Toronto is not a stop over

If we pull the lens out a bit, and take a more global perspective, the reality is that despite our challenges, people come to our city.   Many people.  55,000 people a year.  Over 50% of our population is foreign born, and you would be hard pressed to find a Torontonian who does not recognize this as one of our greatest assets.

Why do people come? To use the rationale of Doug Saunders, in Arrival City, we do a pretty good job of assimilating new arrivals with a clear sense of opportunity and in spite of the challenges in our priority neighbourhoods. Not only is this a great gift that we offer Canada, but it is a great gift that we offer the world.     continue reading

Welcome to Own Your City

Welcome to my new blog, Own Your City. Own Your City is an invitation, to you. It’s a request for your presence, for your participation, in taking ownership over the city that you call home. Just as a great city offers so many choices for its residents and visitors, a broad variety of perspectives and inputs hold the potential to elevate our planning processes, and profoundly shape the city we are building together.   We do have some mechanisms to do this — public meetings, open houses, advisory groups  — but we need to figure out how to do it much, much better.

That’s where you — and OwnYourCity.ca — come in.

To open the conversation, we need to generate access to good information, data and evidence.  You’ll notice that at Toronto.ca you can access reports, documents, studies and decisions.  They can be a little hard to find, but spending some time figuring out how to penetrate the site and identify what you need is worthwhile and rewarding.  There’s great stuff on there.

OwnYourCity.ca will not replicate Toronto.ca but will provide a different layer of insight and perspective, and at times respond to the media, current issues, and your postings.  I’ll do this in my blogs.    continue reading