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Building and sustaining multifaceted partnerships is at the core of CivicLabTO. These collaborations engage City staff, post-secondary students, faculty and researchers to address complex city challenges. The city's higher education institutions lead a variety of initiatives focused on innovative intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary problem-solving. The City of Toronto is happy to partner with them by bringing key city priorities and staff to the table. Below are some examples of partner led programs that embody the spirit of CivicLabTO and helped bring it to life.

Humber College's Culture's Compass

Seeking to highlight themes that are relevant to the current arts and culture climate, Culture’s Compass is an exciting and free two-day conference showcasing a wide array of panelists, performers, and artists. This event is presented in partnership with the City of Toronto and cultural institutions across the city in order to continue conversations on the questions raised during the CivicLabTO Summit, giving students the opportunity to network and work alongside industry leaders.

Humber College & TinyTO

The City of Toronto and Humber College are working closely to re-imagine TinyTO, the 30-year-old scaled model of downtown Toronto on display in the lobby of City Hall. Multi-disciplinary teams of students are updating the physical model with a new concept that might be 3D, 2D, virtual, movable and flexible using data sets shared by the City of Toronto to meet the needs of the Toronto's City Planning department.

University of Toronto: Urban Challenge Grant Stakeholder Roundtables 

The University of Toronto's School of Cities Urban Challenge Grant 2.0 focused on funding 12 interdisciplinary proposals related to climate, justice, and cities. The successful projects are centred on themes including climate equity, data collection and governance, sustainable construction, conservation, and green space access. The City of Toronto collaborated with U of T to involve subject matter experts from the City's divisions in stakeholder roundtables aimed at building relationships, facilitating information sharing, and producing practical outputs for policy-making.  


Toronto Metropolitan University: AIMDay

Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) host AIMDay which brings together the public and private sectors and more than 45 researchers from post-secondary institutions to focus on the future of livable cities. Staff from the City of Toronto have presented key questions related to its strategic priorities as a way to explore some of the significant issues it is facing as we develop a sustainable and equitable city. Participants attended workshops and discussed new ways to approach challenges related to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Toronto. AIMDay provides connections across sectors and disciplines, with the potential to inform research and public policy. 


Initiated by Uppsala University in Sweden and utilized by leading universities around the world, AIMday – or Academic Industry Meeting day – is a unique and highly-effective global program that fosters opportunities for cooperation between external organizations and universities.

Humber College: Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge 

Humber College invited the City of Toronto to collaborate on the Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge, a virtual challenge to engage participants in the development of systemic and sustainable change as we rebuild following the pandemic. This initiative brought together over 550 students, faculty, and industry representatives to apply systems thinking to address societal challenges related to arts and culture, economic development, health and wellness, and social innovation. As a result of its success in 2021, Humber College’s Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge was awarded The PIEoneer Award for progressive education delivery, recognizing educational programming that is innovative, successful, and focused on the journey of 21st century students. 

York University: MobilizeTO  

York University led a 4-session, non-credit, course available to all CivicLabTO partners and City staff. The sessions to provide students, faculty, and staff with a deeper understanding of knowledge mobilization and was supported by City of Toronto staff speaking to the research policy and processes at the City. York University's knowledge mobilization staff provided attendees with information to support a self-directed learning environment that was developed through the MobilizeYU course. The sessions also offered the opportunity for attendees to access tools and resources to enhance the effectiveness of their research and community engagement activities. 

York University: Engaging with Government and Parliament – Lessons from Canada and the UK 

As part of the Engaging with Government and Parliament – Lessons from Canada and the UK webinar, York University leadership discussed engagement between universities and governments and shared valuable insights informed by CivicLabTO. This session brought together representatives from across Canada and the UK who are at the intersection of research and public policy to share thoughts on how to support collaboration and maximize the impact of research for communities. 

York University: The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum 

Research Impact Canada’s bi-annual Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum connects professionals, resources and best practices amongst those focused on knowledge mobilization. The 2022 forum, "Responding to New Realities: Learning from the past and present to inform the future" fosters engagement and learning to create change in our communities and features a discussion with York University and Centennial College on collaborations with the City of Toronto via CivicLabTO.  

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© 2021 CivicLabTO

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