in them? Well now we can. We're positioning here at the Global Cities Institute at the World Council on City Data, we're positioning ourselves to make arguments around the SDG including the city goal, that we can help with the metrics to support it. We can help to frame it, we can help to set the target for it, and then we can help to benchmark achievement of the target, to help cities report on that new SDG. And that will, that's a game-changer. It hasn't happened before. there was no data to support these goals before.   Brianna:   Patricia McCarney is President of the World Council on City Data. She also heads up the Global Cities Institute at U of T… and she’s a professor political science.   Thanks so much joining us on the Cities podcast. I can’t wait to tell you about all the great stuff we have lined up for future episodes. And if you don’t want to miss a thing, then please subscribe on iTunes or follow us on SoundCloud. It’s free and it means you’ll get updates as soon as we add anything new. Of course you can also keep an eye out on U of T News.   If you liked this podcast, why not tell somebody about it? You can share the link on Facebook or Twitter or email it… or just mention it to a friend.   We’d appreciate it. Because we want to know what’s happening in your city – so get us in the loop on favourite spots, or interesting people, or stories from your neighbourhood that you think we should know about.   You can tweet with the hashtag #UofTCities or send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Or drop me a line at uoftnews@utoronto.ca.   Special thanks to our guest Patricia McCarney. You can hear more from her in the archived episode from last fall.   Thanks also to Jay Ferguson for composing the music you heard in this episode, which he made just for us and I think is so cool.   The Cities podcast is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/The-Cities-Podcast-Ep-1-Strolling-with-Shawn-Micallef.mp3"][/audio] In this re-launch of the podcast, we take a spring stroll in unexpected places with author and urban enthusiast, Shawn Micallef. He writes about city explorations for The Toronto Star, Spacing Magazine and in his books, The Trouble With Brunch, and Stroll, from Coach House Books. For more, visit http://news.utoronto.ca     Transcript: Strolling with Shawn Micallef (Music up)   Brianna:   Welcome to The Cities Podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   I’m standing in the middle of Cedarvale Ravine. It’s early spring, the trees are still bare. The creek is still covered with ice but I can hear water rushing underneath. This ravine is between the St. Clair West and Eglinton stations on the subway line. I live nearby… and I live where I do because of this ravine.   Because after a day in the core of the city, I can step out of the subway, take a few steps down a hill, and suddenly I’m surrounded by trees and bulrushes and a stream.   It’s a reminder of what Toronto used to look like before we built a city here. But it’s also what Toronto  still does look like with our giant ravine system. Nature and concrete and river and lake, all woven together. (Music out) It’s actually my first day in the ravine this year because until now it’s been held hostage by slippery ice and snow.   Over the past few weeks I’ve peeked over the Bathurst bridge and watched its mini-glacier start to melt away with the somewhat spring-like weather.   But right now it’s about 10 degrees, it’s muddy and it’s messy… all the wildlife and flowers and trees are starting to rustle out. It’s a new beginning.   In the fall you might have listened in to our cities mini-series. It tied into the municipal election – we talked about traffic and transit and the future of cities. (Music up) Today, you’re walking with me into a new beginning for the podcast. One that’s more focused on telling the stories of the city, one that gets out on streetcars and into construction sites and mucky melting ravines as we explore all the ways Toronto – and other cities around the world – are changing, growing, and bringing citizens along for the ride.   And who better to guide us in these first steps than Toronto’s resident flaneur, Shawn Micallef. He writes about the city for The Toronto Star and Spacing Magazine and through his Twitter account (which I highly recommend following because it’s jam-packed with notes and photos from his explorations).   He’s authored a few books – The Trouble With Brunch and another one called Stroll, all about exploring the city on foot.   We’ll hear more from Micallef a few episodes from now, when he talks about how to love a city… but on a day like this, while the city is starting to reveal itself once again, I asked him to share a route for a melty spring walk… and he ended up taking us in some surprising places.   Here’s Shawn Micallef. (Music out)   Micallef: I think a really fun spring walk to go on is through the ravines. When it's really snowy you can go deep on snowshoes, which I have. And you kind of have this weird freedom in the winter with something like snowshoes and being much more alone in the city because people are away. But there's a really awesome feeling of those first spring walks when you're out there and the rest of the city seems to be out and you're seeing all this bare flesh for the first time in six months. And it's like overwhelming humanity, which is great.   But when you're in the ravines before the leaves bloom, you can see through the forest for the trees and if you're walking through Rosedale you can see the back ends of all the mansions, which are totally covered up in the summer with foliage. So it's like you get this really voyeuristic view of the city just before the leaves come out, and yet it's still warm enough that you can walk for an hour and be comfortable, and you'll stop at cafes and do all the kind of city things.   So it's like you're comfortable, you don't have to really super - bundle up or have gear, but you really get to see the city kind of laid-bare. I wrote about this once, this kind of wonderful voyeuristic-ness of it, and somebody wrote in to either The Star or I, I can't remember where it was, calling me, not actually a pervert but like something in that direction, about, “You peeping-tom, get out of my backyard.” I'm like, I'm not in your backyard, I'm just looking, because it's there. And I’m like, “If you're going to have a conspicuous McMansion, I'm going to look at it and judge it.” But you can do that in that period. So spring is a fine time to go for a walk.   It's just really buoyant, I find, like the spirits of Torontonians are buoyant. I write these things about the winter or Tweet these winter walks, because winter is not going away. It's here, figure out a way to actually enjoy it and not be such a sourpuss about it. But there is just this kind of level of like lazy sour-pussing around Toronto, which I think people would be happier if they kind of got out.   But those spring days when it just busts out, the kind of joy that you kind of feel walking in the city, this kind of ambient joy, it's effervescent and it's a really wonderful feeling. It's almost like Toronto at peak. Somewhere between April and into June. June everything is - the foliage is out and so there is this kind of like pristine, clean newness to the city, and the smells and everything. It's this kind of wonderful peak. But then you could say that I could romanticize all the other seasons, but I won't.   Brianna:   So where would be, if you could suggest like, “Okay guys it's time to get out there, get off at this subway stop and get a coffee at this place, start in the ravines here,” what would you recommend?   Micallef:   I think you should go to Old Mill Station in Etobicoke on the subway, get out, there's not a coffee place right there so you should bring a coffee with you. And go either north or south on the Humber River. South you go down through the Humber marshes along the trail and you end at the wonderful white arched bridge at the mouth of the Humber River by the Palace Pier Towers. And you're walking through this really wide expanse of Humber Valley. But then if you go north, The Humber becomes steeper on the sides, there's some great cataracts because there's a lot of vertical elevation as you go up. There used to be something like a half-a-dozen mills that use that elevation to kind of do whatever mills do. There's a sort of drama to the landscape that's totally easily accessible by public transit.   Then you can walk up and you cross under Dundas, or you could keep going more north and if you're really intrepid you go all the way up to Weston. It's an old Ontario town in the middle of the inner ring of Toronto. And you can do that in a few hours. You can cover distances, if you've never walked through Toronto, you cover way more distance than you think you would. Then you get up and inevitably there's an arterial road nearby, because you're going underneath them, Toronto is a grid, and you get up and there's a bus. And if you don't want to walk all the way back you just get on the bus and it takes you to a subway.   Brianna:   I'm going to sort of zoom out from there. What is a Toronto issue that comes to mind for you that either is in the process of an interesting new beginning, sort of we're starting to think about this differently, or that really needs a new beginning, either from a policy perspective or a culture perspective?   Micallef:   I think the main thing that needs a new beginning is the idea of Toronto. I think this is already kind of starting. But getting over this urban/suburban divide. And there are people working towards that. There are differences, and this could be either a 905/416 thing, or just like downtown Toronto and Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke. And I think divides have been exploited by people who have something to gain by it politically or otherwise. There's been a void of people talking about shared values. I think there's more shared values than there are differences. This is still just like Southern Ontario. We're not talking about insurmountable geographic or cultural divides. And so I think if we start looking for those connections, and sometimes it's just like when you think about how do you live. Maybe some of us drive cars more, maybe some of us walk more. But then you want your kids to live on a street that's safe. You want probably a library nearby, and you want a good school. Those similarities kind of overlap. And when you start counting them up there's just dozens and dozens of them that you could kind of point to and exploit for the better. So that I think is the main thing.   We've been amalgamated as a one megacity for now 17 years, and there are people throughout the Ford years and now still talking about the amalgamation. You can talk about that as a theoretical thing that maybe could happen, but there's not political will to de-amalgamate. It would be such a mess, so it's not going to happen I think any time soon, or ever I would say. But other people have different feelings about that, so it's moot. So let's forget about that and figure out ways we can make this work. And I think it's really important, particularly for downtown people, downtown Toronto is becoming this kind of "Manhattanized" really wealthy place, expensive. The kind of people that can live downtown is quite limited because it's so expensive down here and it's increasingly so.   So when we start saying let's get rid of the suburbs, let's separate from them, we're different than them, you're basically saying you're different from the part of town that doesn't have the same economic advantages you do. And these are the parts of towns that are the most ethnically diverse, where the new Canadians kind of land, and where low income people live, often in towers. That kind of divisive language seems to be kind of rejecting the very idea of what Toronto is.   So I think if you want to talk about the amalgamation you have to really redefine what your Toronto is. Do you want like a rich core and a poor separate kind of outer band, or do we figure out ways to kind of make this place work together.   Brianna:   Shawn Micallef is author of Stroll from Coach House Books. He writes regularly for The Toronto Star, and Spacing Magazine.   Micallef also teaches two first-year courses at University of Toronto. He takes students on exploratory walks through the city and into council meetings and generally loops them into all sorts of other urban things. Those first-year courses are offered through University College and Innis College.   Thanks so much for being a part of this new beginning for the Cities podcast. There’s a lot more to come, so please subscribe on iTunes or follow us on SoundCloud… and keep an eye out for our stories posted at U of T News.   If you liked this podcast, why not tell a friend who might like it, too? You can share the link on Facebook or Twitter or email it… or even tell them with your own voice. We’d appreciate it.   Because the more city-loving people we invite into this podcast, the more we’ll be able to hear about your great stories of the city.   Today I’m talking to you from my favourite “place” in Cedarvale Ravine… you probably have one, too.  Get in touch and tell us about your favourite cafes, nooks and crannies and secret stories in the city… any city, really.   Tweet with the hashtag #UofTCities or send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also drop me a line at uoftnews@utoronto.ca.   Special thanks to our guest Shawn Micallef. We’ll hear more from him a few episodes from now when he’ll talk about how he grew to love Toronto… and how he’s grown to use social media as part of his engagement with the city.   Thanks also to Jay Ferguson for composing the great music you heard in this episode.   The Cities Podcast is produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor Jennifer Lanthier.   Thanks for listening.  

