Canvas—CivicAction’s 2019 Summit

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

Canvas, CivicAction’s 2019 Summit, was not only a huge event itself, but it also marked a period that saw almost 1200 civic designers, artists and collaborators from all sectors generate nearly 800 ideas to set our new action plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The day was centred on five of the pressing urban challenges in the GTHA: getting ready for the future of work, tackling housing affordability, preparing for extreme weather, preventing sex trafficking, and unlocking inclusive leadership.

Drawn Together for a Purpose gives a snapshot into Canvas and its related activities, from who was in the room to the key themes that emerged from discussions, and what’s ahead for Team Action.

Download the full report!

Catch up on the action | See the pictures | Watch the livestream | Read the news release

For a quick recap of the day see this “Partners for Impact” video from Deloitte, our Catalyst Partner

A Snapshot of the Day:

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?

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


Catalyst Partner

Presenting Partner




Media Partners

In-Kind Partners

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