The City of Toronto requires that developers host public community meetings to help guide site and neighbourhood development. Sometimes these meetings are productive, sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re well promoted, sometimes no one shows up.
With every new development, especially in downtown Toronto, there seems to be some push back from locals. The City is no stranger to NIMBYism. Perhaps simple community meetings aren’t enough.
Sidewalk Toronto, an ambitious, tech-forward project on Toronto’s east waterfront that made waves last year, is raising the bar for public engagement.
Public roundtable meetings
On March 20th, Sidewalk Toronto is hosting the first of a series of public roundtable meetings. Like your average community meetings, the roundtable series is an opportunity for the public to share ideas, receive updates, express concerns, and address other potential challenges.
The roundtable takes things to a different level by breaking up the crowd into smaller groups for discussion so they can distill your ideas and get the most out of each meeting.
The first roundtable meeting will take place at the Globe and Mail Centre from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. No ticket required.
Public talk series
The first public talk will feature Skye Duncan of NACTO, Gil Penalosa of 8-80 Cities, and Shin-pei Tsay of the Gehl Institute on March 27th.
The discussions will focus on how to build complete streets, use technology to its full potential, and how other leading cities are incorporating smart tech in their infrastructure. The goal of Sidewalk Toronto is to build streets that work for everyone.
The first of the public talk series will take place at the Fleck Dance Theatre at 6:30 pm. Reserve your free ticket!
Sidewalk Toronto Fellow
The young are our future, so Sidewalk Toronto wants to make sure their opinion is taken into consideration. The Fellow program will take 12 people aged 19-24 and send them off to New York, Boston, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Vancouver to experience and research how these leading cities are revitalizing their waterfronts and using new urban technology.
Applications close March 9th, so jump on this if you’re interested!
Residents Reference Panel
Sidewalk Toronto mailed out 20,000 invitations to random households across the city. The invitations are to volunteer to be on the Residents Reference Panel. 36 Torontonians will be selected to sit on the Panel, which will help guide the planning of Sidewalk Toronto.
This is just a handful of the ways Sidewalk Toronto is engaging the public. With this much engagement and openness to the public, you have no excuse or reason to complain. If you have issues with the project or perhaps an amazing idea to share, make sure you get involved!
Here are a few more ways you can get involved with Sidewalk Toronto and make sure your voice is heard.