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

See all news releases

General Inquiries
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/U-of-T-Cities-Ep-4-Future-Cities.mp3"][/audio] This final election-focused episode features U of T experts Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Richard Florida, Patricia McCarney and Meric Gertler, as they envision cities of the future through literature, scholarship and more. Full story http://bit.ly/1DkSvVe and more at news.utoronto.ca . Earlier episodes in the series looked at the future of traffic, transit and sustainable cities through research and entrepreneurship coming to life at the University of Toronto.   TRANSCRIPT – FUTURE CITIES   [Sting: This is the U of T Cities podcast. Brought to you by the University of Toronto]   (Music up)   Let’s start with a photograph. A gleaming lake. A scattering of buildings. And, at the centre, a dome, and a pointy tower shooting straight up from it, dwarfing everything below.   People the world over recognize the iconic shapes of the Toronto skyline. But how much longer will Toronto’s skyline look like this? And does that skyline even describe Toronto anymore, anyway? When you live here, when you come here, this two-dimensional cut-out transforms. But into what?   This is the U of T Cities podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg.   Earlier in this series we met U of T researchers and entrepreneurs building the future of traffic, transit and sustainable cities.   They told us about new types of vehicles, new types of economies, new dreams of transit  as they push at the edge of issues polarizing this election’s candidates.   And now, as voting results roll in, we’re in the midst of a new era for the city.   So in the final episode of this election-focused miniseries, we’re going to think bigger, go farther, be wilder as we talk with U of T thought leaders who can already see the future of Toronto. They’ll give us a view – or a sketch, anyway – of the changing nature of cities in our world.   Later in the podcast we’ll check in with Richard Florida. Director at U of T’s Martin Prosperity Institute and senior editor at The Atlantic magazine. The concept of the ‘creative class’– where innovative engineers artists, and designers drive change in economies? That was his idea.   And today, he’ll explain how new class divisions in places like Toronto are remaking the structure of cities worldwide – and for decades to come.   We’ll also hear from Patricia McCarney. She’s a political science professor and director of the Global Cities Institute at U of T. And she’ll describe a new project making it possible for cities to measure against each other – for the first time ever – when it comes to data on air pollution, water cleanliness and more. It’s a huge undertaking, setting standards for cities – but it’s handing urban centres the power to make global change.   Also ahead, Meric Gertler - U of T’s president and an expert in the geography of innovation. He’ll explain why Toronto needs this university, and vice versa, and why you’ll see both the city and the university  taking a bold, global lead both now and in the decades ahead.   But first, let’s turn the page on the story of Toronto.   PART ONE   So far in this series we’ve talked to geographers and engineers and political scientists and architects. But it’s the artists who document the drama, the friction of changing cities, in ways that get remembered.   [Kathryn intro]   Kuitenbrouwer is a best-selling author – and both a PhD student and sometime creative writing instructor here at U of T. Her latest book, All the Broken Things, is about a boy who wrestles bears… even though the story is set in typically bear-free Toronto.   I was imagining it actually out of town and I was thinking I would write this novel set in Grimsby or somewhere in the country outside of Toronto. And I was kind of gathering information and one of the things that I do when I research is I watch movies and there are a few movies about bears that was at the Local Junction Video Store which doesn’t exist anymore, on Jane Street. And I was standing in line with the video in my hands and this man said “oh, what’s that?” I showed it to him and he said “you know what’s really interesting about it is that I used to bear-wrestle.” And I immediately knew that the story was set in The Junction because I thought, oh, it’s a city story and somehow this bear cub that the boy was wrestling moved from this country place, this like farm, to this back porch in this little ramshackle cottagey kind of house in The Junction.   The Junction. It’s the area north of High Park. It used to be called working class. But as the city grows out, it’s gentrifying at hyper-speed.   Kuitenbrouwer’s story, about bear-wrestling and ethnic tensions in the neighbourhood – plus some much darker bits of Ontario history – bucks the idea of a simply urban Toronto. It talks about a city where nature and urban spaces combine. Where ‘the city’ is so much more than just ‘the downtown core.’   We’ve heard about the idea of a hybrid city again and again through this miniseries – when it comes to the future of transit planning and vehicles on the roads.   But of course it’s happening in the stories we tell, too – gone are the tales of parochial old Toronto the Good. Kuitenbrouwer and other authors at U of T are bringing our future city to life in stories reflecting a city as wild as it is, as wild as it can be.   (music out)   I grew up in the country outside of Ottawa and I’ve always had an affinity for animals and so the first stories that I started to write about Toronto, these animals were seeping in. And I mean of course because The Junction is bordered on the south by High Park, this massive green space in Toronto, and bordered on the west by the Humber River and all the parkways that run through there. And on the north, even though it’s not really nominally a green space, the rail line which is kind of a conduit for animals too, there are constantly animals in the neighbourhood. When we first moved to the High Park area I fell asleep to cricket sounds, which is something that I hadn’t experienced at all when I had lived closer to downtown. And I’ve seen foxes running up Clendennen and I’ve seen deer on the Humber, and I’ve seen coyotes. I’m waiting to see an actual bear but people keep saying they haven’t actually spotted a bear but they feel as if they might when they walk in High Park now that they’ve read my book. The animals were already kind of in the space and I leveraged them, so they already were there. In a way, we say encroachment, and it’s us of course encroaching on their territory. We’ve pushed back the city, we’ve built suburbs and we’ve taken over their habitat and so they don’t have anywhere to go but kind of come back this way. I love the fact that they’re coming back into the city and I want desperately for the city to not only acknowledge but honour the fact that these animals can live here and in the sort or survival way of can-lit to kind of not be as scared of what is considered wild, you know the northern vision of man against nature, which always struck me even as a young person as absurd. Because of course we are actually a bit nature, you know we are part of it, we’re not separate from it. One of the earlier stories, a story that was published in Granata has this scenario where a young woman and a young man are in a relationship, and the man loves the woman for in excess of the way that she feels about him. And the more he loves her the more ambivalent she is. And the more ambivalent she is the more stray feral dogs follow her and they’re menacing the situation all the time. I stole those dogs from Russia and I stole them precisely because I wanted to bring elements of the end of the Cold War into what seems to me a global space Toronto could be, a kind of global space. So when the Cold War ended, a lot of Russian families couldn’t afford to keep pets anymore and so they just let their dogs out on the street and these dogs have obviously reproduced, and they’ve formed packs and they’ve figured out how to use the subway system. There are these amazing YouTube videos, if people are interested they should look them up, of dogs listening for the subway driver announcing the stop, and they just like become alert when their stop is called, and they get up and they trot out because they know, for instance, that there may be a baker there who’s willing to give them a loaf of bread. Or there might be a butcher who will throw a bone at them. So I just wanted to kind of collide Russia right into Toronto. I hope more people write about Toronto, because in a sense the more writers embody the space the  more it becomes whatever it happens to be. And I think that a space is both there, but it’s also a space in which we have fantasy and a space in which we have experiences that are only possible in literature.   (music in)   That was Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. She’s an author, an English lit PhD student and has taught more than 40 creative writing courses as part of continuing studies at U of T.   Her latest book is called All the Broken Things, it’s published by Random House Canada. Learn more at news.utoronto.ca.   Speaking of High Park and green space, the news site is where you can also learn about the university’s work in urban forestry, U of T’s sustainability office, and find a whole podcast episode about building sustainable cities.   Later in this episode, we’ll get a phone message from U of T’s President Meric Gertler – live from Brazil.   Also coming up, Patricia McCarney explains how her work developing city data standards for things like air pollution – and, possibly, bear populations.   But first, with neighbourhoods like the Junction gentrifying – where will Toronto’s working class go? We’ll hear more about exactly who will live where in the city of the future.   PART TWO   Richard Florida is… everywhere. He’s a prolific author – you’ve seen his work in the New York Times, The Atlantic magazine and City Lab, the Globe and Mail and more. His thinking on social and economic theory resulted, among other things, in a wildly popular book called The Rise of the Creative Class. You’ll often see him on TV offering insights into the growth and change of urban spaces. But above all he is a lover of cities. Both the real, physical spaces – and the ideas behind them.   Florida directs U of T’s Martin Prosperity Institute. That’s where he and some colleagues crunched the numbers to arrive at a new vision for cities as class continues to drive massive change.   [Music out]   What we’re finding is that our cities in metropolitan areas are increasingly divided, not only by income, but by the kinds of work we do, by socioeconomic class. And those divides are taking shape around three or four things. The affluent knowledge workers tend to be the ones that are moving back to the center of the city. We’re colonizing the most economically functional, densest neighbourhoods close to work. And oftentimes the areas that used to be factory buildings or office buildings are now turned into residences, lofts and condo towers for these people. They’re colonizing the areas around knowledge institutions like the University of Toronto. A house in a place like The Annex used to be the equivalent…three or four families…now one rich family comes in and buys that and turns it into a three or four or five thousand…in New York now we’re seeing people taking over large buildings, factory buildings, and former apartment buildings, and turning them into 10,000 plus square foot homes with garages for their cars. You’d have to be some unfathomably wealthy to do that. And then along anything that looks like a vibrant waterfront. Any great waterfront in any great city, whether that’s Los Angeles or Miami, a city that had quite endemic poverty, but along that bay-front and oceanfront, come these gleaming towers of advantage. And what’s happening of course is the working class has almost disappeared. Quite tragically. My dad was a factory worker in Newark, New Jersey, in the great Ironbound section. Quite tragically these working class neighbourhoods have near completely disappeared. And not just from Toronto’s waterfront and from Toronto’s industrial neighbourhoods, from the Port Lands and the Don Lands and all this, in every city we’ve looked at. Boston which once had a great working class. Detroit. And then these service groups, these low income groups are being pushed further and further out into the suburbs. And then to just make this in the most pointed way I can, we’re no longer seeing a city where the urban core is poor and the suburbs are advantaged and rich. Nor do we see necessarily, what some people call a great inversion, where all the rich people move back to the city and poverty shifts to the suburbs. What we’re seeing, we call it a patchwork or a quilt, of concentrated advantaged next door to concentrated disadvantaged, and where the urban and suburban blur. And our new metropolis is one of fractals, of fractures, of advantaged and disadvantaged living side-by-side. And that’s quite tragic because just as the good middle-class factory jobs have been taken out of our economy and labour market, so have those good middle class neighbourhoods that so many people, like my very own parents, aspired to. They are fading as well.   Brianna Goldberg: So we’re talking about patchworks, we’re talking about blurring. I don’t know how far you can see into the future, but what are global cities going to look like?   Richard Florida: Look, we’re going to put billions more people around the world in cities. We have 3½ billion people in cities now. Some estimates are saying we’ll end up as world population increases to its peak, say out to 2100 or 2150, and the rate of urbanization which is about half of us today, goes out to about 75% or 80% or 90%, seven, eight, nine billion more people in cities. So just think about that. And most of those are not going to be coming to Toronto, although Toronto is going to grow nicely, or New York or London. They’re going to be populating the newly-built or rapidly expanding cities of the emerging world, I think, according to one estimate that’s pretty good, probably put 7 or 8 billion people in those cities in the newly emerging world, developing world, and less than 1 billion in the cities in the advanced world. A century ago who could’ve imagined a city of 5 million people. New York, when you took Brooklyn and Manhattan and put them together, there were less than 2 million roughly at the turn of the 20th century. Never mind a city of 10 or 20 or now 30 million people. I think the Tokyo metropolis is 35 million, New York is 25 million, Mexico City is a little bigger than that. Places in India are even larger. And then not just cities, but we call them the mega-regions. A good example of that is the area that stretches from Boston to New York to Washington, which is now 50 million people and 2 trillion dollars in economic output. The Shanghai-Beijing Corridor…now we’re going to probably be looking at places that are concentrated urban spheres that are 100 million people. So are cities are going to grow much bigger, they’re going to grow much taller, they’re going to grow much denser. And taking this back to Toronto, this is the gran challenge Toronto faces. Toronto is now a metropolitan area of say 5½ to 6 million people, depending on how you calibrate that. When you look around the world, as a metropolitan area hits that threshold of 5½ to 6 and certainly 8 to 10 million people, they just stop growing. The reason they stop growing is this old car dependence sprawling model, go and build cheap stuff, cheap infrastructure, cheap houses, cheap roads, and expand to the periphery. It just stops working. As anyone in Toronto knows, the place is captured by gridlock. You can’t get anywhere. Road rage in on the rise. The war on the car, the war on the bike. A place like Toronto, if it wants to be a global city, and obviously we now have more than half our people coming here from foreign countries so we are a global city, it has to rethink its growth model. And the reason New York City could grow to 8 million or 9 million people, and the reason the metropolitan area could grow to 20 or 25 million is because of a massive investment in transit, an extensive subway system, an extensive rail system, an extensive network of transit. It’s easier for me to get to La Guardia or Newark Airport from Lower Manhattan than it is for me to get to Porter Airport or Pearson Airport from the University of Toronto. That’s terrifying. So we really have to grow differently and I think that’s what’s so vexing about this election. When I look at this election I see it as a fight between a Toronto that wants to continue to sprawl and a Toronto that wants to grow in a different way. And unfortunately, I think the appeal of this older way of life, the appeal of the suburban home and the private car, especially to new Canadians who are coming here for opportunity, they want a stake in a new country, they want to follow the Canadian dream, they want their piece of the pie, what people don’t realize is you can’t give that anymore. My dad, in the 1950s after he came back from World War Two and worked in that factory, he moved outside of Newark, New Jersey to this place called North Arlington, quite close by. They had a Chevrolet Impala, they had a small modest little cape cod house. Boy, he felt like he’d achieved the American dream. But you can’t get that anymore. We have to have a new dream which is much more urban and people living differently. And I think for us, that means that transit, investing in transit, beginning to really increase our density, understanding that we can’t just continue to sprawl, are the key features. And I think that’s what the debate is. When I look at Tory versus Ford versus Chow, that’s really the dimensions of that debate today.   [Music in]   That was Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at U of T. To learn more, head to news.utoronto.ca.   