Understanding Your City

Toronto Civics 101

It's your City, what do you know about it? In the spring of 2009, 175 participants from across the city were randomly selected to attend Toronto Civics 101, a special learning series. The participants, selected from over 900 applicants, attended six sessions from September to December.

Toronto Civics 101 covered a few of the basics of City government and each session was designed to build on the preceding sessions. Participants were encouraged to consider the information and issues important in making decisions about programs, services and budgeting to best meet the needs of Torontonians. 

An evaluation summary of the 2009 Toronto Civics 101 program is available here.

Below an agenda for each of the six sessions is provided, outlining the types of presentations, activities, and topics that were included in the program. 


Session Agenda

Session 1:

Toronto Civics 101 Defined

Sept. 17, 2009

Toronto City Hall,

Council Chambers

  • Registration and Warm-up Exercise
  • Welcome
  • Video – History of Toronto
  • Opening Remarks from the Mayor of Toronto
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Break and Refreshments
  • Remarks by City Manager
  • Report Back on Small Group Discussions
  • Toronto Civics 101 Orientation
  • Wrap-up

Session 2:

Local Planning Demystified

Oct. 1, 2009

North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers

  • Registration and Warm-up Exercise
  • Welcome
  • Planning: Big Picture to Neighbourhood Level
  • Break and Exercise
  • Questions and Answers on Planning
  • Wrap-up

Session 3:

How Council Makes Decisions

Oct. 1, 2009

North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers

  • Registration and Warm-up Exercise
  • Welcome
  • How the City Governs
  • Accountability Officers
  • Questions and Answers
  • Public Appointments
  • Wrap-up

Session 4:

Toronto’s Fiscal Framework

Oct. 29, 2009

Toronto Reference Library, Appell Salon

  • Registration and Warm-up Exercise
  • Welcome
  • Toronto’s Fiscal Framework
  • Balancing Toronto’s Budget Exercise
  • Break
  • Fiscal Sustainability
  • Wrap-up

Session 5:

Elections in Toronto

Nov. 12, 2009

St. Lawrence Hall,

Great Room

  • Registration and Warm-up Exercise
  • Welcome
  • How to Get Involved in the 2010 Municipal Election
  • Increasing Voter Turnout Exercise
  • Break
  • Women in Municipal Politics
  • Wrap-up

Session 6:

Lessons and Leadership

Dec. 3, 2009

Metro Hall, Rooms 308-309

  • Registration and photos with the Mayor of Toronto
  • Opening remarks and presentation of certificates
  • Panel with external guests
  • Break
  • Small group discussions
  • Wrap-up, final evaluations, and presentation