The Government of Ontario’s recent decision to slash the number of Toronto city councillors in half, from 47 to 25, has dramatically changed the upcoming municipal election. But on the ground, the city’s 2.8 million residents face the same day-day-to challenges as in major cities around the world: access to affordable housing, poverty and inequality, traffic congestion, immigrant integration, and climate change.

“Munk in the City” is an initiative by the Urban Policy Lab and newly reimagined Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy to motivate students to grapple with these challenges first-hand, and consider the urban policy solutions that can address these issues.

In the weeks leading up to the municipal election, 25 teams of students from both the Master of Public Policy and Master of Global Affairs programs will step out of the classroom and into the community, venturing to all corners of the city to explore and report on key issues and concerns in each of the 25 new wards. Walking new streets and neighbourhoods, talking with local residents and businesses, immersing themselves in new places and experiences, students will produce a series of creative dispatches — blog entries, photo essays, podcasts, and video documentaries — that speak to the lived reality of different Torontonians across the city, and the policy questions we should ask ourselves, and our elected leaders, as voters head to the polls on October 22.

Event details:

Skills Workshop with Shawn Micallef
Date and time: Friday, September 21, 3-5 p.m.
Location: University College 161

To prepare and inspire students to chronicle the city around them with an urbanist’s eye, students will attend a training workshop led by Shawn Micallef, city columnist for the Toronto Star, co-founder of Spacing Magazine, and author of Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness and Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto.

Showcase and Election Viewing Party
Date and time: Monday, October 22, 7-10 p.m.
Location: Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Pl.

To celebrate the efforts of our MGA and MPP participants, the Munk School will host an election night viewing party where students will have the opportunity to showcase their work while enjoying the company of friends and colleagues as poll results come in. The most creative entries will be considered for publication by Spacing Magazine, Canada’s premier periodical on urbanism.

How to participate:

All students registered in the Master of Public Policy or Master of Global Affairs programs are eligible to participate. Students will be expected to commit at least 8-10 hours to the initiative, including attending the mandatory skills workshop.

Contact Prof. Gabriel Eidelman ( with any questions.