Canvas—CivicAction’s 2019 Summit

Complex challenges need multi-layered solutions.
Collective action is the answer.

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In April, Canvas will bring together hundreds of civic leaders from all sectors to sketch, colour, and frame our next four years of action. It’s a unique opportunity for leaders from all sectors, communities, and experiences to help CivicAction mold new solutions for five pressing urban challenges: natural disasters and extreme weather, the future of work, inclusion in leadership, sex trafficking, and affordable housing.

There will be opportunities for everyone to submit ideas and perspectives on what action we can take.

Stay tuned for ways to get engaged.

Topics on the Canvas palette:

Future of Work: Life in the Skills Lane

By 2029, over 25% of jobs in Canada will be affected by automation.

Automation, the rise of part-time and contract work, artificial intelligence, and other major shifts are transforming work in the GTHA. How might we equip workers, especially youth, with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in this new reality and engage employers, governments, and educational institutions in the solutions?

Inclusion: Unlocking Inclusive Cities

In 2017, racialized people accounted for 17.2% of seats in agencies, boards, and commissions in the GTA.

We live in the most diverse region in the world, but senior leadership (e.g. in executive teams, boardrooms, and elected offices) still does not reflect that.

What are the barriers preventing diverse populations from accessing senior leadership roles, and how might we remove these barriers to inclusion?

Sex Trafficking: Human, Not Capital

In 2016, almost a quarter of Canada’s police-reported human trafficking cases occurred in Toronto’s Census Metropolitan Area.

Sex trafficking, when people are tricked or forced into sex work, is underreported and misunderstood in the GTHA. Individuals and organizations in government, non-profit, and corporate sectors are working to stop it. How might we reinforce these efforts and build new partnerships to improve awareness and prevent sex trafficking in the GTHA?

Housing: Reframing Where and How We Live

42% of young professionals are considering leaving the region because of the high cost of housing.

The housing affordability crisis threatens our quality of life. As the region’s rental vacancy rates hit new lows and the cost of housing rises, increasing residential density can help house a growing urban population. How might we create the conditions to increase density within existing neighbourhoods more evenly across our cities to unlock this untapped potential?

Natural Disaster and Extreme Weather: ResilienCity

Toronto’s analysis of the impact of climate change predicts a four-fold spike in heatwaves, a tripling of high temperature days and more than a doubling of rainfall volumes over the next 20–30 years.

Extreme weather events such as flash floods and heat waves are becoming more frequent and pose a growing threat to the wellbeing of GTHA businesses, people, and communities. How might we reduce risk, increase preparedness, and enhance our ability to recover from extreme weather events?

A Look Back: Better City Bootcamp

Every four years we gather leaders from across the GTHA to help us build a new action plan to tackle the issues keeping our region up at night. Curious to see what we did at our Better City Bootcamp, our 2015 Summit? Check it out here.

Special thank you to our Canvas – Summit 2019 Event Partners: 


Catalyst Partner

Presenting Partner




Presenting Media Partners

In-Kind Partners