This idea that Florida brings up about the rise of transit – it’s something very much on the minds of urban theorists at the Global Cities conference that just wrapped up in Sao Paulo, Brazil.   U of T’s president and chief cities expert was there – and wanted you to feel like you were, too. So he called in with the latest news on transportation policy.   This is Meric Gerter and I’m in Sao Paulo, Brazil where I’m participating in a Global Cities conference organized by the Faculty at U of T, together with their colleagues at the University of Sao Paulo. We’re here to identify important research projects to be undertaken by faculty and students at our two universities. And we’re focusing our discussion on 4 themes. The university and its relationship to the city, urban infrastructure, resilience and sustainability, healthy cities, and the social and economic challenges of global cities. The discussions have been very stimulating and productive. In fact this morning I learned something fascinating listening to the presentation by one of our colleagues at the University of Sao Paulo. He talked about the widespread demonstrations in the city in the summer of 2013, following an announcement by the city government that they were planning to increase transit fares by the equivalent of ten cents a ride. In response to the widespread unrest, the city decided to change its course of action, and instead to double-down on alternative transportation modes. In particular cycling. So the city of Sao Paulo currently has something like 154 kilometres of new bicycle lanes, and that includes over 60 kilometres that they built in the last year alone. Moreover, their plans are to reach a total of 400 kilometres of cycling lanes throughout the city by 2015. There seems to be widespread support for this initiative across the city where cycling is clearly now cool. So perhaps Toronto can learn something from Sao Paulo’s experience as it thinks about how to respond to its own transportation challenges.     That was Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto. We’ll hear more from him later in the podcast.   But first, if you want to get better, you have to measure up. Setting benchmarks to build cities of the future, with Patricia McCarney…   PART THREE   It seems like something that should have already existed: a tool for a city like Toronto to look at a similar city, like Chicago, and say, “What are they doing better than us? And how can we learn from them?” Comparison. It’s a simple way to build more liveable cities.   But there hasn’t been a way to accurately compare data from one city to another. Until now.   I’m Patricia McCarney and I’m a Professor of Political Science but I’m trained as a Planner teaching in Political Science about the cities. I’m also the Director of the Global Cities Institute here at the University of Toronto and in addition to that I’m now the President and CEO of something called the World Council on City Data.   McCarney and her team at U of T’s Global Cities Institute brought together data from a wide range of countries. And with help from cities, industry, academics and others, they built a first-of-its-kind system to compare city data… and to set international standards on it.   International standards. You know, like the kind on your oven or your smartphone…Sounds a bit… dry. But in this case, it’s downright political. These standards will be the fuel for evidence-informed debate as citizens and policy makers fight for smarter cities and smarter change.   [music out]   Most data is built by national institutions, national government, national statistics agencies, but it’s not built by cities in a comparative framework that cities can talk to each other. So that’s why borders matter, that’s why Toronto can’t talk to Chicago because the National Statistic Agencies measure cities and measure things differently in cities. So we started back in 2007/2008, to try and think about how to build this. We started with 9 pilot cities across Latin America, the U.S. and Canada. Toronto being one of them, Montreal and Vancouver being the other two. Also Bogotá, Sao Paulo, King County which is Seattle. A number of cities. And we asked the question what indicators are you already gathering in your city? And we thought there would be quite a bit of data in cities but we weren’t sure. It turned out cities gather tremendous amount of data. And they gather it on exactly the same things. So they gather it on transit, they gather it on water, waste management, education, health, safety, all the usual delivery of services that City Managers and Mayors care about. It turned out that the 9 cities were gathering hundreds of indicators each on all the same things. 1,100 indicators were put on the table when we convened the meeting. It was here at Metro Hall with Mayor Miller at the time. The 9 cities came together, put all of their indicators on the table. There were 1,100 of them across 9 cities, but there were only 2 that were comparable. So we decided it was time to crack that. We wanted to solve this. You know, how are we doing on emergency response time, how are we doing on hospital beds per hundred thousand relative to our peers. And Mayors increasingly are asking that question. So we started to build definitions, methodologies, numerator, denominator, evening it all out and standardizing the measures. Flash forward 6 years. From our 9 pilots back then we rewrote 100 indicators methodologies definitions. What is a police officer right down to Particulate Matter in the air – ‘PM 10 measurements. We ended up with 255 cities reporting our standardized set of indicators. 255 cities across 82 countries with Toronto as the hub for this incredible network of cities. That’s what we’ve built inside the Global Cities Institute here at the University. We decided 2½ years ago now, to actually go to the International Organization for Standardization. It’s based out of Geneva. It standardizes light bulbs and all the parts of your cellphone and tractors and car parts, and is very technical. And said we have a standard for city indicators, that cities can actually have an even set of measures. They didn’t quite understand the importance of it, I would say. That’s a polite way of saying we came home with nothing to show for it. They just weren’t interested in city indicators. But a few months later we had a call from Geneva to say that in fact the Japanese National Standards body had also stepped-up and said we’d like to standardize metrics around infrastructure for cities. Then the French were also asking for management systems. So they said here’s Canada asking for a standard on city indicators, the Japanese and the French, let’s put you together. And we have been working for 2 years and we have now the first ISO Standard ever on cities. We were very fast-tracked. It should take 6 years to build an ISO Standard. It took us 2. And that’s because we’ve been here at U of T building this. We’ve been building it for 6 years. We had 255 cities testing it. So it’s built by cities and it’s built for cities based on their priorities for what they want to measure. So we went very quickly. So we have now a new standard that we’re building and this is called, very creatively, ISO 37121. So in the numeric of ISOs, ISO 37120 was our first one and now we’re building 121. And that’s on resilience. So that’s going to be a huge boon for cities because increasingly with the extreme weather events, so our ice storm, and in Sandy, New York, and all over the world, and in the Philippines right now. The number one priority for cities is to think about how to prepare better because of the flooding that’s happening in so many cities. Even in the U.S. there’s Class Action suits now because peoples’ basements are flooding and cities are going to face difficulties getting insurance because of this. They already are. So now, this next standard will help to actually build capacity and transparency in local governments that says we are ready, here’s what we’re doing, here’s our measurement, here’s the evidence. Which will help to build insurance coverage and credit worthiness ratings, and all kinds of spinoffs that we hadn’t even suspected or thought about 5 years ago when we were building this.   Brianna Goldberg: I’m thinking about, when you’re talking about Particulate Matter, Shanghai comes to mind obviously. They have challenges with pollution in the air. And there’s so much power that the Standards can have, that it can give to cities, but it also exposes their soft underbellies. How do you get cities onboard with this, and how will it actually end up affecting their policies or the way that their cities develop?   You raised the question about China, about Shanghai. Shanghai, in the past when we were building the indicators in the first round, we didn’t have one city in China reporting for the very reason you’re suggesting. All data is gathered nationally in China so a lot of the statistics are geared to all cities in the country, but it’s not cities reporting. And our motto was to have cities reporting because we really wanted to make sure this was being built by cities. And it was built under the priorities for cities. And that is why we got traction so quickly, because those were the priorities. But now, with the ISO Standard, Shanghai was one of the first cities to step up and say we want to be part of this test of conformity for ISO Standard. The Chinese are at the table helping us to build this. Why is that happening? Well, as you say, Beijing in particular which has one of the highest PM concentrations, it may not make them look good, that’s true, but what we’re finding is that when you have good evidence to say to a senior Government, our city really needs help on PM, or our city really needs help on infrastructure investment, or our commute time is the worst in the world, it may sound like you’re being ranked and you’re really behaving in a substandard mode, but it also helps to leverage. It leverages funding from senior levels of Government. The credibility on a third party verification of that data has so much traction internationally.   [Music in]   That was Patricia McCarney, head of the Global Cities Institute at U of T’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. You can read about her work on the World Council on City Data and more at news.utoronto.ca .   Coming up, we’ll hear the president’s views on U of T’s best kept secret....   PART FOUR   Meric Gertler knows cities. He studied them as an award-winning urbanist and geographer and now he’s helping to build one as president of the University of Toronto.   Because if you count out the more than 80,000 students at the University of Toronto and add that to the square footage its three campus occupies across the GTA – this university and its students, staff and faculty make up a huge part of this city.   And Toronto thrives on the university and the university thrives on the city. It’s a message Gertler shared recently in a speech at the Big Cities, Big Ideas lecture series, held at U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs.   The following is an edited portion of his remarks… and heads up that the alumnus he mentions, Bill Buxton, is the computer scientist behind a company called Autodesk Alias. It makes computer-assisted design tools… his work has also been behind the scenes on touchscreens, animation software, and other human-computer interactive tech. Here’s Meric Gertler picking up from where he left off when he addressed the Toronto Board of Trade.   [Music out]   At that occasion I made the case that a strong university helps build a strong city and vice versa. A strong host city enables a university like this one to excel nationally and internationally. I also signalled that the University of Toronto is embracing its role as a city-builder and that it welcomes opportunities to collaborate with other actors and organizations in the city region to advance quality of life and quality of place, and to address our challenges and sees our opportunities here in the GTA. Now, I say this not just because it’s the right thing to do, and I say this not just because I’m a cities guy who comes by these interests naturally, but also because it is really a matter of enlightened self-interest for the university. The better we make Toronto, the easier it is for us to attract and retain fantastic faculty staff and students from across Canada and around the world. So the first point is that universities do many good things for cities, perhaps the most important thing that they do is that they impart dynamism and resilience to the economies of their host regions. They help these places reinvent themselves over time and that is, of course, really, really critical. But at the same time that they are sources of dynamism, they are also sources of stability. And it’s that unique combination which I think together, makes them even more valuable. The idea that universities are tremendous stabilizers, sources of stability in urban economies, and also on the local neighbourhoods that they inhabit. One of the ways that universities are able to do these two things is by connecting their host city region to the world and vice versa. So universities like this one connect Toronto to the world and connect the world to Toronto. They are one of the portals, the connecting points between us and the rest of the globe. In 1975, a twenty-six year old music graduate from Queens arrived at U of T intent on designing his own digital musical instrument. This is Bill Buxton, Alias now Autodesk was not a U of T start-up per se, but it was and it remains a hotbed of innovation in entrepreneurial activity based right here in Toronto, producing leading-edged software for 3D design, engineering and most famously for entertainment. Apart from disrupting and reinventing the way humans interact with computers, Buxton’s contributions at Alias and Autodesk, helped earn the company 3 Academy Awards. So since the days when Buxton first joined Alias/Autodesk, the firm has employed more than 100 graduates of U of T. Where over, over the years since those days, there has been frequent and continuous movement of employees and faculty and students between the firm and the university, just shuttling back and forth. And in 2011, U of T and Autodesk together received a Synergy Award for Innovation from NSERC recognizing the remarkable output and value and impact that has come from this partnership. Now it’s a marvelous story and I recounted it for a number of reasons. It illustrates beautifully, many of my main points about the symbiotic relationship between universities and cities. In particular it clearly shows how vital universities can be for the prosperity of their host regions and vice versa. It demonstrates how things that are found in a host region benefit and enrich the university as well. And finally, the Buxton story nicely demonstrates how universities can be gateways for their institutions and for the city regions in which they are situated. But there is one other way in which the story of Bill Buxton is emblematic of Toronto and its leading research intensive university, and that is this, that hardly anyone here knows this story. The success of Toronto and indeed the success of the University of Toronto as a centre for innovation is a well-kept secret.   That was U of T’s President Meric Gertler speaking at the Big Cities, Big Ideas lecture series. To learn more about his solutions for spreading the word about the well-kept secret of innovative Toronto – and for a link to the full version of the speech – head to news.utoronto.ca .   That’s where you can find more about the companies U of T is helping to develop as they build Toronto’s future economy.   PART FIVE   From symbiotic relationships to international standards, and service classes patch-worked against creative classes patch-worked against skyscrapers and livelier green space flush with enlightened citizens and deer running through trails in High Park – these are just a few glimpses into Toronto’s future. And it’s made possible by the research, writing and entrepreneurship going on at U of T.   But of course it doesn’t stop there.   U of T is helping Toronto get healthier at places like the Centre for Urban Health Initiatives  and the Centre for Research on Inner City Health and the student-run community health-focused IMAGINE clinic.   It’s opening up to active citizens with spaces like the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre at U of T’s Scarborough campus.   It’s integrating students with Toronto communities through initiatives like the New College Learning Without Borders program, studying through field trips to Kensington Market and other cultural centres…   It’s teaching students how to build cities with the new Master’s degree in Cities Engineering and Management… and then there are courses from cities experts like Deb Cowen and Zack Taylor and Eric Miller and all the other researchers interviewed in this and earlier episodes.   We at the U of T Cities podcast were pleased to bring you all these stories in this miniseries.   To find previous episodes featuring interviews on artificially intelligent traffic lights, an environmentally-responsive transit system, predictions for a new digital economy… and a whole lot more… just head over to U of T News at news.utoronto.ca .   That’s also where you can find news and features on the U of T work transforming cities, entrepreneurship, health, education and more.   You can now subscribe to U of T News Podcasts on iTunes. The link is at news.utoronto.ca.   Today we featured  music made available on the Free Music Archive. The artists are Cheese N Pot-C, Tha Silent Partner and The Custodian of Records. Also, Jazzafari, Mnag Quad and Cosmic Analog ensemble.   This program was produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor Jennifer Lanthier. Special thanks to Dominic Ali for recording the Meric Gertler speech—and special thanks to all of you, for listening.    

