| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Civic Impact

Toronto joins cities around the world in celebrating Open Data Day 2016

On the first weekend in March, Torontonians will have an opportunity to join other people in communities around the world in celebrating global Open Data Day. To mark the occasion, a small group of volunteers from Civic Tech Toronto and Urban+Digital Toronto are hosting a one-day collaborative hackathon focused on addressing civic challenges.

CodeAcross Toronto 2016 is intended to bring together citizens from diverse backgrounds who share an interest in making Toronto a better place to live, work and play through data, technology and design. The event is designed to celebrate both Open Data Day as well as CodeAcross, a related initiative that encourages citizens to use technology and design to improve their communities through “civic hacking” led by American non-profit Code for America. Civic Tech Toronto, a grassroots group that hosts a civic hack night every week at various venues around the city, is one of dozens of Code for America volunteer “brigades” around the world that use technology to address local civic issues.

“Toronto’s civic tech community is growing at a dizzying pace. It’s remarkable to see. It’s not just coders and hardcore tech folks, either. It’s a wide range of people who actively want to help make this already great city even greater,” says Gabe Sawnhey, one of the event organizers. Gabe is also a co-founder of Civic Tech Toronto and the executive director of Urban+Digital Toronto.

Toronto is home to many technology-focused communities that hold regular events and meet-ups, like HackerNest and TechToronto. The emergence of meet-up groups like Digital Urbanism Toronto and Civic Tech Toronto, which hosts weekly civic hack nights every Tuesday, reflect a growing subset of Toronto’s tech scene that looks to apply design and technology to civic life. These groups offer space for like-minded individuals to meet each other, expand their network and spark potential collaborations.

While technical skills are always in demand at these types of events, Gabe is careful to reiterate that people with all kinds of experience are needed to help make the ideas and products relevant and useful. “We hope that anyone with an interest in applying their knowledge, skills and passion towards making our city a better place will join us on March 5th,” says Gabe. “Even if you can’t make it for CodeAcross Toronto, I encourage you to come out to another event or meet-up. It’s never been easier or more fun to get involved in this kind of work.”

CodeAcross Toronto 2016 is happening from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, March 5th at the Ryerson University Digital Media Zone. For more information and tickets, see the Civic Tech Toronto website.
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts