We’re excited to announce our selection of the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows!

Over 660 young Torontonians submitted applications, which were then reviewed by a panel of four experts in urban planning, public policy, and technology.

Our twelve Fellows have a range of perspectives, skills, and educational backgrounds. They come from all over Toronto, and have different experiences of living here. They share a clear commitment to community-building as well as a curiousity about how cities work, and they are eager to explore the ways technology can help Toronto meet its current and future challenges.

We will be introducing the Fellows in more depth in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at who they are:

The Fellows will attend their first meeting at the end of April. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get to know the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows in more depth, and to follow their work over the summer.

Thank you to everyone who applied for the program. There will still be many ways to get involved in the Sidewalk Toronto project this year, including multiple events at the Sidewalk Toronto office, opening this summer.

 


 

Hey, Toronto!

Are you age 19-24 and passionate about the future of cities and new technology?

Apply by March 9 to become 1 of 12 Sidewalk Toronto Fellows

Sidewalk Toronto Fellows will travel to New York, Boston, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Vancouver to learn how different cities are revitalizing their waterfronts and using new urban technologies.

We are looking for 12 smart, creative, and caring people who are interested in the future of Toronto’s waterfront and how we can responsibly incorporate technology to improve urban life.

If you are 19-24, consider Toronto your home, and want to step behind the scenes to learn how Toronto and other cities are working to manage growth and plan their future, then we hope you will apply to be one of our 12 Sidewalk Toronto Fellows.

As a Sidewalk Toronto Fellow you will work with 11 peers from different backgrounds and fields — including urban planning and architecture, business, public policy, science and technology, media, and the arts — to study how Toronto can build its newest waterfront neighbourhood, Quayside, and make it a model for vibrant, environmentally sustainable, inclusive, and technologically advanced living.

After a two-day orientation, Sidewalk Toronto Fellows will take three study tours to Boston and New York, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, and Vancouver to meet with senior public servants and planners, technologists, entrepreneurs, community advocates, and ethicists working to shape their cities.

Following these tours, the Fellows will work together to produce a public report outlining their aspirations and recommendations for Sidewalk Toronto and Toronto’s newest waterfront neighbourhood.

Apply now

Deadline: March 9, 2018, 11:59 pm ET

Contact Us:

Email: fellows@sidewalktoronto.ca
Phone: 844-561-2996

Who’s eligible?

We are looking for 12 Torontonians age 19-24 who together represent the diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives that make Toronto such an exciting and dynamic city.

You don’t need to be an expert in urban planning, technology, or public policy.

If you care about this city and its future, and are interested in how new technologies are combining with urban infrastructure to address major urban challenges, including congestion, affordability, and climate change, then we hope you will apply!

Specifically, we are looking for candidates who are:

In addition, candidates should:

Costs, Bursaries, and Supports

There is no cost to serve as a Sidewalk Toronto Fellow. If selected as a Fellow, Sidewalk Toronto will arrange and pay up front for all program travel, travel insurance, and accommodations. We will also cover meal expenses. Fellows are responsible for their own out-of-pocket expenses.

Though Fellows agree to volunteer their time, Sidewalk Toronto does not want financial barriers to prevent participation in the program. If selected as a Fellow, we will work with you to address any reasonable barrier that might impact your ability to participate in the program. Successful candidates with demonstrated financial needs will be able to request a modest bursary to facilitate their participation in the program.

Sidewalk Toronto welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities or those who face other barriers to participation in the Fellows program. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to speak with someone about your accessibility needs, please contact a coordinator at 844-561-2996 or email fellows@sidewalktoronto.ca.

Key Dates

Urban Academic Advisor

Dr. Pamela Robinson, MCIP RPP, will serve as the urban academic advisor for the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows program. She will travel with the Fellows and attend their working sessions to connect their experiences to research and practice. Dr. Robinson will also assist Sidewalk Toronto in the selection process and contribute to the design of the program curriculum.

Dr. Pamela Robinson is Associate Dean – Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives in the Faculty of Community Services and Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University.

How to Apply

To apply for the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows program, please provide:

Please do not include a cover letter, transcript, or any additional materials. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.

Start your application now

Selection Process

Up to 30 candidates will be selected for an in-person interview to be conducted March 24-25, 2018 in downtown Toronto. Only candidates selected for an interview will be notified before March 20. If you are not notified, we regret that you will not have been selected. The 12 Sidewalk Toronto Fellows will be notified on or before April 12, 2018.

Fellows will be provided with an orientation package prior to the Toronto working session which will detail the program guidelines and policies. Candidates will be asked to review and agree to these policies prior to the first working session.