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

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U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/U-of-T-Cities-Ep-3-Building-Sustainable-Cities.mp3"][/audio] In the third episode of this miniseries, U of T Cities features University of Toronto experts working to build more sustainable cities in the realms of environment, infrastructure and economy. Learn more http://bit.ly/ZMDJK4 Landscape architecture professor Liat Margolis describes her work on green roofs and its implications for emergency management, energy use and reviving the bee population; Richard Sommer, dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design explains an enlightened vision for transit; and innovation policy expert David Wolfe, who teaches at U of T's Mississauga campus as well as the Munk School of Global Affairs, describes the future of Toronto's economy as a team sport. Previous episodes and more at news.utoronto.ca . Transcript [Sting: This is the U of T Cities podcast. Brought to you by the University of Toronto] [Sounds of quiet city street] (Music up) Brianna: What does sustainability sound like? Is it the sound of a coffee cup being recycled? Or the sound of someone walking to work instead of taking the car? Nope. [Sound of construction] Sustainability sounds like this. Like progress. [Music in] Because it’s the only logical way to build the streets we drive on, the homes we live in, the ways we get our electricity. Days of sustainability as a niche issue are long gone. Now it’s construction, it’s the economy, it’s the quality driving development in our city. This is the U of T Cities podcast, I’m Brianna Goldberg. In the first two episodes of this miniseries we heard from U of T researchers and entrepreneurs building the future of traffic and transit in Toronto – both clear election flashpoints. Building a sustainable city has not been a key platform for any of the candidates. And yet, it’s there, implicitly, bubbling up behind everything else they’re promising. How else could you make a transit plan, a garbage collection scheme, a vision for the city, if not sustainably? Today you’ll hear from University of Toronto experts whose work is helping to build a more sustainable city, regardless of who gets the most votes on October 27. Later this episode, we’ll hear more from Richard Sommer. He’s the dean of U of T’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. In the previous podcast, he shared a new vision for transit hubs in the outer GTA. And today we’ll hear a bit more about why designing an integrated – possibly environmentally responsive- transit plan for Toronto is key to the city’s success.   We’ll also check in with Professor David Wolfe, from U of T’s Mississauga campus and the Munk School of Global Affairs. He’ll explain why Toronto has to get on board with a dramatic re-branding for our economy to stand a chance. But first, we’re going to look up, way up, as we get our hands dirty and go a bit green. My name is Liat Margolis, I research all sorts of green building technologies like green roofs, green walls and solar energy. Green roofs. We’re talking about vegetation on tops of condos and towers. A few years ago, the City of Toronto made them mandatory for all new buildings over a certain size. And so Margolis and her team at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design are testing different versions of them on the roof of the Daniels building on College Street. …to figure out what could optimize things like storm-water management, so can we increase the retention capacity of green roofs so that they function in storm events and they retain the water and alleviate things like flooding, can we optimize the evaporative cooling effect to lower ambient temperature and affect energy usage, such as cooling in the summertime with air conditioners. So those are the kinds of questions and they operate on a very micro-scale, but they effect macro-issues on a regional and urban scale in terms of environmental management, and they also have an effect on construction standards, guidelines, municipal standards and the construction industry. So it might seem like green roofs are only relevant to a small section of Toronto. But once they optimize irrigation schedules, vegetation choices, and more, these roofs could affect more than flood management or energy use.  They might even save the bees. [Music out] You have a loss of these ecosystems and diversity of plants and the corollary is a loss of pollinator species, and those are critical to maintaining the ecosystem, not to mention agricultural production and so on. So we’re looking at what plants are more attractive, let’s say, to certain bee species. What is the reception in the building industry to ideas like this? Are they kind of dragged kicking and screaming into green roofs because it’s a policy that’s been made or does it seem like they’re actually interested in the future of this? Absolutely. And I think one of the important ideas to remember is that sustainability and business are not at odds with one another. In other words they absolutely need one another in order for the whole system to work effectively. If you think about it, any sort of new green technology is an economy, it’s manufacturing, it’s jobs, it’s construction, it’s new knowledge. So the green roof economy in North America has definitely multiplied by quite a bit. Same with the solar and clean-tech industry. I think that the industry is very keen on green building technologies. They’re very interested in finding out what works best because they need to keep up with what’s the latest. They have to remain competitive, they also see sustainability as a marketing opportunity. What might cities look like 10 or 20 years from now if the kind of green roofs and solar get applied? What might the city of the future look like to you? Yesterday I saw this presentation by an architect from Copenhagen and they did these kind of new configurations allowing traffic to operate in the same manner and yet integrate all sorts of green vegetated components on the ground, on roofs, on the side of the buildings. Not only allowing for this kind of new environmental performance to be integrated into the urban realm but also all of a sudden opening up these new public spaces and recreational spaces and a new way of actually experiencing the built environment. So I think a kind of new thinking where natural systems are more integrated as a new planning form, as a new urban method, an architectural method, I see that as not only a way to mitigate the kind of environmental issues that we’re facing today, and I think that’s an important distinction to not only think about climate adaptation, but actually the possibly of integrating solutions that could mitigate the effects and reverse the kind of negative impacts on the environment. Integrating natural systems into the urban environment is absolutely a tool and a key aspect of how we can actually do that. And at the same time all this opens up opportunities for a kind of new social behavior, a new social and cultural interaction with our cities. We’re somewhat familiar with it because we know what it’s like to be in parks and on waterfronts and so on. But a lot more of that. So I’m sort of imagining a new kind of culture around cities following this kind of integration more landscape. [Music in] That was Liat Margolis. She’s an assistant professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. To learn more, head to news.utoronto.ca . Later in the podcast, we’ll get a sneak peek at what a successful Toronto economy might look like in 10 years – if the city gets brave enough to start playing as part of a regional team. But first, an integrated transit system that could help its riders become their best selves. Planning for the sustainability of Toronto’s transportation and its citizens… PART TWO Last episode, we heard from Dean Richard Sommer. He talked about the Daniels faculty’s joint project with Metrolinx, as they imagined a new kind of transit experience for the outer GTA in a book called Huburbs: Transit and Urbanism in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. But he says that rethinking transit in the city and its outer reaches is about much more than just moving people from A to B.   If you look at great metro systems and great systems in other parts of the world, sometimes they are very monumental and singular in their quality. We haven’t even been able to have this discussion in Toronto because it’s always subways or surface rail without asking any bigger questions about what kind of system we’re trying to build, who we’re building it for, or what the experience of it is like, or what the bigger picture looks like. It’s really been a very, very low level debate around is it light rail, buses or subways. And I think that’s been a bit of a distraction from asking what kind of experience do you want to construct for our citizens as they move through the city, and not just for people in the downtown. Sommer is working to imagine a transit plan that could offer a new way of interacting with our world. If you have to change your form of transit 3 times to get to work there is already the nervousness about the amount of time it takes and being late and depending on the weather it can really be disheartening on a daily basis. So one of the things we thought about, to get back to the Huburbs Project is, developing a more nimble form of transit infrastructure that might even change the degree of openness depending on the season. We have a need to be protected from the weather in the middle of the weather and there’s much less of a need for that – there may be a need for shade and other things in the summer. And so the next step is to find a way for Toronto’s transit to strike a balance between pragmatism and possibility. [music out] If you grew up in an environment where you only drove and that’s the only way you saw the city, the experience of going somewhere and seeing the city on foot or moving through the city on a bicycle can be a revelation. If a city is able to facilitate your being able to go about your everyday life doing, all the better. Not that many are. I think it has to be in people’s self-interest when they realize that their life could be improved by cutting down on commuting times or that a better design and coordination of the sites and networks of transit can create a more pleasant experience, not just getting from here to there, but on the way. These are things that in lots of different realms people think about. People think about the shopping experience and the creation of new retail environments. Universities think about the student experience over the 4 year period. It’s not that different from…if you think about a city and for some of its citizens may have to travel anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours, if you actually map the itinerary of that person, and think about everything from the spaces you’re designing to the quality of the signage to the way in which the tickets and passes are integrated, that’s going to have an impact on people’s quality of life. I think one of the struggles we have in Toronto is it would be great if everyone could ride their bike to work or walk, but it’s a big city and really I think is the case that often the least economically advantaged people in society have to travel the farthest to make a living and to get to work. So we have to really be mindful of what their life is like. And as much as we would like to pedestrianize everything or make the downtown even more lively than it is, that’s the bigger challenge, which is that for people to succeed they need to be able to move through the city and they need to be able to move through the city in a way which is not deadening to their spirit, if you will. So take everything that you are thinking about with your modelling research and everything you’ve learned in Huburb study and everything that you just think about being the Dean of an Architecture School, and think of the Port Credit traveler 10 years from now, 15 years from now, if all of your hopes come true, what will their transit reality look like? It’s a very simply thing. Toronto is still a little bit too convenient to drive in and to move through Toronto in a car. So our ambition has to be to make the experience, and it’s not just a matter of a convenience, but the experience and the quality of commuting into the city through transit something which is a better experience than driving. So one can read, one can shop, one can exercise, one can socialize. Some you can do which is enriching rather than seen as a sacrifice. [Music in] That was Richard Sommer. He’s an architect and Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. You can read more, and find a link to his interview in the previous episode, at news.utoronto.ca. PART THREE Liat Margolis’ green roofs – sound great, and cost money. Dean Sommer’s revolutionized, utopian transit system – sounds great, and is bound to cost a lot of money. So how exactly would we pay for this enlightened, sustainable future city of Toronto? David Wolfe is a Professor Political Science at U of T’s Mississauga campus. He’s also part of the Innovation Policy Lab, the Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems based at the Munk School of Global Affairs. A lot of his work has looked at how industrial clusters drive economies. Ontario’s former industry giants like automotive manufacturing, and even Blackberry, are teetering… and Wolfe  is working to help Toronto - and the region around it – think about new ways to build jobs and companies and policies for a sustainable economy. He says it’s all about the digital. And it’s going to mean giving up Toronto’s independent identity – a little bit, anyway – as we join forces with other cities further west along the 401. [Music out] There’s software being developed in Waterloo that can contribute to the growth of the financial services industry in the downtown business core in Toronto. There are hardware wireless skills at McMaster University in Hamilton that played an important role in the development of the Blackberry. So that both the knowledge-base, the research-base in our universities, post-secondary institutions, the firms are all interconnected in this region, and we need to begin to think of the region with a much broader perspective than we have in the past. So what would it look like if this region was able to successfully brand itself? What’s the best case scenario? How do you see that working? I think there’d be greater recognition for us in North America and globally that we are an integrated region and that as a region economy we have great strengths in a number of economic sectors, one of the most important of those is the Information technology or Digital Economy sector. People in Waterloo have been pushing for this recognition for awhile. I think Toronto has been a little bit slow to get on the bandwagon. I think a number of people in Toronto are starting to see the value in doing this and agree with the importance of branding it. Somebody in Ottawa who publishes a list of the Top 300 Information Technology Firms in Canada every year made a call in the summer that we brand this region Ontario’s Digital Corridor. I think that’s as good a name as any, but I’m happy to defer if somebody can come up with a better name or better brand for it. But I think we need to start getting more attention from different levels of Government about how to contribute to growing and integrating the region more effectively and branding it internationally. I understand why perhaps smaller regions, like we’re talking St. Catharines, Niagara, they of course would be interested to buy into this integrated branding. But Toronto it seems to me would have something to lose in that they already have a bit of an established brand. What do you think it will take for Toronto to say I want to be looped in the same concept and the same idea as Waterloo/Kitchener? Toronto’s problem is that we have a great brand as a city but we don’t have a distinctive brand in particular economic or industrial sectors. Toronto is widely recognized as a financial services centre, which it is probably the 4th largest in North America. We have a great reputation as a centre for creative industries, film, television, broadcasting, huge sources of growth and strength in the Toronto region. But we don’t have any recognition of Toronto as a digital centre. The Information Technology industry in Toronto gets buried and lost in the rest of the broader economy. Everyone knows that the University of Waterloo has a great Computer Science Department and that Google and Microsoft and lots of other companies come to Waterloo to recruit from there. But nobody knows that the university of Toronto’s Computer Science Department is actually ranked higher in global rankings that Waterloo’s, and that our Computer Science Department is the highest ranked Department internationally of any Department in the University. So I think Toronto has every bit as much to gain as Waterloo does from participating in this global branding and raising the profile for Toronto as well as the rest of southwestern Ontario’s digital economy in terms of global recognition. How do you get there? How do you change opinions? One of the challenges we have in this region is we have a multiplicity of economic development and marketing organizations that are all working, sometimes together but often on their own, to market and brand their own parts of the region. None of them are marketing the region and none of them have put a label on the region, and none of them are going out and representing the region as a whole on a global scale. I think it’s time for somebody to take the lead. The leadership might have to come from the Province to bring all of the cities together and help and support them in creating. I know there were serious discussions in the Province about 2 years ago about doing this. They faltered because some of the various organizations didn’t want to come to the table and give up their own little sandboxes. I think it’s time for the Province, once they sort out all of our transit problems, I think it’s time for the Provincial Government to step in and bring all the parties in the region together to the table and say what do we need to do to put the digital corridor on the map globally. What will this region look like maybe 15 or20 years from now and what needs to happen in addition to Provincial support in this marketing coming together to make it happen? In my most optimistic moments I think the region will continue to grow and thrive and prosper. We know that it’s very likely there will be at least a million-and-a-half more residents in the region 15 years from now because we’re absorbing at least 100,000 people a year, just into the GTA. If you take in Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Niagara there will probably be at least 2 million more. We know we need much better, much more integrated transit across the region to make that many more people be able to work effectively in the region. But also I would hope if we succeed in branding it, we will be able to create much better, higher value-added jobs, higher income generating jobs for all of those people moving into the region and all of the tremendous creativity that we have going on across the University of Toronto’s various Incubators, the ones at Ryerson, OCAD University, York University, Waterloo, those will be generating tens if not hundreds of new firms that will be growing and creating employment opportunities for all of our very bright and talented students. That was David Wolfe. He teaches at U of T’s Mississauga campus and through the Munk School of Global Affairs. You can learn more about the University of Toronto accelerators he mentioned by heading to news.utoronto.ca. We’ve featured companies that developed with help from U of T accelerators in the two previous episodes of this podcast. Listen back to those episodes to learn more about Soujourn Labs, a company that’s building a human-powered car-bike hybrid… and Vote Compass, offering users an online platform to figure out which mayoral candidate most closely aligns with their views. OTI Lumionics is a very sustainably-driven startup that developed with help from U of T’s entrepreneurship supports. Head over to news.utoronto.ca to learn more about their business. It makes organic LED lighting more affordable and efficient for architects, interior designers… and anyone wanting to read a book, using their new consumer-ready OLED lamp called aerelight.     PART FOUR From a newly branded digital economy to an enlightened and environmentally responsive transit system, and green roofs and green walls and a green city saving us from flooding – as well as possibly saving the bees – this is the sustainable future of Toronto. And it’s happening regardless of which candidate tops the polls next week. We at the U of T Cities podcast were happy to bring you these stories in third episode of this series. To check out previous episodes featuring interviews about artificially intelligent traffic lights, an upstart alternative to the TTC, and the secret wish of transit-policy expert Eric Miller… just head over to U of T News at news.utoronto.ca . That’s also where you can find more news and features on U of T work transforming cities, entrepreneurship, health, education and more. Please get in touch with any questions or suggestions for future episodes. You can tweet us at uoftnews . Or send an email to uoftnews@utoronto.ca . Next time on the U of T Cities podcast we’ll be thinking big as we talk about the role of the city with experts including Richard Florida, Patricia McCarney, and Meric Gertler. Today we featured  music made available on the Free Music Archive. The artists are Cheese N Pot-C, Tha Silent Partner and The Custodian of Records. Also, Jazzafari, Mnag Quad and Cosmic Analog ensemble. You can find their work and more at freemusicarchive.org This program was produced by myself, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T News editor Jennifer Lanthier. Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

