Planners in Public Spaces
"The planner is in!"
What is Office Hours?
In previous years, Planners in Public Spaces was only a summer event series, however starting in 2015 it has been expanded to a full year program. One component of the full year program is the implementation of a new engagement series called "Office Hours".
Office Hours is a public engagement idea that came out of City Planning's Youth Engagement Strategy Research Group. Our group of youth researchers found that young people would like to engage planners in convenient locations, like libraries.
Office Hour events are non-statutory, casual pop-up events located indoors during colder months of the year. All citizens are welcome to stop by our tables to speak to city planning staff.
These events will provide organic opportunities to interact with community planners and will happen in those special neighbourhood places that act as living arenas for civic interaction like libraries, recreation centres, coffee shops and other meeting spots. Most will feature a specific local planning study and will have the area community planner and other planning staff on hand to speak with interested members of the public.
Please see the schedule for upcoming events.
Planners in Public Spaces is a public engagement initiative started by City Planning in 2013 in order to advance actionable items of its Strategic Plan, under the Strategic Direction for Clear, Consistent and Compelling Communication.
The basic purpose of Planners in Public Spaces is to bring planners to the people and provide opportunities for the public to engage with City Planners, one-on-one, on issues that affect the City and specific concerns they may have about development and policy in the city.
Planners in Public Spaces format is simple. We bring a tent, a table, some planning material and a bunch of planners and set up in parks, recreation centres and some special events like farmers' markets or festivals. Then we are ready to chat with anyone with a question or comment.
To engage with the people of Toronto by going to where people are in order to increase residents' access to planners, reach people who don't attend our traditional public consultations, and advance the public's understanding of planning with the intention of increasing future citizen participation in the planning process.
LEARN – To actively listen and learn from what we hear.
TEACH – To promote understanding of planning.
PARTNER - To promote dialogue and collaboration.
CONTRIBUTE - To give our energy, time and skills to address various needs in the communities we serve.
INNOVATE - To engage the public in a variety of ways; to reach segments of the public City Planning doesn't usually engage; and to attract people to events using new methods and tools.
WHO MAKES UP PLANNERS IN PUBLIC SPACES?
Planners in Public Spaces is organized and run by City Planning staff volunteers from each of the four districts across the city. More than 65 planners from Community Planning, Parks, Transportation Planning, Strategic Initiatives Policy and Analysis, Heritage, Urban Design and Graphics, and Committee of Adjustment make up this year's volunteer base.
Planners in Public Spaces is always interested in partnership opportunities or requests to attend community events. For more information, contact Ms. Sipo Maphangoh, Chair, Planners in Public Spaces, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children's Discovery Centre - September 19, 2015
City Hall 50th Anniversary - Nathan Phillip's Square September 13, 2015 - 12pm to 5pm
Planners in Public Spaces will be outside on the square hosting two activities:
1) Build the City of Your Dreams - Planners in Public Spaces invites Lego-lovers of all ages to come and see master builders build a replica of City Hall and help build a city around it. In partnership with LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
2) City VR: A Portable Virtual Reality Kiosk to Imagine the Future – In its first demonstration with City Planning, Imagine My City will be at the Planners in Public Spaces tent to showcase its virtual reality (VR) technology. The team will assist the public in using their smart phones to experience virtual immersive views of Nathan Phillip Square.
In partnership with Imagine My City
Etobicoke Civic Centre Farmers' Market - September 12, 2015
St. James Town Community Festival - September 12, 2015 - 11am to 6pm
Villa Charities - Columbus Centre - September 10, 2015
Uptown Farmers Market - September 3, 2015 - 3pm to 5pm
Toronto Community Housing Corporation - Conservation Fair - August 27, 2015
Toronto Community Housing Corporation - Conservation Fair - August 25, 2015
University of Toronto Farmer's Market – August 19, & September 16, 2015
Taste of Regent Park Farmers Market – August 19, 2015 – 5:30pm-8:30pm
Marlee Ville Festival – August 12, 2015
Davisville Farmers' Market, Cause Day – August 4, 2015 – 3pm-7pm
Mimico GO station – July 28, 2015 – 3pm-6pm
Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays – July 26, 2015 – 12pm-7pm
Kew Gardens Park – July 24, 2015 – 11am-5pm
Pasta E. Fagioli Festival – July 23, 2015 – 5 pm – 8 pm – Columbus Centre Picnic Grounds
Planners in Public Spaces attended MPP Mike Colle's 20th Annual Community BBQ and Pasta e Fagioli Festival, the world's largest Pasta e Fagioli Fest!
Weston Farmers' Market – July 18, 2015 – Etobicoke
On an absolutely perfect summer day, Planners in Public Spaces (PiPS) partnered with the City's Complete Streets Study Team (Transportation Services) and Transit Implementation Unit (Transportation Planning) to attend the Weston Farmers' Market. As the PiPS team arrived at 8:00 a.m. to set-up, the market was already humming with many vendors and shoppers filling the parking lot on John Street in Weston.
