Walking Tour of Markham Heritage Estates

Join CNU Ontario on a walking tour of the Markham Heritage Estates!

The walking tour happens on Thursday, November 2 at 6 p.m. and will be lead by City of Markham Heritage Planner and Heritage Districts Development Coordinator Regan Hutcheson. The tour will focus on the Heritage Residential Estates located along Heritage Corners Lane in the City of Markham.

The Estates include a diverse range of styles from different periods in Canadian history including the Colonial, Georgina, and Edwardian eras.

The tour will start at 6 pm rain or shine on November 2nd!

To register click here.

2017 Toronto New Urbanism Film Festival

The Toronto New Urbanism Film Festival is back!  Last year’s inaugural event was a great success and the event returns this year to the same venue – Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave on the University of Toronto campus) on June 1 (Part 1) and June 7 (Part 2).

Tickets for the Double Bill (June 1 and June 7) are $17/Members and $20/Non-members

General Admission tickets are $12/Members and $15/Non-Members

Student ticket rates are $7 per student.

June 1st
Professor Shauna Brail – Department of Urban Studies, University of Toronto
Councilor Wong-Tam – Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale
Graham McNally – Architect, Toms + McNally Architects, Hamilton Tactical Urbanism
Jake Tobin Garrett – Policy and Planning Manager, Park People

Moderator: Helen Huang, CNU Ontario Chair

June 7th
Nancy Smith Lee – Executive Director for the Toronto Center for Active Transportation
Ryan O’Connor – Interim Executive Director 8-80 Cities
Yvonne Bambrick – Author, the Urban Cycling Survival Guide and founder of Cycle Toronto

Moderator: Olivia Labonte, CNU Ontario Vice-Chair

Click here to register online.

Please see the poster below for details.


June 1st 2017 – Screening time: 70 minutes

Caroline Woolard Flips the Real Estate Script

How can New Yorkers hope to stay put in a city where rents make living all but impossible? Impelled by her own personal experiences, artist and organizer Caroline Woolard advocates for permanently affordable space in New York City, banding together with artists and non-artists alike to build a real estate investment cooperative. The organization’s goal is to use individual member investments to inject capital into projects that turn vacant municipal properties into sustainable community resources and work with private owners to stabilize existing businesses and community spaces.

Arlington Passages: Nonie

Empty nester, Sister, Adventure-seeker. Meet Nonie! Faced with newfound freedom, an empty nester sets out to rediscover herself.

Thoughts on Parking

A look at how parking influences the design and use of our neighbourhoods and cities.

Accidental Parkland

Toronto is often perceived to be a flat geography, but the truth is that civil engineering has hidden a vast network of river ravines from our sight. Many people are unaware of this bounty of green spaces that add up to 30 times the area of NYC’s Central Park. We hope to change the way people see the nature we’re fortunate to have in our midst. These oases from the swirl of urban life will become even more important to our quality of life as our city continues to grow.

Urban Planning Lingo: A-Z

YouTube’s Chris Jones gives a quick and sarcastic primer on urban planning terms.


June 7th 2017 – Screening time: 74 minutes

Built to Last

A brief primer on New Urbanism, the movement’s vision for building places people love.

Downtown: A New American Dream – Trailer

Tells the story of Millennials and Baby Boomers moving back into cities looking for a new American Dream.

DTLA Street Futures

This short is an exploration into the future of streets and cycling in Los Angeles. Looking at CicLAvia as a model for testing the future, the video argues for a new design driven by issues of sustainability, affordability, and the pedestrian pleasures of leaving your car behind.

Velo Visionaries – Alicia Tapia

In Episode 3 of Velo Visionaries, we talk/ride with Alicia Tapia, creator of Bibliobicicleta, a free library on wheels that can be found weekly in The Panhandle in San Francisco. Alicia is also the librarian and digital literacy instructor at De Marillac Academy in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, and a Zen practitioner.
Velo Visionaries presents a series of interviews with great thinkers of today’s global bicycle culture from the point of view of the person behind the handlebars.


They say that when you die you go to paradise. It’s a lie. Paradise is here.

