Toronto Civics 101

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thought Exchange: Urban Voter Series

The Toronto Public Library is hosting free lectures and discussions on civic issues in preparation for the upcoming municipal election. See below for topics and times. Stay informed and join the discussion!

Satisfy your curiousity with an eclectic collection of lectures and discussions across the city.

Ageing in the City: Is Toronto an Age-Friendly Community?
Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing
Glenn R. Miller, Canadian Urban Institute
Moderator: Susan Eng, CARP
Wed. Sept. 15, 7 pm
Toronto Reference Library

Toronto Divided: Update on the “Three Cities”
J. David Hulchanski, Centre for Urban and Community Studies
Tam Goosen, Urban Alliance on Race Relations
Moderator: Myer Siemiatycki, Ryerson University
Tues. Sept. 21, 7pm
North York Central Library

What’s the Plan?: Revitalization and the Road Ahead
John Lorinc, journalist,
Derek Ballantyne, BuildToronto
Marian Mohamud, Lawrence Heights resident and advocate
Beth Milroy, Ryerson University
Wed. Sept. 29, 7pm
Toronto Reference Library

Show me the Money: How to Fund Toronto’s Competing Priorities
Carol Wilding, Toronto Board of Trade
Winnie Ng, Toronto & York Region Labour Council
Moderator: Myer Siemiatycki, Ryerson University
Tues. Oct. 5, 7pm
North York Central Library

For more info, visit:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Resources for Ongoing Engagement

The first Toronto Civics 101 program has drawn to a close. Thank you again to all who participated in the program. We hope you gained some new knowledge about the City, and a desire to get involved in your community.

Below is a list of online resources you may be interested in using to continue your learning about civic issues and get involved in City initiatives. If you know an online resource that others might find useful, please share it in the Comments section of this posting.

City of Toronto Websites

Civic Engagement
On these pages you will be able to learn about how the City works, find resources on civic engagement, connect to City programs and services and find out about past and current public consultations.

City of Toronto Consultations
The City regularly holds consultations on a variety of projects and topics. This site provides a listing of current consultations, with information on public meetings and how you can participate.

This site has the latest information on the 2010 municipal election, including candidates, the voting process, employment opportunities and a calendar of events.

Public Appointments
Are you someone who wants to make a difference in the community? Do you have the time, talent and enthusiasm that the City is looking for? Do you believe in open and accountable government? We need residents of Toronto to serve on high profile, challenging and exciting boards of directors for City agencies. Opportunities to serve may be posted throughout the term of Council, so please visit the Current opportunities on a regular basis.

E-updates and news feeds (RSS)
You can subscribe to City of Toronto e-mail updates (including an electronic newsletter “City Update”) and RSS feeds on a variety of topics. Get news as it happens and stay current on City services and programs. See also City twitter accounts and official blogs.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Find City Consultations on Google Maps

We're experimenting with posting City of Toronto consultations on Google maps. A text listing of the consultations (upcoming and past) is available on the City's website at

Here is the link to the test mapping site.

Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Saying goodbye to Toronto Civics 101 - 2009

On behalf of the staff team who planned, developed and ran the inaugural Toronto Civics 101 I'd like to thank all of you for your participation and for making our first attempt so successful.

We has some worries (would anyone apply?), some bumps along the way (how come the videos of each session couldn't be viewed by everyone?), excitement (meeting session participants and anticipating how you would react to each session) and some wistfulness when we said good by to all of you and to the last session.

We are sifting through all of the evaluations and will be posting summaries in the next few weeks here and on the City's website. Many of you have commented that you enjoyed the program, would like to continue to learn about the City and recommend a similar opportunity for other Torontonians - we'll be figuring out our plans for 2010 soon - and will be in touch with you over the coming months.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guest Blogger - Toronto Civics 101 Final Session: Grassroots

~ Guest Bloggers can submit posts to this site - the opinions of the authors are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the postion of the City of Toronto, Civic Engagement Toronto or Toronto Civics 101. ~

The following post comes to us from Adil Dhalla:

Do you demand more from your government?

I do and I have often felt that by demanding more, I was doing my leaders somewhat of a service. Having high expectations, after all, may be considered foolish by some but it can also be a flattering indication of one's perceived potential. I know my city is consistently ranked among the world's best but like many, I have this prevailing feeling that we can be better. It’s for this reason why I originally applied for Civics 101 - to determine whether or not my expectations were flattering or in fact foolish. It turns out that they were indeed flattering but rather than finding myself demanding more from City Hall, I'm now demanding more from us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Discussion Topics for Session 6 - Preliminary List

Listed below are topics proposed for small group discussion during Session 6 of Toronto Civics 101. These topics have been submitted by participants and City staff. In some cases, similar discussion topics submitted have been synthesized into a single topic.

New topics can still be submitted by posting a comment here or sending an email to up to the start of discussions on December 3.

1. Next Steps - Post Toronto Civics 101
Now that you have completed Toronto Civics 101 and gained this information – what will you do with it? Discuss your plans with your fellow participants.

2. Compare Notes on Organizing with Social Media
Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are some of the tools gaining popularity to communicate with and organize people with common interests. Share your stories about using these tools.

3. Volunteering Stories
Volunteering is one way to get involved in your community and contribute to your City. Discuss some of your lessons from volunteering experiences.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Session 5 - Themed Report on Elections Exercise

Attached are images of the themed report on the elections exercise participants discussed during Session 5. There were two questions asked during the exercise:

1. What influences your decision to vote?
2. What is the one thing that you think would increase voter turnout in Toronto?

Themes that emerged from question 1:
1. Youth Outreach
2. Special Day, Date and Time
3. Making the issues relevant to Citizens
4. Fines or Incentives
5. Education, information, awareness and Advertising
6. Hold Candidates/ Elections Accountable and Civic Duty
7. Representative Electorate
8. Other

Themes that emerged from question 2:
1. Duty, Rights and Privilege
2. Local or Critical Issue
3. The Candidate
4. Don't vote
5. Each Vote Makes a Difference
6. Good Information
7. Political Platforms
8. Other