Torontoist Presents... Real City Matters: Civil Discourse for a Crazy Town
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Torontoist Presents…
Real City Matters: Civil Discourse for a Crazy Town

Join us for a series of discussions about Toronto, its future, and how we can have better conversations about building a stronger city.

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Toronto is not a broken city. All too often, political rhetoric makes it seem as if we’re on the brink of collapse: fiscal, social, political—even existential, for those who still bring up de-amalgamation. We are one of the luckiest cities in the world in many ways, and we often forget that.

But we are also a city facing many challenges. We’re a teenager of a city, unsure of our identity. We want to be “world class” but often shy away from ambitious projects. We want to grow—we will grow, whether we like it or not—but want to keep our neighbourhoods feeling like small communities. We are also, still, a patchwork city, amalgamated but not fully integrated.

Perhaps most importantly, we are not very good at talking about any of these issues. We trumpet our diversity but struggle—perhaps because we’re too “polite,” too Canadian—to have frank discussions about the racism that exists here. We decry downtown vs. suburbs divisiveness without being honest about the fact that there is real disenfranchisement in Toronto, and some of it falls along geographic lines.

We need to start having better conversations.

In the lead-up to the 2014 municipal election, Torontoist has partnered with former urban affairs reporter Siri Agrell to create a series of discussions about all of this. Our goal: figure out how to speak better—more optimistically and also more honestly—about Toronto, and how to make more inclusive decisions about the city’s future.

Also, we plan to have some fun along the way.

For four Tuesdays, starting on September 30 and running through October 21, we’ll be convening a series of panel discussions devoted to various aspects of this particular dilemma: many of us are doing well, and we don’t do a very good job discussing the reasons why some of us are not. We’re bringing grassroots activists together with organizational leaders, and, for some outside perspective, members of the former Bloomberg administration in New York.

There will be some surprises each night—comedy and music and creative elements that celebrate the things we love about Toronto—and we would love for you to join us.

Tickets are free, and you can get them right here:

Real City Matters