Denver ALMOST Has One of the World’s Great Public Squares

Denver has the opportunity to have a public square on par with the best Old-World squares found across Europe. Youtube personality Chris Jones, explains the placemaking principles for good public squares and suggests a few alterations to the Wynkoop Plaza in downtown Denver that could make it a thriving pedestrian / transportation plaza.

Julian Price

Using his family wealth, tenacity, witty, and incorrigible charm, Julian Price inspires policymakers and entrepreneurs to do the impossible — transform a vacant, deserted downtown into a liveable, vibrant center of commerce and culture.
Driven by the beauty of its landscape and the potential in its vacant Art Deco architecture, Price searches Asheville for the brave, hardworking dreamers, and provides them with a miracle — capital for expansion in exchange for improving downtown with their presence.
This film was paired with a compilation album between bands spanning all genres and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Bands include Steep Canyon Rangers, LIzz Wright, Rising Appalachia, Lovett, Doc Aquatic, and Matt Tonwsend. Grammy winning composers arranged the music to pair beautifully with Julian’s story of collaboration and intention.

The IDEA District

A new 21st century neighbourhood is emerging in downtown San Diego founded on the principles of innovation, design, education, and the arts- The IDEA District.

Bike vs Cars: The False Dichotomy

Too often discussion about bike policy and infrastructure is framed as hostile towards motor vehicles. However, policy and infrastructure that’s good for bikes is good for cars and pedestrians as well. The false dichotomy is not good for anyone

CNU Ontario Installs New Board Leadership

At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Ontario chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism  the new board of directors was installed.  Following are the names of CNU Ontario’s new directors and the terms they will be serving.



Wendy Meininger-Dyk

4 years

Biju Karumanchery

4 years

Helen Huang

4 years

Michael Stott

4 years

Olivia Labonte

4 years

Taylor Gascoigne

4 years

Anu Dogra

2 years

Congratulations to the newly elected directors!  The chapter greatly appreciates the service and leadership provided by the outgoing board.

Many events are being planned for the upcoming year, beginning with the CNU Ontario’s new urbanism film festival in the coming months – please watch your email inbox for more chapter updates.

UofT Planning Alumni Spring Social


Toronto is becoming a very big city region. The extraordinary increase in activity at Toronto Pearson Airport is both effect and cause of that growth. The airport is one of the fastest growing in North America and is now the number two North American point of entry for international passengers, rapidly joining an elite group of global mega-hub airports. At the same time, the employment zone around Toronto Pearson has grown to become the second-largest concentration of jobs in Canada after downtown Toronto.

Joe Berridge and his team at Urban Strategies are helping the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to plan the Pearson Hub, a new multi-model transportation center. This new facility would tie together all the transit potential in and around Toronto Pearson to serve both the airport, the employment zone, and to provide better regional connectivity, transforming and expanding the airport’s role as a driver of regional economic growth.

At the 2017 Friends of Planning Spring Social, Urban Strategies’ partner Joe Berridge will share his insight on what it will take for Toronto Pearson International Airport to take off to the next level, and the benefits this will bring to the city, the Southern Ontario Region, and the country at large.

Visit alumni.utoronto.ca/spring-social for more information and to purchase tickets.

Mariange Beaudry
Dept. of Geography & Planning
University of Toronto
100 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3
Date & Location
Date: 4/13/2017
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Location: Hart House

7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 3H3

Annual General Meeting of Members – March 23, 2017

All CNU Ontario members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the Town of Richmond Hill Town Hall – Committee Room 1 (first floor), 7:00 p.m.

Key items on this year’s AGM Agenda include:

  • The receipt and approval of the 20126 Financial Statement (copies have been emailed to all CNU Ontario members)
  • The appointment of CNU Ontario Officers for 2017
  • Consideration and, if appropriate, approval of all past proceedings of the Directors and Officers
  • Introduction of the New Board of Directors 2017 – 2020

The Town of Richmond Hill Town Hall is located at 225 East Beaver Creek Rd. in Richmond Hill.