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U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/U-of-T-Cities-Ep-2-Transit-iTunes-version.mp3"][/audio] This edition of U of T Cities features researchers and entrepreneurs working to build the future of transit. Reimagine the downtown and beyond with transit policy expert Prof. Eric Miller; Richard Sommer, dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design; and alumnus Taylor Scollon, whose company is crowdfunding an alternative to streetcars. Full story at http://bit.ly/1vAlgy4 . For more stories on University of Toronto researchers and entrepreneurs transforming cities, entrepreneurship, health, education, community-building and more, visit news.utoronto.ca. TRANSCRIPT This is the U of T Cities podcast, brought to you by The University of Toronto. It's hot, it's crowded, it stops between stations whenever you're already running late for an appointment. And yet, we're told this is the better way. Public transit is of growing importance in this growing city. And deciding on the right way to make it bigger and better is no easy task. Politics, and economics, and social issues bump up against every possible way Toronto could extend its transit service. The upcoming election's candidates campaigning for buses, versus subways, versus light rail, versus priority of cars, have had voters enthralled. But it's time to go farther in thinking about the way we get around. Later this episode, we'll hear from Richard Sommer. He's the Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at U Of T. And he'll explain how rethinking the platform and parking lot design you'll find at most GTA transit hubs could be the key to an integrated city, and a happier life. And the solution may involve hothouse tomatoes. We'll also check in with U Of T alumnus Taylor Scollon. He's behind a quirky startup in Toronto called Line 6. It's a company that's crowdfunding private transit on King as a go-around to unpredictable and over-full TTC street cars. But first, the go-to expert for transit commentary in the city, civil engineering Professor Eric Miller tells us about his one wish for the TTC, and more. This is the U Of T Cities podcast. I'm Brianna Goldberg. In this special four-part miniseries, you'll hear about the University of Toronto researchers and entrepreneurs pushing boundaries on some of the upcoming election's most important issues. Last week I introduced you to our students, alumni, and researchers making the future of traffic. And today we'll do the same for public transit. For example, Eric Miller-- he's quoted in almost any story you can find about TTC planning, credited as simply, a civil engineer from U Of T. Ever wonder what he actually does to make him such an expert? Well, I generally work in the area of building computer models to forecast travel demand, to try to predict how people will use the transportation system, particularly in response to policies or investments. So if we want to build a new subway here, versus an LRT there, how will people of the greater Toronto area respond to that. Will they shift modes? Will they shift time of day? Will they take different routes? Will they stop traveling? Will they travel more? So the next time your subway is stalled between stations and you're wondering why, Eric Miller has a pretty good answer. Our problem is that we've done so little over the last 25 years or more. We've dug ourselves a big hole. You just can't dig out of that whole in a day. And so this is a multi-decade thing. But the important thing-- the progress we could make over the next couple years are actually start moving. The only way 10 years from now we're going to have a better city and a better transit system, if we start today to do that in a real way. So yes, it's going to take a long, long time to get Toronto's transit system up to the standards it deserves. Miller says there is hope for change soon, relatively soon. But it's going to happen above ground. We could be, fairly shortly, getting better service out on the roads. Eglinton is being built. And that's going to take still, perhaps too long to do. But as it comes on stream, that's going to help us. The new street cars that are coming on stream will make a difference. I actually think the other thing we need be doing is freeing up both the street cars and buses, so they move faster. That we have to be giving more signal priority to them. That can't happen overnight. But over the next couple of years to three years, I think we could be doing better, in terms of moving people on the streets. I think the other thing we could be doing quickly is making commitments to some sensible, longer-term rail investments that we won't see completed within the next mayor's term. But we might see in the term beyond that. So in the under-10-year time frame, I think there are things out there that we could be doing. And that sounds like a long time, but that's better than 15 and 20 years. But I think what we need in the short-run is again, not just talking about it, but actually doing. Committing to that over the next five to 10 years, we're going to be doing this. But as I say, I do think within terms of the surface transit, there's things that could-- over a two-year period. So I think we have to be thinking both short-term and long-term, and starting to act on the long-term, even as we're doing some short-term improvements. Standing on the street at maybe say, Spadina and Dundas 10 years from now, if the stars align, as you say. What are you hoping the transit situation will look like on streets? Well, I would hope that we see street cars coming along on, let's say if they have a 2 and 1/2 minute headway, a street car arrives every 2 and 1/2 minutes. They're not stuck behind a couple of cars that have one or two people in them. That we don't have the clogged streets we have right now. I mean right now, particularly I think, on our east-west streets downtown, it is a nightmare. Nobody is moving. The cars aren't moving, the street cars aren't moving, because they're in each other's way. And I'm hoping that by 10 years from now we've given the priority to the street cars. And they could be a much more attractive, reliable, fast service than they are right now. So that a lot of the cars that we see right there, right now, aren't there because the people are on the street cars. They will still be full. They will still be busy. There will still be congestion on the streets. A lively city is, by definition, congested. We'll never get rid of congestion if the city is successful and vibrant. We will get congestion back to a point where it's manageable, tolerable, it's within normal operating parameters. But the balance on, particularly our streets like Queen, and King, and Dundas, Spadina, will be shifted so far more people are walking. Some of them are biking, perhaps. But also that far more of them are able to use transit because the transit is much more attractive than it is right now. I wanted to ask you about walking. A lot of people who are driving downtown could plausibly be walking to where they're going. Is that part of the modeling that you're doing? When you look into the future 10 years, are there more people walking? And how do we get them there? Walking is very much part of the solution, particularly the downtown area. We have a huge number of people who live and work there. Many of them are already walking, in certain sections. The challenge to the city is to make more neighborhoods walkable. This is what Jennifer Keesmaat's trying to do along Eglinton Avenue with the Eglinton Connect, is to make that street a much more walkable street, a much more bike-able street. Bicycling, I think, in the city, is a much bigger challenge in terms of what the right mix is. And particularly, given that a lot of our major streets are fairly narrow. And of course, not everybody can walk and bike. One of our challenges is that-- and I think we have to be very careful, I think this is one of the problems we get into with a lot of the debate about transit-- is so many people do live in suburban areas, do have very long commutes, at the moment are very captive to cars. So they can even imagine how transit could solve it. And walking/biking is just not-- So far. Yeah, because it's just too far. So I think we have be careful to recognize there are different travel markets out there. There are different realities for different people. And we're trying to find the balance between those various things. If you could snap your fingers and have one wish come true that would improve transit immediately, what would you change today? That we have a sensible, long-term, stable funding process for transit. That's been our number one problem. All the arguments over technology and everything else. We have tied our hands behind our backs because we refuse to have a sensible conversation about paying for transit. We pay for our houses, we pay for food, we pay for our smartphones, we pay for movies. But somehow transit's supposed to be provided free to us. It's a totally nonsensical situation we've got ourselves into. We have to start thinking responsibly about paying for the things we need. So that would be my one wish. That was Eric Miller. He's a professor of civil engineering and heads up the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute. To learn more, head to news.utoronto.ca. Later in the podcast, we'll find out how the first week went for a new business in Toronto that's providing mass transit along King Street West, privately. But first, can you imagine a world beyond the parking lot? When the issue of transit comes up, your mind might drift to a packed platform at Yonge and Bloor during morning rush. Or maybe you think of being crushed at the back of an overfull bus inching up Bathurst at 6:00 PM. I'm Richard Sommer. I'm the Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. He's been doing some imagining around a very different kind of transit experience-- no less common. Transit hubs outside the downtown core are only growing in popularity as Toronto continues to expand. These nodes of connection are becoming more traveled, more important, and because of that, more ready for change. That's how Dean Summer got to thinking about what are called, huburbs. "Huburbs" is an idea, but it's also the name of a book, launched out of research from the Daniels Faculty. And the project came about with help from Metrolinx. That's the Ontario government agency working to manage and integrate transportation in the GTA and Hamilton area. "Huburbs" takes on the inconvenient and sometimes ugly transit hubs in the outer GTA. It uses argument, and analysis, and very cool visual models to explore the ways these places could be lively and enriching, instead of just a rarely used transit platform surrounded by mega parking lot. One of the big terms in planning is transit-driven development. But often, there is such a thing as development-driven transit. And "Huburbs" was an attempt to take a different approach, which is to look at all the circumstances that surround different transit stops and hubs. And to create a kind of provisional or intensified city on the bones of existing transit, rather than imagine that whole new forms of transit are going to be built, and that people will come to that. So it's also a play on the term suburb, which is basically how