Coming to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 24th and 25th, the Urban Land Institute's Toronto Symposium returns to examine the changing city. Featuring a wide variety of speakers and themes, the multidisciplinary event will tackle contemporary urban issues from a diverse range of perspectives. While much of the dialogue will have global implications, a number of Toronto-specific discussions promise fine-grained analysis of our transforming city's urban context. 

Toronto's changing skyline, image by UT Flickr contributor ashtonteknoToronto's changing skyline, image by UT Flickr contributor ashtontekno

Headlined by keynote addresses from Kathleen Wynne, Richard Florida, and Gabe Klein, the two-day event will also feature an eclectic variety of panel discussions. Examining the urban future from a diversity of perspectives, the symposium will host discussions on topics including urban agriculture, virtual reality, technology advances in construction, global urbanism, major parks, and the 'post-fossil' city.

Exploring the post-fossil city, image via ULIExploring the post-fossil city, image via ULI

This year's event will also feature an in-depth look at Toronto's evolving urban context. Hosted in partnership with the City of Toronto, the 'Design for Unprecedented Density' Symposium includes presentations by Toronto's Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, the City's Urban Design Director Lorna Day, Public Work co-founder Adam Nicklin, and Shim-Sutcliffe Architects co-founder Brigitte Shim. Closing out with a panel discussion moderated by the Globe and Mail's Alex Bozikovic, the four speakers will be joined by Diamond Schmitt Principal—and Design Review Panel member—Michael Leckman, to examine design solutions for a rapidly growing city. 

ULI's 2017 'Electric Cities' Toronto Symposium, image via ULI TorontoULI's 2017 'Electric Cities' Toronto Symposium, image via ULI Toronto

Toronto Mayor John Tory will also be in attendance, providing the opening remarks to a panel discussion about major urban parks. With Toronto's 21-acre Rail Deck Park still a distant aspiration as the shortage of Downtown green space becomes more pronounced, the discussion will examine how "cities across North America and the world are securing large tracts of public realm space to meet demands of labour attractiveness, economic competitiveness, tourism, urban development and renewal."

The proposed Rail Deck Park, image via City of Toronto The proposed Rail Deck Park, image via City of Toronto

Closing out ULI's 2017 Toronto Symposium, a free public event with Elizabeth Diller, co-founder of New York's acclaimed Diller Scofidio + Renfro studio, will "show completing projects that encompass architecture, landscape and art." According to ULI, "Elizabeth will discuss the studio’s transformative civic and cultural projects in New York, including the High Line and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Redevelopment, as well as The Shed, an unprecedented center for artistic invention in construction at Hudson Yards – all compelling urban projects directly relevant to Toronto’s aspirations of visionary planning and ambitious growth."

Elizabeth Diller's free address will explore what Toronto can learn from projectElizabeth Diller's free address will explore what Toronto can learn from projects like the High Line, image via ULI

Held at the Isabel Bader Theatre on April 25th, the event requires registration, which is available through


More information about this year's event is available via ULI Toronto's official website, where a full overview of the program, including summaries of each session, and registration information, can be found. This year's symposium is presented by Toronto Pearson, with IBI Group, Woodbine Entertainment, and Hatch, acting as major sponsors. UrbanToronto will be covering the symposium as a media sponsor, so keep an eye out for our front-page and social media updates!