About the CivicLabTO Academic Summit

November 23rd & 24th

Over two days in November, the CivicLabTO Academic Summit will provide academic partner faculty, staff and students, City staff and government representatives the opportunity to join a series of free, virtual panel discussions featuring leaders from academia and the City of Toronto as they develop the creative problem-solving capacity within the city to address the challenges faced in Toronto.

The sessions will highlight how our research collaborations generate grounded research and stronger public policy development in the ever-changing urban area.


The following thematic areas form the pillars of the City's coordinated recovery and rebuild efforts and serve as the focal point for the Summit sessions: 

  • Public Health  

  • Planning and Adapting Public Space 

  • Stronger, Safer, More Just Communities

  • Arts, Culture and Recovery 

  • Transit and Transportation 

  • Technology, Innovation and Equity 

  • Climate Change and Green Recovery 

  • Economic Resiliency 

Building Back Better: An Equity Lens 

A focus on equity will be essential to Toronto's approach to recovery and its ability to build resilience.  Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto working with its partners had developed and implemented various equity-related strategies and commitments to strive to ensure Toronto is a leader in fairness and equity. COVID-19 has highlighted existing inequities through the disproportionately negative social, economic and health impacts on vulnerable communities, potentially setting back the progress that was being made through the implementation of Toronto's varied actions. As we enter into the recovery phase, unless we design for equity and inclusion, the very people who were disproportionately affected by stresses before the pandemic will become more vulnerable.

As a connecting thread, interwoven throughout the summit, the panel discussions will speak to the equity related work and opportunities within these thematic areas and address important questions such as:  

  • How is an equity perspective central to and/or considered in the work you are speaking to today? 

  • What are examples of tools or approaches you are using to integrate a population focus, neighbourhood focus and other equity related considerations to this work? 

  • Are there any data gaps present in this space, particularly if we are going to make an impact on Toronto residents, given the inequities we know exist? 

  • Whose voice is and needs to be at the table to ensure full perspectives? 


Schedule subject to change. Details on subject matter, panelists and registration will be added closer to the Summit.

November 23, 2021

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

9:00 am – 9:30 am


9:30 am - 10:00 am

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

10:00 am - 11:15 am

Interdisciplinary Approach to Building Back Better

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Economic Resiliency

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

1:30pm - 3:00 pm

Arts, Culture and Recovery

1:30pm - 3:00 pm

Technology, Innovation and Equity

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

November 24, 2021

9:00 am – 9:30 am


9:30 am - 11:00 am

Public Health

9:30 am - 11:00 am

Housing and Homelessness

11:00 am - 11:30 am

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Transit and Transportation

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Climate Change and Green Recovery

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Stronger, Safer, More Just Communities

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Planning and Adapting Public Spaces

3:45pm - 4:15 pm

Arts & Cultural programming, Student Showcase

4:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Closing & Next Steps