you create modes of intensity in areas of low-density and low levels of development, where people still need to get around in other ways, besides by car. The book itself is organized to look at the situation as it exists. And then we looked at a number of potential sites in different parts of the network. Each of which present different opportunities. Some of them are near the water. Some of them are near existing educational institutions. But what all the approaches we're looking at shared in common was looking for a value-added program. Whether it be growing food, creation of new kinds of retail opportunities, or the development of educational facilities that would be a catalyst to creating a "there" to these places, which are typically just about transit. Because one of things you would even find in theories of urban development around tourism is, how do you get people to not only move through something, but stay, and actually use it and want to occupy it. So can a new activity, or program, or use be woven into let's say, the space between a GO station and a light rail station, such that that activity-- whether it be hydroponic tomatoes, or a certain kind of industry, or energy development-- could both provide something that would be of interest to the communities that move through them, but also attract other kinds of investments. What is it that interests you about this type of transit you're talking about. When most people talk about transit, they're thinking TTC, they're thinking downtown. Is it that the suburbs give you more of a canvas to work with? We always have to be mindful when we describe cities, when we say downtown, suburb. In fact, especially after amalgamation, Toronto is an urbanized territory. And the urbanization goes very far out. So it's only a certain portion of the downtown that remains from the 19th century that is being intensified at the level that everyone can recognize. The much larger set of places, even the east and the west of the downtown, are developed unevenly. So the conditions you might find west of the downtown, or certainly going north into some of the suburban areas, are the much larger condition that we have to contend with. We're lucky in Toronto that previous generations looked at the zoning of the downtown, reinvested in the downtown, and the older parts of the city are taking care of themselves in some ways. There's still work to do. But it's areas that are not part of a kind of 19th century mercantile grid, even the waterfront of Toronto. But certainly everything north of Eglinton that are what I call first-growth cities. So I don't think it's that helpful to say that something's a suburb, and a downtown. It really has to do with a level of maturation of the urban condition. So I think it's all urbanization. And that what we're looking at, especially with growth boundaries, is strategies for transformation, and for bringing a degree of investment and complexity to the urban life, in various different kinds of what I call city organisms. So not all the suburbs are the same. Some of them are actually old towns that grew. Some of them have no town center. The housing stock differs. So I think the difference that a school of architecture, with landscape architects, and urban designers, and our allied friends, and engineering, and even in the health sciences. With them helping us, the difference we bring is we actually look very carefully at the material and physical characteristics of these places, they're geographies, in ways that people, even transit planners, don't. So the size of the grid, the topography, obstacles that certain forms of existing infrastructure, to actually bring communities together. These are things we both know the history of, and can read very carefully in existing places. And we know, for example, things like the planning of boulevards was originally built as a condition, sometimes to divide communities. So what can happen, unexpectedly, is if you build a light rail, it's supposed to spur development around it. But it can also divide the two sides of the terrain that exist. So it's very important to plan things like surface rail and new infrastructure so that it can sponsor integrated growth around it. Because sometimes it can have the reverse effect. Investments don't always pan out in terms of making a better city. That was Richard Sommer. He's an architect and Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. We'll hear more from him in the next podcast episode all about building sustainable cities. But for now, you can read more at news.utoronto.ca. The beauty of crowdsourcing is that it puts power behind new ideas, bold ideas, risky ideas, ideas for businesses that might not otherwise be able to lock down funding and get a start. Especially if that business is taking on a major institution like the TTC. Last week, a startup called Line 6 took its frustration with TTC street cars to the streets. It's co-founder and U Of T alumus Taylor Scollon was along for the ride. When people saw the bus, and when people actually took the bus, they were very happy with the experience. Up until then, I don't think people fully believed it was actually going to happen, until they actually were riding the bus. And I think that's just because people are so accustomed to doing things a certain way. And this is maybe a little bit outside of that. I don't think crowdfunding has been done for transit before. So I think people were pleasantly surprised, I hope. The bus has been on time. We have Wi-Fi. We give out coffee in the morning. People are really happy with the experience. Friday is our last day. We're just running it for a week. But the response has been so positive that we're definitely going to resume regular service in the near future. So it's worked out well, we're happy with that. Tell me more about this. Were you working in a different job? Were you looking for a new opportunity? Or was it really just an idea you wanted to bring to life? I think transit is a really interesting problem, because it's been done the same way for over a century. But the technology has changed so greatly over that time that it seems like there is going to be changes in how transit operates and the way people move around. And I don't know what those changes are going to be. But it seems like this is a possible direction. I have a consulting company with my co-founder on this, and we have another partner, as well. And we work for companies, and non-profits, and all sorts of organizations helping them use technology to solve whatever organizational challenges they have. So this, I think, is an extension of that, that we just decided to take on for ourselves, because it seemed like an interesting project. And we talk about pain points when we talk about startups a lot. But this is a daily frustration. People get so angry. It really puts you in a mood when you're on your way to your job, or you're on your way to school. So did you get a sense from them of what this will change, what this could change for them? Yeah, they're saying I get to work and I'm happy. And I'm ready to start the day. And I haven't been jammed into a street car, or sitting in traffic for an hour. So I think it does improve people's quality of life. And that's the best thing to hear. What attracted me to work on this problem is that it is an actual problem for a lot of people. A lot of startups are focused on things that are either not really problems, or problems for a very narrow slice of the population. It tends to be upper middle class people who use technology a lot. But I think the promise of technology is that it can improve the quality of life of everyone. So if we can bring that to bear on the problem of transit, then I think that's our goal. So you mentioned that you're working as part of a consultancy, and that your background is in philosophy. So has that informed what you end up doing in your life now? Yeah, I think philosophy is actually a really useful thing to study, which is maybe not how it seems at the time, to philosophy students. But the habits that it gets you into of thinking about problems beyond the superficial level, and looking at something, and saying well, why is it this way, and does it need to be this way, and could it be done a better way, is really applicable to almost anything you do in life. It gives you good creative skills and critical thinking skills. I think philosophy students perform better than all other majors on LSATs for that reason. So I would say it's definitely helpful, yeah. So what's your hope for Line 6, or any other iteration of this, in the next year? And will it still exist in five years? What do you see, moving down the future? Well, it will definitely exist a year from now, and I hope it will exist five years from now. Our next step is to bring this to other neighborhoods in the city. So we have public voting on the website right now, ridelinesix.com. And eventually, I see this as a network that connects all parts of the city together. So you can take a Line 6 route from Scarborough to Etobicoke, and experience the same comfortable and on-time commute. And do it on a daily basis, because it's an affordable service. That was Taylor Scollon, co-founder of a very new startup called Line 6. He and his team launched their business all on their own. But you can learn more about the University of Toronto's startup accelerators, courses, programs, all geared to helping entrepreneurs develop their business at news.utoronto.ca. For example, Vote Compass is a startup that developed with help from a U Of T program called the Creative Destruction Lab. It's headed up by alumnus Clifton van der Linden. Vote Compass is an online resource that helps users learn more about which candidate aligns with their values. They have a special edition set up for Toronto's mayoral election. You may want to check that out. You can find out more at news.utoronto.ca. From a local startup turning its TTC beef into a business concept. To GTA transit hubs dressed with extra gardens, and stores, and schools. And even a sneak peek into the budgetary wishes of one of Toronto's leading transit experts. It's clear that public transportation in Toronto is evolving, regardless of the policy coming out of City Hall. We at the U Of T Cities podcast were pleased to bring you these stories in the second episode of our series. To find the previous episode, packed with interviews about artificially intelligent traffic lights, human electric hybrid pod vehicles, and the first of its kind class putting election research into the hands of undergrads, just head over to news.utoronto.ca. That's also where you can find more on U Of T research that's transforming cities, entrepreneurship, health, education, and more. We'd love to hear from you with questions or ideas for future episodes. You can Tweet us @UOfTNews. Or send an email at uoftnews@utoronto.ca. Next time on the U Of T Cities podcast, we'll be talking about building sustainable cities, in all the many ways that could mean. Today's show featured music made available on the free music archive from Daytripper 13, Jazzafari, and Cosmic Analog Ensemble. You can find their work and more at freemusicarchive.org. This program was produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U Of T News Editor, Jennifer Lanthier. Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

