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Message from the Director

Hello Urban Studies Students,  

I hope that you are settling in well to the new term and navigating what has been a bit of a confusing start to the term. The good news is that public health measures and the vaccine campaign have seemingly kept the 4th wave of COVID-19 from overwhelming our health system. If we continue to make progress, we should continue to see an easing of restrictions and movement down the path back to more things happening in person. That said, we need to continue to take precautions at this time – masking (especially indoors), maintaining social distancing when possible, staying home when you are unwell, etc. As a program, we will be easing back into adding in-person gatherings starting with a picnic with the professors – hosted by Urban Studies Student Union (URSSU) – on October 20th from noon to 1pm on the Innis Green (lawn behind the building). This is a great opportunity to meet the instructors teaching in the program, URSSU reps, our program coordinator, and your fellow students. A bit later in the fall, I will be hosting a session on applying to graduate school (and asking for letters of recommendation for your application) – details will follow shortly.  As always, we continue to look for ways to support the sense of community within the Urban Studies Program and welcome your ideas and suggestions on how to do this.  


Finally, I wanted to plug a new resource available to you through Innis College – as a student in an Innis Program. The College has recently hired an Assistant Dean, Community Wellness – Sana Imran. She is available to meet with you to discuss your wellness needs – you can reach here in the following ways: 


Telephone: 416-946-7681 

Book through: 


I am excited for the potential of this new academic year – undoubtedly there will be some challenges as we navigate these uncertain times – but we are committed to providing you the information and support you need to meet your academic goals.  


I hope to see you at the picnic next week,  

David Roberts 

Urban Studies Program 

Urban studies course gives U of T students a peek at Toronto City Hall's inner workings

Undergraduate students at the University of Toronto are getting an inside look at how municipal officials are dealing with the pandemic and other issues shaping urban life. Click here to learn more. 

Your Guide to Fall 2021 at U of T

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the University is continuing to monitor public health guidance daily to ensure the safety and well-being of the community. From continuing with enhanced cleaning to improved ventilation, click here to read more on how U of T is facilitating a safe return to campus. 

Can a ‘problem’ be a solution? U of T’s School of Cities rethinks Toronto’s aging apartment towers

Once touted as a haven of middle-class living, click here to learn more on how high-rise buildings are increasingly viewed as anti-urban and an obstacle to further densification in Toronto.

Waterfront Toronto Welcomes Indigenous Design Expert Matthew Hickey to Design Review Panel

To further integrate Indigenous history and culture into project designs of waterfront revitalization, Matthew Hickey has been selected as the panel’s first Indigenous Design Expert. Click here to read more.

USP Winter 2022 Course Offerings

Still looking for a course for next term? Here are a couple of Winter 2022 USP courses with available spaces. View the Arts and Science 2021-2022 Timetable here.

JGU216H1: Globalization and Urban Change

URB339H1: Divided City / United City

The School of Cities’ Small Grants Program supports knowledge mobilization and translation, public policy engagement, curricular innovations, and other activities that address urban issues and contribute to efforts that make cities more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just. Examples include, but are not limited to, public engagement events and initiatives, community-informed interventions, conferences and symposia, art practice and creative pedagogies, and teaching & learning activities.

This year, the School of Cities welcomes applications for projects addressing the intersection of urban vulnerability and climate change and adaptation. Click here to learn more


The Urban Studies Student Union's (URSSU) Undergraduate Journal of Urban Studies is currently recruiting 6 editors and calling for papers. 

Editor applications are open to any person registered with the Faculty of Arts and Science. Applicants who have knowledge or are enrolled in Urban Studies courses will be preferred. 

DenCITY will be accepting paper submissions for its 2021 edition for students who are interested in urban issues and affairs. Click here to learn more.

Evergreen: Volunteering

Evergreen’s volunteers are vital to make our cities flourish. They are city builders who support a host of projects and programs at Evergreen Brick Works (Toronto) and across the country.