All members are encouraged to attend.  This will be your opportunity to meet and engage your new Board of Directors.  If you have any questions regarding this event, please email ontario@cnu.org.

For ongoing updates please watch for CNU Ontario emails in your inbox and follow CNU Ontario on the following social media channels:

Twitter – @cnuontario
Facebook – CNU Ontario



Call for Directors – Apply Now

The Congress for the New Urbanism, Ontario is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the CNU Ontario’s Board of Directors.

There are multiple openings for Directors on the CNU Ontario Board.  Each incoming Director will serve a term of 4 years (2017 to 2020).

Members of the CNU Ontario Board of Directors are required to:

  • attend regular board meetings (a minimum of 4 per year)
  • set and approve the annual budget
  • develop annual goals and initiatives aligned to CNU Ontario’s Directive and Charter
  • Participate on committees that:
    • respond to municipal, provincial and federal legislation and policy affecting urban design and placemaking.
    • develop and implement communication and promotional strategies to support the goals and initiatives of CNU Ontario.
    • co-ordinate events in support of the goals of CNU Ontario.
    • develop and build partnerships with other planning, design and community building groups.
    • focus on membership growth and corporate sponsorships.

Please respond to this call for applications by submitting your CV along with a brief bio/letter of interest that is no more than 1 page in length.

Deadlines for applications: February 3, 2017.

Please send your application to: ontario@cnu.org

Thank you


Toronto New Urbanism Film Festival


festival sponsors

CNU Ontario is proud to be presenting in partnership with Jane’s Walk and the University of Toronto’s Urban Studies Program the inaugural “Toronto New Urbanism Film Festival” being held in Toronto, May 26, 2016, 6:30 p.m. at the University of Toronto’s Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto.  *Part 1 of the program was screened on April 21st.

Films being screened throughout this festival, will focus on grassroots initiatives on a wide range of urban issues in the U.S.A and Canada: from recreational to transportation needs, and from economics to healthy living and environmental issues.

Thursday, May 26th 2016

  • Atelier Da Rua (Portugal)

    This short animation explains how Atelier Da Rua is a project to talk, think, design and build our streets collectively; an urban design methodology towards a more participated city, linking local and global, traditional and innovative resources; a tool for projects imagined, designed and built with the community throughout the different stages of the process to improve the public space and create more human and valued places.

  • Borrowed Light (Maryland)

    Animated story celebrating the beauty of communities coming together after a crook steals all the light bulbs.

  • The Building of Business (Memphis)

    Broad Avenue brings businesses to a developing neighbourhood by matching them with available spaces on the street.

  • Brooklyn Farmer (Brooklyn)

    The film explores the unique challenges facing Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm across the rooftops of New York City.  As their growing operation expands to a second roof, the team confronts the realities inherent in operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.

  • Graftstract (Bronx)

    By enlisting the help of some of the world’s top street artists, J. “SinXero” Beltran has made it his mission to legally beautify the Bronx, the birthplace of graffiti, through his TAG Public Arts Project (The Art of Grafstract).

  • Mary Mattingly’s Waterfront (New York)

    Over the course of the summer and fall of 2013, artist Mary Mattingly constructs and occupies “Triple Island” (2013), an outdoor sculpture overlooking the East River in Lower Manhattan. Situated in the newly developed Pier 42 public park — a waterfront area flooded by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 — the sculpture rests on buoyant 55 gallon drums, which allow it to float in the event of rising sea levels.

  • Neistat Bike Lanes Crashing (New York)

    When Casey Neistat got ticketed for not riding in a bike lane, he didn’t just get mad. He made a film and got even.

  • New Urban Film Festival (Everywhere)

    Sprawl is the greatest threat to humanity, New Urbanism AKA old urbanism is the solution.

  • Seaside (Florida)

    A planned seaside community that sparked the ‘New Urbanism’ movement  and where the Truman Show was filmed.

  • Streets of Art (Buffallo)

    The film chronicles the revitalization of Buffalo NY through the efforts of street artists. Street art adds to a sense of place, community, and ideals.

