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What was the Toronto Summit?

The Toronto Summit 2007: Making Big Things Happen convened over 600 invited civic leaders - from the business, labour and the non-profit sectors, as well as from all levels of government - to discuss social, economic and environmental challenges facing the Toronto region and help to develop an updated action plan for addressing them.

During the last Summit in 2003, region leaders agreed to pursue the recommendations identified in Enough Talk: An Action Plan for the Toronto Region. This resulted in the creation of:

  • Toront03 Alliance for post-SARS tourism recovery
  • Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC): integrating skilled immigrants
  • "Make Housing Happen" Campaign: advocating for affordable housing
  • Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force: neighbourhood revitalization strategy
  • Toronto Region Research Alliance: attracting research and innovation
  • Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults (MISWAA)
  • Emerging Leaders Network: youth and civil leader dialogues
  • Luminato, a new annual international festival of arts and creativity

The 2007 summit revisited some of these topics, and added some new challenges of concern, in each case identifying how we can act to advance solutions. By scrolling through the agenda below you can "visit" the various summit sessions, hear the featured speakers, and read the session backgrounders.

Click here for a list of the people and organizations who contributed to the success of the Summit:

Toronto Summit 2007 Agenda:



Summit Welcome by David Pecaut [10MB], Chair, Toronto City Summit Alliance and Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group.

Remarks by Senator Hugh Segal [4MB] on behalf of the Government of Canada

"Making Big Things Happen," by Ric Young [49MB], President, E-Y-E, and leading Canadian social change thinker and practitioner. To read Ric Young's speech, click here.


10am – 12am


Beyond the Gas Tax: Closing Toronto's Fiscal Gap: How can we grow the City of Toronto's revenue base to keep pace spending needs? How do we close the perennial fiscal gap? This workshop tackled one of the biggest challenges facing Toronto - ensuring that our infrastructure and services keep pace with population growth, while sustaining our competitiveness and quality of life. Click here for the Backgrounder

Toronto's Cultural Renaissance: Toronto is seeing an explosion of activity on the arts and culture front, from a "building boom" that has given us exciting new cultural landmarks to the "Live With Culture" campaign that brought us Nuit Blanche. How can the cultural investments in the Toronto Region pay dividends to more people in more communities? How can we create and maintain affordable space for artists and creative businesses? This session did more than ask questions; it delivered solutions. Click here for the Backgrounder

Making Diversity Count: Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse city regions in the world, yet this diversity is not always reflected in the governance and leadership of Toronto, or in its key public and private institutions. This session created a roadmap for inclusion - a plan to engage people from all communities, both as voters and as representatives, in our electoral process and governance structures. Click here for the Backgrounder

A Decent Living For All: Too many of Toronto's working-age adults do not earn sufficient income to meet their basic costs of living. How can we achieve a decent standard of living for Ontarians who work full-time or cannot work? Participants in this session developed an action plan for transforming what is a raw deal for some to a fair deal for everyone. Click here for the Backgrounder


Introduction of His Worship David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, by John Honderich [6MB], Director, Torstar Corporation.

Address by Mayor Miller [18MB]. To read Mayor Miller's speech, click here.


2pm – 4pm


Investing for the Future: We all know that the health and wealth of Toronto region matters, not only to the region, but to the rest of the province and the country. Or do we know that? Why does the competitiveness of this region matter to Wawa and Lethbridge? This session considered how our governments can work together, and work with industry and other stakeholders, to build on our strengths in financial services, manufacturing, tourism and high technology to improve our competitiveness in the global economy, investment potential, and international business ties. Click here for the Backgrounder

Making Housing Happen: Enough Talk recommended a six-point housing agenda to be completed over a ten-year period. Are we on track? This session took stock of our affordable housing stock, what has been achieved and what remains to be achieved. Session participants explored what businesses, governments and communities can do to deliver the housing the region needs. Click here for the Backgrounder

Toronto's Waterfront: From Vision to Reality: The revitalization of Toronto's waterfront is well underway. This session will focus on what is happening on the waterfront, behind the scenes and on the ground. Based on the waterfront vision, plans, and implementation to date, participants considered how to deal with some of the remaining challenges to moving more of the waterfront vision into reality. Click here for the Backgrounder

Success in School, Success for Life: We all recognize that having a good education matters to outcomes in life. It's also critical to fully engaging in and contributing to community life and society. This discussion moved beyond test scores to focus on what we need to do to help our kids succeed in school, graduate and fulfill their potential. Click here for the Backgrounder


Introduction of the Honourable Jack Layton, by Ratna Omidvar [1.5MB], Executive Director, Maytree Foundation.

Closing Address by the Honourable Jack Layton [22MB], Leader of the NDP Party of Canada.



Evening Opening, by Jian Ghomeshi [9.5MB], Musician and Broadcaster.



Summit Welcome by David Pecaut [10MB]






Keynote Speaker: World-renowned energy thinker Amory Lovins [52MB]. To view slides from Amory Lovins' presentation, click here.



Evening Close



Welcome from Julia Deans [3MB], Executive Director, Toronto City Summit Alliance

Remarks by John Tory [15MB], MPP and Leader of the Official Opposition. To read Mr. Tory's remarks, click here

Overview of Challenges and Report out on Day One - David Pecaut [38MB], TCSA Chair and Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group. To view slides from David Pecaut's presentation, click here.




A Green Toronto: This morning plenary, led by the Honourable David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto and President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, and guest speaker Louise Comeau, Director of the Sage Climate Project and former Director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Centre for Sustainable Communities, focused on the opportunities for the greening of Toronto. Should we aim to be the "Greenest Big City in North America" by 2015? If we do, what do we need to do to achieve that goal? For additional material, click on the following:

To read a transcript of Louise Comeau's speech, click here.



Lunch with remarks by the Honourable Stéphane Dion [22MB], leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, followed by a conversation with Andy Barrie, Host of CBC Radio One's Metro Morning



Transit & Transportation: Getting to Sustainability: Led by Conference Board President Anne Golden, in conversation with Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) Chair Rob MacIsaac and Toronto Transit Commission Chair Adam Giambrone, this session assessed how we can assist the GTTA, relevant governments, transportation providers, and other organizations in establishing and achieving a cost-effective program for planning, funding and delivering a more sustainable transit/transportation system.



Strong Neighbourhoods, Stronger Toronto Region: Building on Enough Talk, the 2005 Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force called for investment in 13 priority neighbourhoods to make them safe and healthy places for families, and to better connect their inhabitants to our region's opportunities and prosperity. Led by United Way of Greater Toronto President Frances Lankin and guest speaker, Boston Foundation CEO Paul Grogran, this session looked at how we can build on the transformational progress and investment now underway, and what we need to do to close the "disadvantage gap" between our have and have-not neighbourhoods.



Closing Address by the Honourable Dalton McGuinty [20MB], Premier of Ontario, introduced by Dominic D'Alessandro, CEO of Manulife Financial. To listen to the session click here [20MB]. To read Premier McGuinty's address click here.



Summit Wrap-up

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