The volunteers will receive training and learning opportunities, regular communications, ongoing support and appreciation. They also have opportunities to provide input and to grow, with opportunities for leadership roles. Click here to learn more

Picnic with Profs

Oct. 20, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. EDT

URSSU will be hosting 'Picnic with Profs' on October 20th from 12-1PM. Come on out to the Innis Green for an opportunity to meet Urban Studies professors and students at a fun and relaxed picnic event. Snacks and games will be provided. Scan the QR code or click on this link to RSVP to the event on Facebook.

CivicLabTO Discussion Series: Stronger, Safer, More Just Communities

Oct. 14, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EDT

This discussion focuses on better understanding the youth justice system and community well-being. Starting with the relationship between colonialism and racism on the youth justice system in Ontario, the discussion explores the impacts on Indigenous, Black and Equity-Deserving Communities in Toronto. Whether it's about violence prevention, policing, courts, government-run or community-led safety programs, we ask what needs to be put in place for stronger, safer and more just communities for Toronto's youth. Click here to register

Panelists include: 
Miriam Henry, Assistant Crown Attorney, Crown Lead, Toronto Northwest Justice Center, Ministry of Attorney General.

Joanna Duarte Laudon, Policy Development Officer, Social Development, Finance and Administration, City of Toronto.

Olusola Olumogba, Founder & Executive Director, Direct Your Life / Critical Period Interventionist.

Rawle Elliott, Faculty at Centennial College – Indigenous Studies, former community board member at the Afro-Canadian Legal Clinic and Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

Clara Ganemtoré, Policy Development Officer, Social Development, Finance and Administration, City of Toronto. 
Laura Arndt, Chief Operating Officer at the Survivors’ Secretariat, Six Nations of the Grand River, former Chair of Indigenous and Access Program Innovation at Centennial College. 

CivicLabTO Academic Summit

Nov. 23 and 24 

Over two days in November, the CivicLabTO Academic Summit will provide academic partner faculty, staff and students, City staff and government representatives the opportunity to join a series of free, virtual panel discussions featuring leaders from academia and the City of Toronto as they develop the creative problem-solving capacity within the city to address the challenges faced in Toronto. Click here to learn more

Discussion Themes: 

  • Arts, Culture and Recovery
  • Climate Change and Green Recovery 
  • Economic Resiliency 
  • Planning and Adapting Public Space 
  • Public Health
  • Stronger, Safer, More Just Communities
  • Technology, Innovation and Equity 
  • Transit and Transportation 

Reconfiguring Future Urban Infrastructures: Graduate Symposium

Oct. 28, 29

The COVID-19 crisis has put urban infrastructure under the spotlight. New questions on the ways we build (and build back) infrastructure in cities are now front and centre globally. Faced with a combination of economic, environmental, health and social challenges, cities are learning from each other, experimenting and innovating with strategies in an increasingly uncertain world. 

This webinar series brings together speakers from the three universities to discuss the future role of infrastructure in cities. Click here to learn more

Applying to Grad School? Here are some helpful links for Urbanists: 

Dalhousie University
Master of Planning

McGill University 
Master of Urban Planning (MUP)

Queen's University 
Graduate Degree Programs

Ryerson University 
Master of Planning in Urban Development (MPI)

Simon Fraser University 
Masters of Urban Studies

University of British Columbia
Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP)
MA/MSc in Planning
Masters of Engineering Leadership (MEL) Urban Systems

University of Toronto
Master of Global Affairs
Master of Public Policy 
MSc in Urban Planning
Master of Urban Innovation

University of Waterloo
Master of Arts in Planning (MA)

York University 
Master in Environmental Studies (MES)
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Copyright © 2021 University of Toronto,
Urban Studies Program

Room 223E, Innis College, University of Toronto
2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5
Prepared by Khulan Enkhbold, Urban Studies Research and Communications Assistant
All rights reserved.
Contact Us:
[P] 416-946-7107

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Urban Studies Newsletter · 2 Sussex Avenue · Toronto, ON M5S 1J5 · Canada

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