Canvas—CivicAction’s 2019 Summit

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

Catch up on the action

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On April 29th, Canvas brought together hundreds of civic leaders from all sectors to sketch, colour, and frame our next four years of action. It was a unique opportunity for leaders from all sectors, communities, and experiences to help CivicAction mold new solutions for five pressing urban challenges: getting ready for the future of work, tackling housing affordability, preparing for extreme weather, preventing sex trafficking, and unlocking inclusive leadership.

On the same day, we partnered with IBM to host a Civic Design Jam where we put people at the centre of solutions for Preparing for the Future of Work and Unlocking Inclusive Cities. 

Topics on the Canvas palette:

Prime your perspective on the key issues that were on the table at Canvas 2019 and brush up on the facts by checking out our Frame It sheets and videos below. 

The Frame It sheets have been developed in partnership with the University of Toronto’s Urban Policy Lab.

Future of Work: Life in the Skills Lane

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

Get the Frame It sheet

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.

Get the Frame It sheet

We live in one of the most diverse regions in the world, but senior executives, boardrooms, and elected officials still do not reflect that.

How might we remove the barriers to inclusion that are standing in the way of diversity in government, non-profit, and corporate leadership roles?

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.

Get the Frame It sheet

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.

Get the Frame It sheet

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 broaden housing options, including increasing 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.

Get the Frame It sheet

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




Media Partners

In-Kind Partners

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