Midway through Toronto’s extended mayoral election campaign, and recognizing the urgency of addressing the challenges associated with Canada’s rapid population growth, CityAge Toronto: The Next 10 Million convened a gathering of exceptional thought leaders and industry experts.
Against the vibrant backdrop of Canada’s largest metropolitan region, roughly 150 attendees tackled this fundamental question: How can Canada build better cities to accommodate its rapidly expanding population while maintaining urban livability?
The resounding success of CityAge Toronto, sponsored by SNC-Lavalin, CIB, Concordia, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria & Urban Toronto, demonstrated the remarkable power of collaborative problem-solving and affirmed our shared dedication to building resilient and prosperous cities for all.
During the program, CityAge went beyond traditional presentations and panels by hosting engaging breakout sessions, conducted under the Chatham House Rule, to foster in-depth conversations and generate a comprehensive list of priorities specifically tailored to Toronto.
By encouraging group participation and networking, the breakout session ensured that all attendees had their voice heard and contributed to a collaborative discussion.
CityAge Toronto attendees outlined the following top 10 priorities to tackle issues arising from Toronto’s historic growth rate.
Set ambitious targets for the electrification of Toronto’s public transit system, aiming to achieve full electrification by 2030 to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and demonstrate its commitment to combating climate change as its population continues to expand.
Rapidly develop electric vehicle infrastructure by investing in charging stations, promoting home charging, and retrofitting existing buildings to accommodate EV needs, preparing the city for a greener future.
Invest in diverse labor forces and multicultural spaces, reinforcing Toronto’s reputation as North America’s most multicultural city and ensuring a welcoming urban environment for a growing population.
Establish open standards for data anonymity and sharing, positioning Toronto at the forefront of the global smart city movement while ensuring data privacy for its citizens in a digital era.
Dismantle outdated infrastructure and invest in community-focused transportation solutions to create a more cohesive and accessible urban environment for an expanding population.
Focus on climate-adaptive, transit-oriented development to reduce Toronto’s environmental footprint and promote sustainability amid rapid population growth.
Champion electrification and develop innovative transit solutions to reduce emissions, promote sustainable living, and encourage walking, cycling, and public transportation as Toronto’s population surges and while sunsetting internal combustion engine vehicles.
Repurpose underutilized commercial properties into affordable residential units, contribution to urban revitalization and addressing housing scarcity in a rapidly expanding city.
Create affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing solutions that reflect Toronto’s multicultural identity and empower citizens through equitable home ownership opportunities.
Encourage the development of diverse, multi-unit dwellings to bridge the gap between single-family homes and high-rise condos, addressing the housing needs of a rapidly growing population.
Read the full report from CityAge Toronto: Canada's Next 10 Million here.