Summit to examine toughest issues facing Toronto including housing affordability 

Toronto Star

Summit to examine toughest issues facing Toronto including housing affordability

In the News
April 26, 2019

Published in Toronto Star 
By Stefanie Marotta

Industry leaders are tackling the “messy, meaty” issues facing Toronto at a city-building summit Monday.

The event put on by civic engagement organization CivicAction, dubbed Canvas, addresses some of the city’s most severe challenges by bringing together industry leaders to generate ideas and solutions. For 2019, the organization identified five key areas plaguing Toronto: housing affordability, sex trafficking, the future of work, extreme weather, and inclusivity.

“These are issues that are of urban importance to the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area,” said CivicAction CEO Sevaun Palvetzian. “They’re big, they’re messy, they’re meaty, and they need help through collective action. Governments alone cannot do this.”


Housing affordability, the only topic from the last summit that made it’s way onto this year’s agenda, continues to be a top concern for residents in the GTHA, with the average price of a detached home nearly tripling in Toronto between 2005-2017, according to CivicAction.

“The prevalence of people who are barely hanging on to afford housing today and the backlog of people that can’t get in for housing today and tomorrow just continues to grow,” Palvetzian said.

The 550 attendees comprise professionals from organizations with deep, on-the-ground knowledge of these challenges, including leaders from labour, government, business and faith groups, according to Palvetzian.

To find out more read the full article and hear from Canvas panelist Naama Blonder, a Toronto-based architect and an urban designer, on affordable housing.