During our 6 hours at the market, hundreds of shoppers came and went with approximately 100 people stopping by the City Planning tent to speak on a variety of topics. Many people were interested in the site plans for the Artscape Weston Village community cultural hub development, future transit expansion across Toronto and Metrolinx's continuing work on the new Weston GO Station. Residents were impressed with the ideas and concepts behind the Complete Streets movement and were optimistic that they could be applied to some area streets around Weston.
Local area City Councillor Frances Nunziata also stopped by to say hello as she handed out City of Toronto pins to the residents.
Me Day Multicultural Festival – July 18, 2015 – Scarborough Village Park
Planners in Public Spaces, Scarborough team, attended the ME Multi-Cultural Community Festival that was held on July 18th in Scarborough Village – which is the Recipe of Community site for 2014-2015. The Recipe for Community is a Toronto Foundation and City of Toronto initiative to build areas of the City from the ground up by using four main ingredients as follows: 1. Community Engagement and Capacity Building, 2. Food, 3. Community Gathering and 4. Neighbourhood Beautification. There was certainly an abundance of ALL ingredients at the ME Multi-Cultural Community Festival.
Over 120 people stopped by our PiPS booth and shared their experiences and thoughts with planners on the development of Toronto and potential improvements for the area. Free food (burgers and hot dogs) were offered for the revellers, vendors and the many event volunteers. Scarborough Village Park was transformed with many colourful and festive displays by vendors and community agencies. Local entertainers showcased their talents on stage while TIFF closed a successful day with the wonderful film, "Khumba".
PANAMANIA – Nathan Phillips Square – July 15, 2015
Planners in Public Spaces partnered with the students at Maximum City for this event. Planners and Maximum City students were side-by-side on a beautiful sunny day talking to residents, workers and visitors alike about Toronto's Next Big Idea. Student created 3D models of future cityscapes, some 150 years into the future, that depicted a spectrum of ideas spanning from mixed uses that include everything from residential to cultural uses within one intersection, to futuristic pods that transport people high above the ground when streets are removed and used for pedestrians only. It was fitting that visitors from all over the world listens to students' ideas and provided feedback and their own ideas from their home countries. Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat stopped by and was very impressed with what the students had created. When students left, city planners remained to chat with people on square. Over 200 people stopped by our booth.
Taste of Lawrence - July 4, 2015
Planners in Pubilc Spaces, Scarborough team, attended the Taste of Lawrence event on July 4th. The sun was out shining on the festivities and the numerous unique vendors, tantalizing food fare and fabulous entertainment. Over 250 people visited our blue tent between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. including Councillor Michael Thompson and former Councillor Doug Ford who both participated in our, "My Toronto is...." activity (which is, "What is the one word that best describes your Toronto?".
Afrofest - July 4 & 5, 2015
Planners in Public Spaces attended Afrofest, presented by Music Africa on July 4th and 5th at Woodbine Park. Over the hot and sunny two days, planners talked one-on-one to well over 500 festival goers and had about 200 people participate in two engagement activities.
We asked people what they loved about Toronto and people who live, work, visit and study in Toronto had lots of things that they loved about our city. The most common answer was the city's cultural and ethnic diversity. Fun outdoor festivals and concerts was a close second.
2015 Season Launch – June 17, 2015
Planners in Public Spaces partnered with the storytelling group, Raconteurs for its 2015 Season Launch. It was a great event with 144 people attending. Raconteurs have a monthly event series at the Tranzac Club featuring true, personal storytelling live on stage without notes or props. The theme for the launch was Neighbourhoods, and storytellers told their stories abut the places they lived and how they shaped and informed their lives. Chief Planner and Executive Director Jennifer Keesmaat was among the storytellers. Planners in Public Spaces engaged with audience members before the show to get their personal views on living in their neighbourhoods. The event provided planners with an opportunity to hear about people's favourite things and challenges in their neighbourhood.
ConsumersNext: Planning for People and Business at Sheppard and Victoria Park – June 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 22 & 23, 2015
ConsumersNext is a study that will look for ways to enhance the Consumers Road Business Park and areas around the Sheppard and Victoria Park intersection. This area provides a place of work to over 18,000 employees, and is one of Toronto's most concentrated areas of office jobs. The area is also the location of significant residential growth, with over 3,500 residential units approved, under construction, or occupied in the past ten years.
To manage the growth while supporting employment uses, ConsumersNext will set out a new planning framework to support continued employment investment and intensification in the Consumers Road Business Park, residential uses, community facilities, a street and block plan, and public realm improvements to serve resident and working populations.
Because the ConsumersNext area is largely a location for employment uses, public engagement during working hours was crucial to gain feedback from the working population. To do so, City Planning led seven PiPS events (on June 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd). These 'pop-ups' were held in office buildings, outdoor spaces, and near local coffee shops. All told, over 1,150 employees participated in ConsumersNext PiPS events. The feedback received during the June PiPS is an important input to the background and existing conditions analysis that will inform the plans and recommendations developed through ConsumersNext.
For more information on ConsumersNext, visit: www.toronto.ca/consumersnext
Below is a schedule of all the events by district.
