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Important Updates



2017-18 Calendar

The Urban Studies program has been updated for 2017-18. Details about the revised Specialist, Major, and Minor programs are available here.


2017 Summer Course:

INI432H1F: Urban Studio

Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-8 p.m.


INI432 will provide students with an opportunity to learn about, and contribute to community-focused urban initiatives. Students enrolled in the course will apply their research, writing, critical thinking and communication skills to develop and present a product to a 'client' partner. 'Client' partners may include city councillors, non-profit community groups, and advocacy organizations with a community focus. Class seminars will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays (4-6) with required studio time for conducting team work from (6-8) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If space permits, we will welcome senior undergraduate students who are not enrolled in the Urban Studies Program.

Summer registration Instructions


INI 437Y1: Experiential Learning in Toronto & the GTA


BALLOT (.doc)

For those of you who are interested in applying to take INI 437Y: Experiential Learning in Toronto & the GTA next year (this is the Urban Studies Program’s 4th year internship course), this email contains information on how to apply.

INI437Y is a balloted course with a competitive entry process. All applicants must complete a ballot (available on the Urban Studies website) and submit a 1-page resume in order to be considered for admission.  All documentation can be submitted electronically to urbanstudies.innis@utoronto.ca. The deadline to submit your application is June 1st.

The course is geared towards senior level undergraduate students enrolled in a Specialist, Major or Minor in Urban Studies.  Demonstration of strong academic achievement is the key criteria for admission to the course. Enrollment is limited to twenty students. Fourth year students who have completed INI 235Y are given priority for registration, however in some years we have space either for high-achieving third year students and/or some non-Urban Studies students. 

The class meets for seminar-based discussions on a weekly basis. Class meetings are often held off-campus in the form of field trips to places like City Hall, Regent Park and King Spadina.   In addition, all students enrolled in the course participate in unpaid internships at non-profit, urban focused organizations throughout the city for 8 hours per week. Examples of organizations where students are placed include: Artscape, Canadian Urban Institute, Centre for Community Learning and Development, Councillor Joe Cressy, Centre for Social Innovation, City of Toronto Planning Department, Toronto Region Board of Trade, United Way and others. All student placements are coordinated by the course instructor.

INI 437Y presents an engaging and non-traditional opportunity for high achieving UofT students to obtain practical professional experience in Urban Studies, while connecting their internship opportunities to in-class learning and discussion.  I encourage you to apply.  Selected students will be contacted in June for information about next steps. Placement matching and interviews are completed over the summer months so that all students in the course are ready to begin their internships at the start of the first week of classes in September.


INI339H1S: Divided City/United City (new!)

Instructor: David Hulchanski

Enrolment cap: 100

Tuesdays 10-12

IN112 (Innis Town Hall)

Winter Term 2017

This course focuses on the impact of increased economic inequality and the resulting urban socio-spatial polarization, trends that are reshaping the social landscape of Canada’s metropolitan areas, changing neighbourhoods, and affecting the lived realities of an increasingly diverse urban population. 

Students will learn about and engage with the research and policy development process; they will learn how research projects are designed and developed, how research findings are translated into policy goals and how researchers and community partners work together to advocate for social change. 

The course will draw upon the experience of several researchers and their community partners who are currently identifying, analyzing, and responding to various aspects of these trends. 

The topics covered include: rental housing; discrimination and racism; youth, crime, and policing; urban/suburban polarization; homelessness. Greater Toronto will be a main focus, though there will be some comparison/contrast with other metropolitan areas in Canada and elsewhere. Research and researchers associated with the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership based at the University of Toronto will be featured as case examples. See: www.NeighbourhoodChange.ca


Prerequisite: 8.0 credits.

This course may be used in place of INI338H1 or INI336H1 for program completion. Please contact the Program Assistant to request the exception.




INI433H1S: Special Topics in Urban Studies: Governing Creative Cities (new!)

Instructor: Patrick Adler

Enrolment cap: 40

Tuesdays 4-6 p.m.

