Civic Commons Learning Journey:


Project Objective

To experience public places and neighborhoods in Toronto that bring civic engagement and
socioeconomic mixing to life.

Info / Share
  • Date: 2018
  • City: Toronto, ON
  • Client: Reimagining the Civic Commons

In July 2018, 8 80 Cities hosted the Civic Commons Learning Journey in Toronto. This study tour brought a delegation of American city leaders to vibrant public spaces across Toronto that bring civic engagement and socioeconomic mixing to life.

Day one of the tour included a keynote address from Jennifer Keesmaat, former Chief Planner of Toronto, as well as site visits to Dufferin Grove Park, Scadding Court Community Center, Regent Park, and 401 Richmond.

The second day began with a tour of Thorncliffe Park where dedicated residents have created a vibrant public space that provides economic opportunity. Later that day, we visited The Bentway to witness the transformation of ageing infrastructure into people places, the Fort York Library to learn how modern libraries foster civic engagement, and ended at Sidewalk Labs to hear about tech-driven approaches to public space design and planning.

The tour capped off with a group bike ride through the historic Distillery District, Corktown Common and the Lower Don River Trail to Evergreen Brick Works. Following a tour of the Brick Works site, participants had the opportunity to learn from public servants and advocates from across Toronto and the province of Ontario working towards similar goals in the Canadian civic commons.

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