Interview Panel

Pamela RobinsonDr. Pamela Robinson MCIP RPP is an associate professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives in the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University. She is a member of geothink.ca research team where she examines how open government, open data, and civic technology are transforming urban planning practice in Canadian cities. Pamela is a member of the Multi Stakeholder Forum advising the Government of Canada on their Open Government Partnership commitments.
Rhonda MooreRhonda Moore is a policy lead with the Public Policy Forum with responsibility for Your Energy Future, a national policy engagement and leadership development program delivered by the Public Policy Forum in partnership with Action Canada. She has more than 15 years of experience in science and research communications, and policy analysis and research in the areas of higher education, innovation, and science policy. Rhonda has previously held positions with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (now Universities Canada), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the University of Ottawa. Rhonda has worked in a diverse number of policy areas, including science and innovation policy, energy and regulatory policy, and literacy and essential skills. She is interested in promoting civic engagement among young Canadians and methods of community and policy engagement. Rhonda now leads the Action Canada Fellowship, a year-long leadership development and policy engagement program for emerging leaders. Rhonda has a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a Masters in Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies (with distinction) from the University of Edinburgh.
Anil PatelAs a resident living minutes away from the Lower Don Lands, Anil Patel has walked, run and cycled hundreds of kilometres through every street and path in the area. He is a keen urbanist, hoping good design and sound public policy principles win the day to make cities more livable, affordable and sustainable. Over the past two decades, Anil has participated in several civic building organizations and activities. For his efforts, Anil has been awarded fellowships with McConnell Foundation, Ashoka Canada and ActionCanada.
Kristina Verner - Waterfront Toronto
Kristina VernerKristina Verner is the Vice President, Innovation, Sustainability & Prosperity for Waterfront Toronto, where she is responsible for a variety of strategic initiatives for one of the world’s preeminent revitalization initiatives. She is a core Waterfront Toronto team member engaged on the Sidewalk Toronto Project with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs. Verner is active both nationally and internationally in the smart city movement and serves Board of Directors for the Intelligent Community Forum Foundation and ICF Canada. Previously, she led various aspects of the Connecting Windsor-Essex Smart Community, securing significant funding to support region’s smart city efforts, facilitating cross-sector collaboration and innovation. In 2011, she lead the bid that resulted in Windsor-Essex as one of Top 7 communities in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum. In 2013 and 2014, under her stewardship, Waterfront Toronto led the bid to have the City of Toronto recognized in both the Smart21 and Top 7. In 2014, Toronto was selected as the Intelligent Community of the Year. In 2012, Verner was honoured to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her leadership and commitment to the creation of intelligent communities and collaborative ecosystems that support the transparent, connected, vibrant communities and economies that will foster national prosperity.

More Interview Panel members to be announced.

Program Timetable

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQ section should answer many of your questions. If it doesn’t help, please send questions to fellows@sidewalktoronto.ca or 844 561-2996. Please don’t send questions to the academic advisor or interview panel members.
What are Waterfront Toronto, Sidewalk Labs, and Sidewalk Toronto?

Waterfront Toronto is the public advocate and steward of waterfront revitalization. Created by the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto is a public agency mandated to deliver a revitalized waterfront. Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company that explores how technology can improve quality of life in cities. Sidewalk Labs was selected as Waterfront Toronto’s Innovation and Funding Partner following a public competition in 2017. Sidewalk Toronto is the name used to describe this partnership between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs.

Why is Sidewalk Toronto investing in this program?

The Sidewalk Toronto Fellows program is one element in Sidewalk Toronto’s public participation plan. The program is intended to help ensure that early career Torontonians have an opportunity to benefit from and contribute to the planning process for Quayside, a new community along Toronto’s waterfront. The Fellows program provides a unique opportunity for Torontonians who are passionate about cities and technology to travel and learn from the experiences of other leading cities, and to share what they learn with Sidewalk Toronto and the city’s residents in a public report.

What will Fellows do during this program?

Fellows will begin with an orientation weekend in Toronto, where they will learn about the history of Toronto’s waterfront and recent development. Next, the Fellows will travel to New York, Boston, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Vancouver, where they will see examples of waterfront revitalization and the integration of new technologies into urban infrastructure. During a final working session in Toronto, Fellows will describe their aspirations and recommendations for how Sidewalk Toronto should develop Quayside, a new neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront. Some of the topics the Fellows are likely to explore include sustainability, affordability, public realm, mobility, privacy and data governance, and community services.

Will it cost Fellows anything to participate? Will I get paid to participate?

There is no cost to serve as a Sidewalk Toronto Fellow. If selected as a Fellow, Sidewalk Toronto will pay for all program travel, travel insurance, accommodation, and meal expenses. Fellows are responsible for their own out-of-pocket expenses.

Though Fellows agree to volunteer their time, Sidewalk Toronto does not want financial barriers to prevent participation in the program. If selected as a Fellow, we will work with you to address any reasonable barrier that might impact your ability to participate in the program. Successful candidates with demonstrated financial needs will be able to request a modest bursary to facilitate their participation in the program.

What are you looking for in a Fellow?

We want engaged, early-career Torontonians ages 19-24 who are passionate about the city and want to make it better. You should be a curious, creative problem-solver who understands and cares about solving the issues affecting Torontonians.

How will Fellows be selected?

Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by a panel of experts in urban planning, public policy, and technology. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview the week of March 19. If you have not been notified for an interview by March 20, we regret that you have not been selected to participate. Successful Fellows will be notified on or before April 12.

What kind of references should I provide?

