Recent News

On the heels of Federal and Provincial Budgets, City-builders flex their muscles at CivicAction’s Better City Bootcamp

TORONTO (April 29, 2015) – “It’s time to convert ‘chit-chat’ into action” say city-builders from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who took part in yesterday’s 2015 CivicAction Summit – Better City Bootcamp.

The day was about getting the region into shape and putting words to work as participants rolled up their sleeves to develop actionable solutions to urban health challenges. “CivicAction summits are a once-in-every-four-years opportunity to surface and address emerging urban challenges,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “It is a launch-pad for needed regional action on factors that contribute to the health of our people and communities.”

Better City Bootcamp focused on five foundational issues and opportunities at the core of our region’s health and resilience: housing affordability for seniors, the growing need for mental health support, childhood health, tomorrow’s infrastructure needs, and public space.

Rod Phillips, Chair of CivicAction said, “The Summit is the gas that will fuel CivicAction and the region for the next four years.” At the end of the day he set the stage for action by identifying key findings generated by participants, which will help form the organization’s priorities and will also be part of a summary of the day and outcomes released here in the coming weeks.

Participants heard from The Honourable Lisa Raitt, PC, MP, Minister of Transport, The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, MPP, Premier of Ontario, and His Worship John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto, as well as from experts and leaders across the region, including Michelle E. DiEmanuele, President and CEO, Trillium Health Partners; Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO, Wellesley Institute; Curt Harnett, Chef de Mission, Team Canada, Toronto 2015 Pan American Games; and Karen Pitre, Special Advisor to the Premier on Community Hubs. For a full list of summit program speakers and sessions from the day, click here.

“The health and prosperity of the GTHA, and the hard-working families that comprise its many communities, are always top of mind in our government,” said Minister Raitt. “CivicAction’s summit is an excellent forum to discuss the initiatives and strategies that help make great cities greater, and for our government to outline how and why it is a major partner and contributor in the GTHA’s success.”

Better City Bootcamp engaged more people than ever before with two satellite locations in Rexdale and Scarborough and an interactive livestream of the day. More than 200 residents from across the region virtually “laced up” and contributed to shaping the region’s future. All played a role in making the GTHA a better place to live and work and Better City Bootcamp provided the platform to do it.

“Better City Bootcamp showed how diverse, regional collaboration can lead to new partnerships, and serves as an excellent example for communities across Ontario,” said Premier Wynne. “Our government is working with its partners to build the GTHA and Ontario up, through such initiatives as our investment of more than $130 billion in transit, transportation and other public infrastructure — the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history.”

CivicAction doesn’t just launch its own initiatives, it helps to put the wind in the sails of others. A great example of this was seen at Better City Bootcamp’s Civic Marketplace – where regional organizations showcased their incredible work and maximized impact by connecting with others working towards similar goals. This unique opportunity for civic leaders and organizations to network will pave the way for dynamic partnerships and collaborations across the GTHA.

“As mayor and former chair of CivicAction, I am committed to promoting Toronto as a hub for technology and innovation.” says Mayor John Tory. “If we’re going to tackle some of our region’s biggest challenges, we’re going to need an all-hands-on-deck approach. Better City Bootcamp set the stage for collaborative initiatives that will aim to benefit all Torontonians.”




Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

CivicAction would like to acknowledge all 2015 CivicAction – Better City Bootcamp Partners for their support. A special thank you to our Presenting Summit Partners the Friends of Toronto Hospital NICU’s, the Government of Ontario, Mattamy Homes, and Trillium Health Partners, as well as our Media Partners Metroland Media and Toronto Star.


About CivicAction

For over a decade, CivicAction has played the role of neutral sandbox, bringing together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. CivicAction is in the business of building partnerships and taking action through campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. CivicAction Summits bring leaders together to assess the region’s strengths and challenges and to identify priority areas for attention. In the periods between Summits, CivicAction takes a role in incubating innovative initiatives designed to galvanize action in these priority areas. Better City Bootcamp was the fourth CivicAction Summit since 2003. For more information, visit:, or follow us on Twitter @CivicActionGTA.

For more information, please contact:

Dorenda McNeil                                                          Sarah Harris

Counsel Public Relations                                            Director, Communications                                 

416-961-5898 x 216                                                    416-309-4480 x 508

C: 416-300-0269                                                         C: 647-267-4997