October 15, 2015 2pm -7pm – Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne St – St James Town Community Improvement Plan
October 22, 2015 3pm -5pm – Gerrard-Ashdale Library, 1432 Gerrard St. E. – Queen St East Urban Design Guidelines Study
October 27, 2015 3pm -6pm – CSI Annex Coffee Pub, 720 Bathurst St – Honest Ed's redevelopment application
November 14, 2015 10am -12:30pm – St Lawrence Library, 171 Front St E – Distillery District Study & West Don Lands area planner
June 17, 2015
PiPS 2015 Season Launch
Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick
Partnered with Raconteurs
July 4-5, 2015 - 11am to 8pm
Partnered with Music Africa
July 15, 2015 - 11am to 5pm
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West
Partnered with Maximum City & PANAMANIA
July 15, 2015 - 2pm to 5pm
PiPS - Pop-up
Trinity Square Park
July 24, 2015 - 11am to 6pm
PiPS – Pop-up
Kew Park (beach side)
July 26, 2015 - 12pm to 7pm
Kensington Pedestrian Sundays
Kensington Market BIA
August 4, 2015 - 3pm to 7pm
Davisville Farmer's Market
June Rowlands Park, 220 Davisville Avenue
August 14, 2015 - 11am to 6pm
PiPS - Pop-up
Christie Pits Park, 799 Crawford Street
August 19, 2015 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Taste of Regent Park Farmers Market
Regent Park, N/E corner of Dundas Street East and Sackville Street
Partnered with CRC & Regent Park
September 12, 2015 - 11am to 6pm
St. James Town Community Festival
Wellesley Community Centre (green space), 495 Sherbourne Street
Partnered with Councillor McConnell
September 13, 2015 - 12pm to 5pm
City Hall 50th Anniversary
Nathan Phillip's Square, 100 Queen Street West
Partnered with LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
November 2, 2015
Creative Spaces Partnership Exchange
Toronto Arts Centre
Artscape & Creative Places Outside the Core
June 8-12, 2015
Consumers Road Planning Study – Employee Travel Survey
June 16, 2015
Consumers Road Planning Study – Public Open House Promotion
2, 4, & 6 Lansing Square Courtyard - Tenant BBQ
Partnered with local property owners
June 22, 2015
Consumers Road Planning Study – Public Open House Promotion/Employee Engagement
Parkway Place – 243 Consumers Road (2nd Floor Atrium)
Partnered with local property owners
June 23, 2015
Consumers Road Planning Study – Public Open House Promotion/Employee Engagement
At the Victoria Park / Consumers Road Intersection:
NE Corner – Starbucks Patio
NW Corner – Enbridge Green Space
Partnered with Local property owners
August 12, 2015
Marlee Ville Festival
Partnered with the Ward Councillor and BIA
August 25, 2015
Toronto Community Housing Corporation - Conservation Fair
Lawrence Heights Community
Partnered with Toronto Community Housing Corporation
September 3, 2015 - 3pm to 5pm
Uptown Farmers Market
St. Clements-Yonge Parkette, 14 St Clements Ave
September 10, 2015
Villa Charities - Columbus Centre
Columbus Centre - 901 Lawrence Avenue West
Partnered with Villa Charities
September to October 2015
Consumers Next Planning Study
Dates and locations to be determined
June 13, 2015
Highland Creek Village Festival
Highland Creek Village
July 4, 2015 - 11am to 6pm
Taste of Lawrence
Lawrence Avenue (Warden to Birchmount)
Partnered with Councillor Thompson
July 8, August 19, & September 16, 2015 - 3pm to 7pm
University of Toronto Farmer's Market
University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, 1265 Military Trial (Parking Lot 4)
Partnered with University of Toronto
July 18, 2015 - 1pm to 5pm
ME DAY Multicultural Community Festival
Scarborough Village Park, 23 Gatesview Avenue
Partnered with Kinron Associates Event Services Management
August 27, 2015
Community Conservation Fair
410 Warden Avenue
Partnered with TCHC
October 3, 2015
Community Environment Day - CANCELLED
Cedarbrae Mall (west side of parking lot), 3495 Lawrence Avenue East
Partnered with Councillor De Baeremaeker
Malvern Town Centre, 31 Tapscott Road
Scarborough Civic Centre Library, 156 Borough Drive
Office Hours – Book a Planner
Malvern Library (30 Sewells Road) and/or Agincourt Library (155 Bonis Avenue)
July 18, 2015
Weston Farmers' Market
TPA Lot, John Street, Weston
Partnered with Toronto Complete Streets & Transit Initiatives Unit
July 28, 2015
Mimico-Judson, Regeneration Areas Study
Mimico GO Station, 315 Royal York Road
Partnered with Metrolinx
September 12, 2015
Etobicoke Civic Centre Farmers' Market
Etobicoke Civic Centre
September 25 & 26, 2015
Etobicoke Lakeshore Culture Days
Humber College, Lakeshore, 3199 Lake Shore Boulevard West
Partnered with Humber College