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Important Updates



INI 437Y1Y (2019-20): Experiential Learning in Toronto & the GTA



BALLOT (2019) (.docx)


PDF version of Ballot (2019)

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 new deadline to submit your application is June 15th.

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 235H1 and INI 236H1 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 July 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.


2019 Summer Course:

INI432H1S: Urban Studio: Public Participation in Policy Making

Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-7 p.m. lecture (LEC0101), 7-8:30 p.m. studio (TUT5101)

Instructor: Daniel Fusca

This course will provide a broad overview of the roles of both the citizen and the professional practitioner in advancing effective and meaningful public participation in the policy-making process, particularly as it relates to city planning. Through an examination of a mix of theoretical frameworks and case studies from Toronto and elsewhere, you will gain an understanding of the ways in which effective public participation can contribute to the maintenance of a healthy democratic society while also exploring some of the key challenges and opportunities faced by public participation practitioners today. The course has two key objectives: to give you a practical understanding of all of the elements of an effective public participation process, and to explore how public participation processes can be designed to be more inclusive and effective. In addition, students will be able to apply this knowledge towards the development of a project or report for a client. You can read more about the course and examples of previous community engagement projects on the U of T News article regarding Rail Deck Park.


(Prerequisites are waived this summer for this course).


2019-20 Calendar

The Urban Studies program has been updated for 2019-20. Details about the revised Specialist, Major, and Minor programs are available here.



2018-19 New Courses

INI433H1F: Special Topics in Urban Studies: Serving the City

Fall Term, 4-6 p.m., room IN204

Instructor: Emily Paradis

Course description: This course will explore the history, policy context, practice models, and current debates surrounding social and health services in the city. As cities grow and change, how have governments and communities organized to meet urban dwellers’ needs for settlement assistance, shelter, medical care, food, and other services? What are the connections with community development, place-making, and political change? Field trips and guest lectures will broaden the scope of students’ learning.


INI430H1S: Advanced Topics in Urban Studies II: Youth, Arts, & Engagement in Cities

Winter Term, Mondays 3:30-6:30 p.m., room IN313

Instructor: Aditi Mehta

Course Overview
This course will be a collaboration with the organization Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre, which is a not-for-profit organization that was established to counter negative stereotypes about the Regent Park community and provide interventions to high risk youth living in the area. Together, University of Toronto students and Regent Park Focus youth members will learn about media projects initiated by young people across the world, and how these creative forms of communication, organizing, and expression spurred change and social movements in their respective communities.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand contemporary theoretical debates around technology and community; as well as technology and activism, particularly social media and urban protests.
  • Students will learn about various existing urban technology and media projects, specifically those initiated by youth.
  • Students will gain the skills to critique civic/community projects and design impactful tech initiatives grounded in real-world needs.
Students with partner with young people at Regent Park Focus to create their own media project about the neighborhood and/or an urban issue in Toronto.







Click here for Faculty News
Click here for Student News


Innis College Library Summer Hours

Innis College Library is changing over to Summer Hours starting today (Monday May 13th, 2019). 

  • Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm


Our Hours are changing


Student Stories: Heeho on Urban Studies

In my program I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in community-based fieldwork. It’s been such a valuable experience for me.

Heeho, Double major in Political Science and Urban Studies with a minor in Anthropology



U of T Students and Regent Park teens team up to bust stereotypes, tell stories of a changing neighbourhood

U of T News


Emily Paradis receives the 2018-19 Superior Sessional Instructor Award

Our sessional instructor, Emily Paradis is a recipient of a 2018-2019 Superior Sessional Instructor Award. This award recognizes excellence in undergraduate education in classroom instruction, innovative teaching methods and student engagement. The selection committee was quite impressed by the contributions that Dr. Paradis has made in these areas.


Right To Walk T.O.

Justice, equity, and the Toronto walking experience

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 7-9 p.m.

Innis Town Hall, Innis College, University of Toronto

2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto

Free for everyone.

Future-Proofing Toronto's Employment Lands

The School of Cities and the City of Toronto Planning Division invite you to join us for presentations and a panel discussion about the future of Toronto's employment lands.

Gregg Lintern - Chief Planner, City of Toronto

Renée Gomes – Vice President, Development, First Gulf Corporation

Sunil Johal – Policy Director, Mowat Centre, University of Toronto

Moderated by Prof. Shauna Brail, Associate Director, School of Cities,
University of Toronto

Tuesday, April 2
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue

Register today at uoft.me/employmentlands

Presented by School of Cities, University of Toronto, the City of Toronto, and supported by the Urban Studies Program, Innis College, University of Toronto


Follow Us on Twitter: @USPUofT

Faculty News

David Roberts Interview

The 2016-17 issue of the Innis College Alumni & Friends Magazine features an article on David Roberts, Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies Program (page 28).


U of T, OCAD, Ryerson, York collaborate in massive research on affordable housing

Article on U of T News


Welcome to Our New Instructors

The Urban Studies Program welcomes the following instructors to our program in 2017-2018:

Patrick Adler

Dina Graser

David Hulchanski

Emily Paradis

Denise Pinto

See their profiles on our Faculty page.


Urban experts from U of T and India share city building know-how

Article on U of T News


Toronto's New Urbanism Film Festival brings fresh perspective on cities to U of T

Article on U of T News


Recipe for Resilience:

U of T cities experts talk housing, transportation, growing disparity in GTA (Professors Brail and Hulchanski)

Article on U of T 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

Young Urbanists League: how a U of T alumna created Toronto's most engaged online community

Article on U of T News


U of T students tackle community engagement in urban projects like Rail Deck Park

Article on U of T News


U of T student shares behind-the-scenes look at Jane's Walk in Toronto

Article on U of T News



U of T in the Community: students make buddy bench and friends in St. James Town

Article on U of T 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.


Career Navigator

To see where an Urban Studies program might take you, visit our Career Navigator page.


Innis College Awards



URSSU (The Urban Studies Student Union)

For more information, visit this page.