References should come from people who can vouch for your character and abilities. These could be academic supervisors, teachers, employers, volunteer supervisors, community leaders, or mentors. Please do not list family members as a reference.

Who is eligible to apply?

Only residents of Toronto between the ages of 19 and 24 at the start of the program on April 28, 2018 are eligible to apply. (Unfortunately, there are no exceptions!) Students who are currently away from Toronto but who intend to return after their studies are eligible. Please indicate if this is the case on your application form.

You cannot be an employee, board member, or immediate family member of an employee of Sidewalk Labs, Waterfront Toronto, Sidewalk Toronto, or the branch of a public or private sector organization that currently has a direct and material interest in the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows Program or development of Toronto’s waterfront.

You cannot serve on both the Sidewalk Toronto Residents Reference Panel and the Fellows program. If you apply for both programs and are selected for both, you will need to accept only one offer.

What if I am not quite 19? What if I will turn 25 during the program?

Fellows must be between the ages of 19 and 24 by the start of the program (April 28, 2018). If you will turn 19 before April 28, or if you turn 25 after the start of the program, you are still eligible to apply.

Do I have to live in Toronto right now to be eligible?

Yes, you must live in the City of Toronto to be eligible for this program. Students who ordinarily live in Toronto but are away from school are eligible. You will need to be able to be present in Toronto for the meetings in April and August.

Do I need to have a particular job or academic background to participate?

No. Anyone between the ages of 19 and 24 is eligible to apply, regardless of their program of study or area of employment. Passion for Toronto and interest in urban issues will go a long way. We encourage everyone who fits our eligibility criteria to apply.

Do I have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident?

No. You do not have to be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

I would like to apply but I have a barrier that may impact my participation.

Sidewalk Toronto welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities or those who face other barriers to participation in the Fellows program. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to speak with someone about your accessibility needs, please contact a coordinator at 844-561-2996 or fellows@sidewalktoronto.ca.

I can’t attend one of the trips or meetings, can I still apply?

No. Without exception, Fellows must be able to attend all of the dates listed in the program.

I’m not available to attend interviews on March 24-25 — can you make an exception?

Applicants must make themselves available for an in-person interview on March 24 or 25. We will ask you to indicate your preference of day if you make it to the interview stage. We can accommodate interviews via video conference for students studying out of town.

What is the time commitment?

The program will involve several full days of meetings and travel between April and August, including four days total in Toronto, four days in the United States, six days in Europe, and three days in Vancouver. You will be required to do some reading in advance of each trip, help write a summary report for at least one of the trips, and participate in the writing of the final report in August and September. This extra work should amount to about 30 hours of your time from April to the end of September in addition to travel time.

I’m skeptical of Sidewalk Toronto and what I’ve heard about its plans. Should I still apply?

Yes. We welcome participants who offer critical perspectives and new ideas.

Who is advising the program and travelling with the Fellows?

Dr. Pamela Robinson, MCIP RPP, will serve as the urban academic advisor for the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows program. She will travel with the Fellows and attend their working sessions to connect their experiences to research and practice. Dr. Robinson will also assist Sidewalk Toronto in the selection process, and contribute to the design of the program curriculum.

The Fellows will also be supported by a facilitation and logistics team that will coordinate their travel and working sessions.

How will the final report be incorporated into the plans for Sidewalk Toronto?

Sidewalk Toronto has embarked on a major engagement program throughout 2018 that includes the Fellows program as well as a Residents Reference Panel, four public roundtable meetings, several dozen neighbourhood meetings, pop-ups in public spaces throughout the city, public lectures, as well as many other opportunities. Each of these activities, including the final report of the Fellows, will help to inform Sidewalk Toronto’s Master Innovation and Development Plan. The Fellows will also have the opportunity to present their report to senior leadership at Sidewalk Toronto.

How can I follow the Fellows’ work?

You can follow the work of the Fellows on the Sidewalk Toronto website. We will provide brief biographies of each Fellow at the start of the program. Throughout the summer we will post updates on where the Fellows travelled, what they saw, and what they learned. We will also publish the Fellows’ final report in early fall.

I’m a student — can I get credit for this fellowship?

Different post-secondary institutions have different options for earning these kinds of credits. Each fellow will need to explore these options in their home institution. The Academic Advisor is also available to help selected fellows explore these options.

Will Fellows get a job after this program?

Though we hope that Fellows will benefit from this program and that it will help to advance their careers and engagement with city issues, the Fellows program is not a pathway to paid employment with Sidewalk Toronto, Sidewalk Labs, or Waterfront Toronto.

How is my Personal Information being collected and used?

Sidewalk Toronto partners with Mass LBP, a Toronto-based organization that specializes in public engagement, to manage the application and selection process for the Fellows program. Mass LBP collects and manages your Personal Information on behalf of Sidewalk Toronto in accordance with the Sidewalk Toronto Privacy Policy, which outlines your rights and our data protection practices. If you have questions about your privacy, please contact privacy@sidewalktoronto.ca.

How can I contact you if I have questions?

To reach a coordinator with questions about the program application process or accessibility concerns, email fellows@sidewalktoronto.ca or call 844-561-2996.