Civic Hall Toronto creates a new home for civic innovation

Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City Economic Development Committee, was joined by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43 Scarborough East), Chair of the CityGovernment Management Committee, and project partners Code for Canada and the Centre for Social Innovation to launch Civic Hall Toronto.

“Civic Hall Toronto will bring together City teams and outside innovators to collaborate on solutions to better serve our residents,” said Mayor John Tory. “I look forward to seeing the results of this work and the introduction of new tools and approaches to improve the way we work on behalf of the people of Toronto.”

Inspired by Civic Hall in New York and Paris’ Superpublic, Civic Hall Toronto offers a unique mix of services for members, including hot desks in the collaboration space, networking opportunities, training, events and custom support – including user testing, design sprints and more to help accelerate civic innovation projects.

“Around the world, entrepreneurs are finding success and sustainability delivering technologies that inform, engage and connect residents with government and one another to advance civic outcomes,” said Councillor Thompson. “Civic Hall Toronto will grow the commercial civic tech sector in the GTA by helping civic entrepreneurs connect and collaborate with technologists, public servants and potential users.”

“New ideas need new spaces where collaboration and outside the box thinking are encouraged,” said Civic Hall Toronto Program Manager Shea Sinnott. “Civic Hall Toronto will break down siloes, unite passionate and talented people with an interest in civic innovation, and enable the best ideas to be shared across sectors.”

Civic Hall Toronto will be managed by Code for Canada, hosted at the Centre for Social Innovation’s Spadina location at 215 Spadina Ave. and welcome members from governments and communities across the GTA. Information on membership is available at https://civichallto.ca/.

“This new home for civic innovation in the city will foster collaboration by creating a safe space for learning and testing ideas while engaging residents in improving government service design and policies,” said Councillor Ainslie. “We are excited to see how this collaboration between the City, Code for Canada and the Centre for Social Innovation will evolve and encourage everyone to find out more about what Civic Hall Toronto is about.”

“Civic Hall is bold and will bridge the gap between the City and citizens,” said Adil Dhalla,
Executive Director of the Centre for Innovation. “It is unlike anything Toronto has ever seen and will be a hub for social innovation and new thinking. We can’t wait to get started.”

Code for Canada is a national non-profit that enables governments to deliver better digital public services and empower communities to solve civic challenges using technology and design. More information is available at https://codefor.ca/.

— Shane Gerard

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