  • The Edible Bus Stop (London)

    The Edible Bus Stop is a project that germinated from the need for green space within our cities and built environments. The Edible Bus Stop transforms neglected urban public sites into design-led, community growing spaces.

  • Work the Landscape (United Kingdom)

    Child Like drawings explain city planning, urbanism and greening.

Part 1 is now over – See below films that were screened on April 21

  • Arlington Passages (Arlington)

    A retired environmental lawyer starts a new business in real estate, showing houses by bicycle. She’s found it to be the best way for her clients to get a sense of the neighborhoods she serves.

  • Progressive Transit in a Conservative State (Salt Lake City)

    Salt Lake City built a mass transit network to connect the suburbs to the downtown. This street films video shows how mass transit can be the environmental and economic solution to urban revitalization.

  • Vancouver Cycle Chic (Vancouver)

    Cecily is a librarian in Vancouver who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis but started biking to work for health reasons. She shows that inner city bicycling doesn’t have to be spandex and carbon bikes, but can be effortlessly stylish and fun.

  • Urban Freeway Removal (Dallas)

    This is a Street Films presentation featuring John Norquist. It discusses NYC, Vancouver, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, and more!

  • Cerebral City (Melbourne)

    This is the 2015 winner for best urban design film. It talks about the transition of Melbourne from a 9-5 downtown to a real downtown. They discuss open public plazas, alleyway revitalization, transit, complete streets, and activated streets as tools for creating a lovely place to live and work.

  • Do Season (Fredricton)

    This was the runner up for our Urbanism Economies award. The film highlights a program for entrepreneurs who want to put down roots in their town and develop equity. Very inspiring.

  • MemFix (Memphis)

    A program in Memphis that unites small business and tactical urbanism projects to create a new business district on the edge of Memphis. Winner of the Best Short Film on Economics of Urbanism.

  • The Fresno Miracle (Fresno)

    The City of Fresno was rewriting their master plan. And “the miracle” was how many people got engaged in the planning process. The film touches on themes of art districts ability to act as revitalization, and economic engine. The main thrust of the film is centered on the threat of expanding suburbs encroaching on the rich, historic farmland surrounding Fresno.

  • Frog Town (Los Angeles)

    The Los Angeles River is 51 miles long and cuts through the heart of the city. However in the 1930s the army corp of engineers cemented into one long channel. Today it is kind of ugly, cumbersome, piece of
    infrastructure. However different groups are trying to restore the river with natural vegetation and are re-imagining it as a beautiful, recreational center piece of the city. This short film highlights the history of one corner of the river known as Frogtown.

  • Stolen Bike NYC (New York City)

    Filmmaker Casey Neistat installs a much needed bike rack in front of his office building. The city forces him to remove it, but still the video is enlightening and funny.

  • Awesome Tampa Bay (Tampa)

    This film tells one piece of the story of The Urban Conga. A group dedicated to reactivating urban spaces. One of the group’s projects was a ping pong table installed in a downtown park. Paddles and balls can be checked out at the surrounding businesses. The table activates a park in a barren downtown.

  • I Rather Stay(Vancouver)

    I’d Rather Stay shares the intimate stories of five older adults, living in different Greater Vancouver neighbourhoods. From dense urban centres to car dependent suburbs, the film delves into their day-to-day lives and explores personal issues of mobility, vulnerability, and resilience.

  • SagaCity (Ottawa)

    The is an animated film that touches on every aspect of the new urbanism movement. It advocates development of all kinds, from downtown revitalization to sprawl retrofit, and provides the various motivations for pursuing it: environmental concerns, individual health, fiscal sustainability of the city, and general life style.

  • The Road to School (Ottawa)

    This video was shot in Cap-Rouge, Quebec. It follows two young students as they undertake the 650 meter walk that separates their home from their school. The road they need to walk is far from being safe, prompting many parents to choose the car as the family’s primary means of transportation. The lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure is in large part responsible for the staggering decrease in the number of students walking to school in Quebec.