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U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more. 

[audio mp3="http://media.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/U-of-T-Cities-Ep-1-Traffic-iTunes-version.mp3"][/audio]   This first episode of U of T Cities features researchers and entrepreneurs working to build the future of traffic. Learn about artificially intelligent traffic lights, bike-car hybrid vehicles, a first-of-its-kind undergraduate course all about the Toronto election and more. http://bit.ly/1CVWAkn For more stories on U of T research transforming cities, entrepreneurship, health, education, community-building and more, visit http://news.utoronto.ca. U of T News Podcasts image TRANSCRIPT [CARS HONKING] -Traffic. It's the one thing that brings Toronto together. Motorists, transit users, cyclists, pedestrians, everybody hates traffic, and yet it's literally everywhere we turn, stopping us from getting where we want to go. Oliver Moore is The Globe and Mail's urban transportation columnist. He recently called traffic quote "electoral gold," and even said that frustrated drivers are shaping up to be this election's key voting block. But it doesn't matter what candidate you support, or even if you plan to vote. Traffic taking the stage as an election issue has made it clear that Toronto needs to green light some changes when it comes to the flow of our roads. Later this episode we'll hear from Phil Lamb. His startup is designing new vehicles specifically for Toronto streets. We'll also hear from a human geography professor named Zack Taylor. He's going to explain why the issue of traffic is so political in Toronto and tell us about the fourth year students he's teaching who are doing groundbreaking research on the mayoral election. But first, an international award-winning U of T expert who's combined game theory with artificial intelligence to revolutionize traffic, and it's all about smarter traffic lights. This is the U of T Cities podcast. I'm Brianna Goldberg. In this special four part miniseries you'll hear about the University of Toronto researchers and entrepreneurs pushing boundaries on some of the upcoming election's most important issues. We'll introduce you to our big thinkers and researchers making things that will literally change your life. For example-- -OK. My name is Samah El-Tantawy. I'm doing post-doctorate... -She's just one of the many people at U of T changing what traffic means and how it works all around the world. The smarter traffic light system she's building with Professor Baher Abdulhai is called MARLIN. And El-Tantawy's Ph.D. Research tested MARLIN in traffic simulations, but now it's commercialized and about to be tested on actual roads in the city of Burlington. It's combining game theory and complex communications, but El-Tantawy says it's easy to understand if you just think about sports. -Similar to players in a soccer game, so everyone wants to score, but the ultimate goal is for the whole team to win. So they keep coordinating together. So our system, MARLIN, works as a brain that sits at the traffic light and this brain allows the traffic lights to react to the traffic conditions in real-time by updating the timings on second by second basis to minimize the waiting time for the cars at the intersection while coordinating these actions or decisions with the neighboring intersections, in order to minimize the drain to the whole network. -So the traffic lights will be like talking to each other, and saying I have lots of people here so you need to allow more flow down the road. Is that what you mean? -Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. They are sending their sensory information to each other. And like in the algorithm itself, the decision is made by taking into consideration the expected decisions that these neighbors are going to take. So everyone kind of is building a mental map of the others and try to take its action according to the other sections. -So how does it get its information? Is it 3D sensors in the road that you're talking about? -Yeah, 3D sensors. And they're going to be communicating through either ethernet network or even wirelessly. And the sensors themselves are cameras, video cameras, that can get these queue length information to the intersection and then the intersection can send this information to the neighbors, and receives the others as well. -What do you think traffic could look like if this was implemented widely? -So based on, again, the simulation results that we have tested, we have found that it can have savings of 30% to 40% in the delay. -What got you interested in this problem of traffic in the first place? -Well, of course, all of us face this on a daily basis when we get frustrated waiting at traffic lights or stuck in anywhere, I mean, in traffic. And I was living most of my time in Arab countries and specifically Egypt, and this problem is the main problem in Egypt. So when I knew about the intelligent transportation systems and this happened like kind of luck or chance, because my husband came here to study the Ph.D. with Professor Baher Abdulhai. So this was the first time for me to know about the intelligent transportation systems and I found it very exciting for me that I can use theoretical concepts that I have learned in communications control theory and also mathematics in solving one of the main problems that we faced over there. And when I became here I also found that it's, again, in every large city is a problem. So I've worked with Professor Baher and from day one he was talking about the implementation on streets. For a Ph.D. student who's just starting, oh, it was too early for that. But he transferred this passion to me and we were also working on this target in mind, that we need to finish this work and try to implement it on the streets. -Do you see this model being transferred to countries overseas? -Yes, definitely. It works with any city that has the issue of variable traffic on the different approaches with intersections. Like the traditional way of coordination in the current systems is to have a green wave along an arterial, assuming that the major demand is just along that arterial and we want every car to pass through the intersection to the other in a green wave, all of them are green. But this will not work in a grid network, for example, like Toronto, where there is high demand and variable big demand and all approaches. -So we might see this making traffic smarter in other places other than Toronto? -We hope so. We have a couple of meetings with cities from Mexico. -Do you drive in the city? -Well, I will have my driving test, driving road test in October 2nd. So I'm not driving, but I feel for this because my husband's driving and I'm sitting beside him. And, of course, it's going to be different when I am driving by myself. -That was Samah El-Tantawy. She is a postdoctoral researcher at U of T working on the MARLIN adaptive traffic signal control. You can read more about her at news.utoronto.ca. Coming up in a few minutes, we'll hear from Professor Zack Taylor on why traffic gets so political in Toronto. But first, the vehicle of the future runs on your own two feet. What does traffic look like to you? Is it an endless line of cars with exhaust fumes rising up on the horizon? Bikes squeaking in between the lanes, taking chances of getting knocked over by a much larger vehicle? Maybe pedestrians plodding along as they breathe in all this pollution? Well, if a team behind a new company called Wheel Span gets its way, these tired old pieces of the traffic puzzle could be replaced by sleek, safe, human-electric hybrid pods. The company's growing with help from one of U of T's startup hubs specifically geared towards scientists turned entrepreneurs. It's called the Impact Center and in the driver's seat of this company is Phil Lamb, the co-founder Wheel Span. -Our company is in urban transportation and we're interested in building a product that fits into cities. So we're looking at transportation of less than a few kilometers, moving from place to place inside cities, wonderful cities, older cities that we have quite a few of in North America. So cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Austin, Texas, places like that. And the reason that we're doing this is because we've looked at transportation as it is today and we've said well, if not broken then at the very least there are things we could change. We could make better-- we're coming from a point of view of saying transportation should be green, it should be good for the environment, it should be good for the city, it should be good for the people who are using it. It should be healthy, it should be predictable, it should be comfortable, convenient. And we've centered around those principles that we think will fit into cities better than any of the existing alternatives. -So tell me, how will this end up affecting people's lives? What could it improve? -So maybe it's best to talk about use cases, so examples. So you might imagine if you compare, say, to someone who currently drives to work. Driving to work can be a very stressful experience. It's also very expensive. From a health standpoint, driving is one of the worst things that you could do to your body. It's almost as bad as sitting at a desk, simply because your body essentially wastes away. If you use something like we're designing, or a bicycle, or something that's human-powered, even walking is incredibly healthy in comparison. So to give you an example, in North America you're more than 10 times as likely to get injured cycling somewhere than you are driving. And yet, the health advantages of cycling outweigh even that additional risk. So it's healthier, even when you take into account accidents and other unfortunate happenstances, to cycle than it is to drive, which is very unintuitive but unfortunately true. If you think about someone who lives in a dense city, parking can be a real issue, management of vehicles be a real issue. So you can think about a use case where you might want a vehicle that you can use as, say, for example, as a sort of in the role of a second car. So you might want to take a quick trip to the grocery store, or you might want to drop off your child at daycare. All of these things are short trips meant for either one or two people that you want to be easy, you want them to be predictable, and simple, and safe at the same time. So you might want to find-- so our product is something that can achieve all of those things without the hassle of the different other types of transportation that are currently available. -How did you get interested in solving this problem? -So when I started grad school, I was commuting in from Mississauga from one of the outer suburbs. And for me was it was sort of a natural step, because at the time GO Transit had just installed bike racks on all of their buses. So I figured, OK, well I could buy a bicycle and I could just take it with me. And that worked out really nicely, except for the fact that it's really scary to cycle in Toronto. And I've heard that it's very scary to cycle in other cities as well. I mean, I've fallen into streetcar tracks, I've been almost run over, I've been run off the road. And all of that was actually still preferable to taking the TTC, which isn't-- that's not the TTC's fault and it's not a problem with public transportation, it's just a problem with the way that public transportation fits into our existing infrastructure. And so the original design concept was for something that was supposed to address those needs. And it was more like a project for myself, and it turns out other people were interested, and then the concept grew, because at some point you can only involve so many people by saying well, this is a project for my own interest. And it turns out that there's a real need. And so we said OK, well, how can we expand on this concept to create something that actually fits the needs of a substantially large enough portion of people to really make an impact? -And so how did your experience at U of T help you develop that idea into an actual company? -It's just a natural place to pick up the kind of attitude and the skills required to be able to say, well, there's a problem, let's just fix it. The