This course considers approaches to the local governance of the 'creative economy’ in cities. How should officials across government, industry, and civil society act to support creative occupations and industries?  This course surveys theories of how these sectors can be governed and reviews related case studies from Toronto, Los Angeles, London, and beyond. Students will be tasked to conduct research using public data and visualizations to develop their own insights into creative city governance.



INI432H1F: Special Topics in Urban Studies: Cities & Mega-Events

This year, students may use INI432H1 in place of INI430H1 or INI433H1 to satisfy their program requirements. This will be entered as an exception for each student on Degree Explorer in September.


INI235Y1 Changes

Starting September 2016, INI235Y1Y will be two half-courses: INI235H1F and INI236H1S. Please see the 2016-17 Calendar.


New Core Course Options for Majors and Specialists

For 2013-2016, there are new options for the core courses in the Major and Specialist programs, where INI333H1 can be used as a core course.




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Faculty News

Toronto in 2017: U of T Cities Experts on the Year

Article on U of T News

Course evaluations: report cards for your professors

Article on U of T News


Mixed-income housing one answer for out-of-control home prices

An article citing Prof. David Hulchanski (INI339H1S)

Article at the Globe and Mail


U of T cities experts explore the legacy of Jane Jacobs

Article on U of T News



The Urban Studies Program welcomes the following instructors to our program in 2016-2017

Patrick Adler (INI433H1S)

Dr. Emily Paradis (INI333H1F)

Eleanor Rae (INI437Y1Y, Term II)

Dr. Greg Spencer (INI336H1F)


The Uber Effect: Innovation in the Fast Lane


U of T Urban Expert (Prof. David Roberts) on Rio Olympics: "I don't think any city is ever fully prepared"

Article on U of T News


Parks, Planning and Public Spaces: Toronto can learn lessons from Jerusalem say U of T Students

Article on U of T News


Really Seeing Richmond: The Cities Podcast

Featuring Shauna Brail and Urban Studies students



Student News

Art Institutions: Initiators and Reflectors of Neighbourhood Change

Martin Prosperity Institute article


Day in the Life: Daniels Faculty Undergrads Win the Sukkahville Design Competition

Architecture and Urban Studies student Calvin Yang Yue is one of the winners of this competition.



Jackman Humanities Institute Fellows 2016-17

The Urban Studies Program is pleased to offer congratulations to two of our students - and URSSU co-Presidents - on being selected as Jackman Humanities Institute Undergraduate Fellows for 2016-2017. 



Toronto's Future City Builders: Cecelia Pye



Toronto's future city builders: Jonah Letovsky

Article on U of T News

Urban Studies Students Explore Residents' Involvement in Redevelopment of Regent Park

An article in U of T news about Urban Studies students.

Three to Watch: Convocation 2014's City Builders

An article in U of T News about 3 of our students.




The Urban Studies Program
@ Innis College

Urban planners, engineers, economists, geographers, architects and environmental scientists (to name a few) all study the city from their specific theoretical and philosophical perspectives. The Urban Studies Program at Innis College is based on a recognition of this multidisciplinarity, and it aims to provide students with a multitude of lenses through which to observe, interpret and understand urban life.

The Program is suited for those students who wish to study cities using several disciplinary approaches. It is also of interest to those students who wish to become involved in urban issues in Toronto. The Program offers an internship in the office of either a municipal politician, non-profit research group, or other government organization as part of its experiential learning program. Class sizes are typically small and interaction with other students and professors is enriched

Because urban issues are so varied, a Specialist, Major or Minor in Urban Studies combines well with many other programs of study. Students are advised to consult the Program Director when designing programs that meet their particular interests.

The Program encourages students to take advantage of the Study Elsewhere Program at the University of Toronto to broaden their knowledge of cities.

For information on Innis College events, please visit the Innis Alumni site.

Applying to U of T

If you are not currently a registered student at the University but would like to take Urban Studies as part of an undergraduate degree program, please visit Enrolment Services first.

For Urban Planning at the graduate level, please consult the Planning Program at the University of Toronto.


Innis College Awards



URSSU (The Urban Studies Student Union)

For more information, visit this page.