  • Landfills: From Guppies to Yuppies (Boston)

    Artists and entrepreneurs battle over a piece of Boston cream pie: a prized geographical area known as Fort Point, which started out as landfill. Two hundred years ago the section of Boston called Fort Point did not exist. It was reclaimed from the ocean by landfill and became New England’s oldest and largest visual artists community. “Landfill” is a short documentary about the lively battles between the Fort Point artists and the entrepreneurs dramatically changing the area.


General Admission – $12; CNU Member – $10 (enter code ‘CNU1’); Student (other than UofT students): $5 (enter code ‘Student’).

Register online:

Ticket Options

Eventbrite option:


Spring Social

Updated-CNU Ontario LogoOPPI-Logo-Horizontal-V1


Professional Sports Franchises – City Builders?

Organized sport has long captured the attention of society.  Whether it be pursued for exercise, entertainment, proof of superiority, or sense of inclusion – sport is imbedded in many facets of who we are.

Sport – particularly professional sports franchises, have exerted considerable influence over the physical development of our cities, with their stadia often utilized as a tool for place-making.  Politicians, stakeholders and public dollars have been pawns in the arrival and departure of teams, leading to a great variety of arguments as to whether these facilities are critical elements of their communities or inconsequential features of the urban landscape.

Join us on March 10th at 6 p.m. for the CNU Ontario Spring Social, to hear from representatives of the planning committee for CNU-24 – the 24th annual Congress for the New Urbanism to be held in Detroit this coming June.  The Congress will bring together over 1,500 individuals from North America and around the world for four days of education, collaboration, discussion, and debate on the policies, designs, and emerging approaches that create great places.

Our Spring Social will conclude with our keynote speaker, William Humber, Director of the Office of Eco-Seneca Initiatives at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, and noted sports historian.  In honour of the host city of CNU24, Detroit, Mr. Humber will be speaking about the influence of major league sports stadia on the growth and evolution of their host cities, with references to the impact that the Detroit Tigers and Lions have had on the areas surrounding their stadiums.

CNU Ontario Spring Social
Keynote Presentation: Professional Sports Franchises – City Builders?

March 10th
-6 p.m. – CNU Ontario Spring Social

Mattamy Athletic Centre, Alumni Lounge
50 Carlton Street
Toronto, ON

Ticket Cost: $20 CNU/OPPI members; $30 Non-members

Register Online

Get your tickets now by choosing the appropriate option from the following drop down menu (deadline for online registrations: March 9, 2016):

Member / Non-member


Urbanism on Tap Report for Hamilton


CNU Ontario Directors, Carlos Salazar (l.) and Vibha Singh at the CNU Ontario Urbanism on Tap Hamilton Session.

Back in 2014, the CNU Ontario chapter launched its “Urbanism on Tap” talk series to address some of the most pressing urbanism matters across the province.

These interactive and informal sessions are held in different communities and tap onto local expertise and interest to understand local issues. On September 11, 2015, CNU Ontario hosted an interactive, Urbanism on Tap session with its membership and general public, the purpose of which was to provide background on the topic of “Hamilton: Resurgence in the Ambitious City” from various political, planning and development perspectives, and gather input from attendees.

We are pleased to make available the document that provides a summary of our findings – please click here to download.

CNU Directors Present at OPPI Conference


Many municipalities across Ontaio are considering the move towards form-based zoning as new official plans and comprehensive zoning by-laws are completed.   Form-based zoning serves as a mechanism that can be used to advance community building from a site-specific scale to a community-wide scale.


At the recent fall 2015 OPPI Conference, CNU Ontario Directors Adrian Cammaert, Eldon Theodore, Ute Maya-Giambattista, and Michelle Dobbie led a charrette on developing a made-in-Ontario approach to form-based zoning.

The charrette reflected on the drawbacks of continuing to use conventional zoning by-laws and compared these drawbacks to the advantages offered by the form-based approach.

Participants were guided through an interactive exercise where they were challenged to take a real-world site and develop form-based standards that would permit specific built forms.

This charrette was an integral part of the process for one of the Chapter’s current initiatives, preparing a toolkit for Ontario municipalities interested in pursuing form-base zoning. 

The presentation is available here.