Impact Center, in particular, has been instrumental in supporting us because they looked at our concept and said well, that's cool, how can we help you? And it's really neat because they took us on with the understanding that we were kind of rather-- how shall I say-- less skilled than was necessary to really for a functioning business. And they just kind of looked at that and said, well, you know, we'll help you get there. And so we can't be grateful enough for that, as sort of a place to develop ideas that are non-technical. And so political, cultural, the University of Toronto was a fantastic place to meet, to meet people who are like-minded who can help you develop ideas about the way we live, the way we interact with our built environment in our society. And there's lots of people here that will encourage that kind of thinking, that's essentially well, look at what we have, understand that it could be better, and take the time to really critically reflect on what changes you could make. -Phil Lamb and his team at Wheel Span design innovative green vehicles developing with help from U of T's Impact Center. Find out more at news.utoronto.ca. Toronto's upcoming election isn't just an opportunity to weigh in on leadership, it's also a great chance to learn more about what's important to the city and the people who live and drive in it. Professor Zack Taylor teaches urban politics and local government at U of T's Scarborough campus. For him, traffic is at the core of the central drama driving politics in Toronto, the tension of the GTA's amalgamation. -We have these stereotypes of the Starbucks voter and the Tim Horton's voter, and so on the automobile-oriented suburbanite versus the transit-riding downtowner. And these are caricatures, but I think they're worth trying to unpack and explore and figure out what the politics of this means when it all happens inside a single city council, a single municipality, a single electorate. Because that's not what happens in Vancouver. It's not what happens in almost every American city. These two areas have their own municipalities, their politics are separated from each other. -It's these kinds of dramas and frictions playing out in real time that students are digging into with of course he's designed specifically for the upcoming election. -Because I thought that if I could get students to do original research on the election that we would end up knowing more about this election than anybody else. And I'm really excited. They handed in their proposals today. We'll learn a lot about political behavior, about campaign strategies, about how candidates raise funds. So, really, it's more on the political side than about the big issues, necessarily. -What kinds of students have you found were attracted to this course? -So, what's been quite interesting is that some of the students have an academic background in political science where they've been exposed to some of these ideas already. But one of the really amazing things about UTSC is that a good number of our students are New Canadians, some of whom are not citizens. And so talking about these issues is actually a way to kind of bring them into the political process and increase their civic literacy. So that's been a really interesting experience for me at all levels, not just about this course but to talk to people about elections who've maybe come from places where they don't have those things. -So you mentioned the proposals that they've handed in. Tell me about how this course is going to shake out? -How's it going to shake out? I don't know, and that's kind of the exciting part. There's a group of students who are very interested in how social media is being used as a campaign tool. So they're going to be doing analyses of the Twitter feeds and social media presence of candidates. This is an area that some people have started to look at in American political campaigns but I haven't really seen any literature at any level in Canada. I think they'll say something new and original with that. Another part of it, another group of students are looking at the media. So do our newspapers cover the candidates and the issues in different ways? How do they cover the issues? How is gender and race treated in the news coverage? I think the different angles at which they're going to tackle that are going to be really exciting and I think we'll learn something from that. -So what has interested you about this election as we're moving into the last legs of it? -Oh, where to start? I mean, there's all the obvious things. The events, the extraordinary switcheroo of Rob and Doug Ford, what are we to make of that? There's the question of the stark reversal where Olivia Chow began in the lead and how John Tory, at some point in July, he seems to have taken the lead away from her. What I tell my students who maybe weren't paying a lot of attention to what happened in previous elections is anything can happen, we're in a very fluid time in this last six weeks when people start to tune in. And you look back to previous elections, David Miller didn't come into first place until the last three weeks or so in the campaign. Anything can happen at this point. And I think we're actually talking about real issues for a change, right? The transit thing is going to get shaken out, we're seeing people talk about housing and homelessness, we're seeing people talk about social issues. So we'll see, we'll see. We'll see what happens there. So there's the theater of the election, I guess, right? Which is sort of the exciting and visual aspect of this. But on sort of the deeper, longer term level, I remain interested in the city suburb divide. What does it mean? Can we ever overcome it? Can we ever be one city or are we a two track city, two separate trajectories that pulls politics in opposite directions? I don't know. That's what I'm interested in. -Professor Zack Taylor teaches human geography at U of T's Scarborough campus. We'll check back with his students in later episodes. In the meantime, you can read more at news.utornoto.ca. From vehicles of the future to artificially intelligent traffic lights, and drivers and pedestrians and bicyclists of varying degrees of intelligence, it's all part of the shifting nature of traffic in Toronto and around the world. We at the U of T Cities podcast were happy to bring you these stories today as we introduce the podcast series. So glad you joined us. To learn more, please head over to U of T news at news.utornoto.ca. That's where you can find updates on innovative research and projects transforming cities, entrepreneurship, health, education, and more. Do you have a question about an election issue you'd like to have answered by a U of T expert? Well, you can tweet us at U of T news or send an email at UofTnews@utoronto.ca. Since this is our first episode we don't yet have any audience questions, so I'll throw this one at you. Where can you find more close conversations with U of T experts making the future of sustainable cities, transportation, civic diplomacy, and more? That's all coming up on the U of T Cities podcast. Today we featured music made available on the Free Music Archive. The artists are Cheese N Pot-C, The Silent Partner, and The Custodian of Records. This program was produced by me, Brianna Goldberg, with help from U of T news editor, Jennifer Lanthier. Thanks for listening.

Latest Media Releases

Below is a selection of recent press releases. For all the latest news please visit www.utoronto.ca/news

December 11, 2017

Ontario Should Revise Discriminatory Policy Against Refugee Drivers

Toronto, ON – Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation should revise its policy and allow experienced drivers from war-torn countries to skip the one-year waiting period before their final driving tests - an exemption available to other newcomers in Ontario as well as refugees in other provinces, the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (IHRP) said today. Under the current policy, the Government of Ontario is discriminating against refugees from Syria and other conflict zones by effectively…

December 6, 2017

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

Toronto, ON – A team of students from the Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the UofT quarterfinal qualifying round to advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurs. Purifire, consisting of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Nirusan Rajakulendran, and Michael Bosompra, all from the Rotman MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the regional finals to be held in March 2018. The goal…

November 21, 2017

New Financial Innovation Hub Established at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – A new partnership has been launched at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to promote and develop initiatives for students and faculty in the area of financial innovation across all of the school’s programs. The Rotman Financial Innovation Hub in Advanced Analytics (Rotman FinHub) will create new classes and learning opportunities for students in financial innovation including machine learning and blockchain in the school’s MBA, Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management programs…

November 20, 2017

Rotman MBAS Win International Private Equity Competition

Toronto, ON – For the second week in a row a team of Full Time MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won a prestigious international competition. On Saturday, the Rotman students won the Rotterdam School of Management Private Equity Competition in Amsterdam defeating teams from INSEAD, IESE and Georgetown University in the final round. This year, the case involved candidates in a live transaction, centered around a 91-year old Dutch retailer, HEMA, where the private…

November 17, 2017

U of T celebrates the opening of One Spadina Crescent

Toronto, ON – Today, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design celebrated the official opening of its new home — the Daniels Building — at historic One Spadina Crescent. Located on the western edge of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus just north of College Street, the iconic neo-gothic building and stunning contemporary addition, currently nearing completion, is now poised to become an international focal point for education, research, and outreach on architecture, art, and the…

November 14, 2017

Rotman School Professor and Former Dean Named as Most Influential Management Thinker in the World

Toronto, ON – A professor and former Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was named as the number one management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers. Prof. Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School from 1998 to 2012, received the honour during an awards gala in London, UK last night. A second Rotman faculty member, Prof. Richard Florida placed 19th on the list of the top fifty…

November 13, 2017

Rotman MBA Students Win Kellogg Business Design Challenge

Toronto, ON – A team of MBA students from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge hosted by the Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation and Design Association. The long-running competition, which invites students to apply design thinking to a real-world business challenge, was opened up to teams outside the Kellogg School for the first time this year. The Rotman team, Lorem Ipsum, consisting of Full Time MBA students Amarpreet Kaur, MBA’19; Fifile Nguyen, MBA’19,…

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U of T in the News

Toronto Life | January 5, 2017

I had to decide whether to take my academic career to Canada. Donald Trump made it an easy choice

Jerry Flores of UTM discusses what influenced his decision to come to U of T. Read more. 

New York Times | January 4, 2017

The strange origin of a manakin’s golden crown

Alfredo Barrera-Guzmán and Jason Weir of UTSC explain how certain birds diversified into several distinct species. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | January 3, 2017

The school of hard Knox: A neglected Toronto architectural centrepiece gets its due

Richard Sommer, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, discusses his aspirations for One Spadina. Read more.