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Follow our May 20 speakers series event on the evolution of downtown Yonge Street

Downtown Yonge Street.

Tanzeel Merchant

Shawn Micallef

Jane Farrow

Ken Greenberg

Our free Wednesday, May 20 speakers series panel discussion will explore the role of our publication's iconic namesake in shaping the city's sense of community, and our role in shaping the street itself. We are thrilled to have noted urbanists Ken Greenberg, Shawn Micallef, and Tanzeel Merchant on board to discuss the thoroughfare's past, present, and future as the lifeline of the city. 
Ken Greenberg is an urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto and Principal of Greenberg Consultants. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Design Excellence and the 2014 Sustainable Buildings Canada Lifetime Achievement Award. Involved in many grassroots and community initiatives, he is a Board Member of Park People, a non-profit dedicated to the improvement of Toronto's parkls. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto where he an Adjunct Professor in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. He is also a co-founder and a Visiting Scholar at the new City Building Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto. A frequent writer for periodicals, he is the author of Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder published by Random House.

Tanzeel Merchant is the Executive Director of the Ryerson City Building Institute, a non-partisan centre focused on urban issues relevant to city regions. Prior to this role, as a Manager at the Province’s Ontario Growth Secretariat since 2009, Tanzeel led the development and implementation of the award-winning Places to Grow initiative. This initiative plans for growth and development in a way that supports economic prosperity, protects the environment and helps communities achieve a high quality of life. In July 2014, Tanzeel was featured in the Toronto Star as one of 24 Canadians nationally with ideas that would shape the future. He sits on the board of Heritage Toronto and the Friends of the Pan Am Path.

Shawn Micallef is a Toronto Star columnist, co-owner and an editor of Spacing magazine, co-founder of the mobile phone public space documentary project [murmur], and instructor at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class, and the Pursuit of Leisure, and was the Toronto Public Library’s non-fiction writer in residence in 2013. He was also the founding editor of Yonge Street.

The evening will be guest-facilitated by Jane Farrow, Director, Learning & Participation of Mass LBP.  Jane was the founding Executive Director of Jane's Walk, an annual event inspired by urbanist Jane Jacobs featuring free walking tours led by locals, which has spread worldwide. For ten years, Jane worked as a CBC Radio One host and producer on such programs as The Sunday Edition, This Morning, Workology, And Sometimes Y, Wanted Words, and Q. She was also the chair of a community association (Active 18), co-author of High Rise Neighbourhood Walkability Studies (with Prof. Paul Hess, University of Toronto), an executive assistant for a Toronto city councillor, and a policy advisor for Toronto Park People. Spacing Magazine named Jane one of the 10 People We Love in their ten-year anniversary issue (December 2013), noting her ability to bring people together for positive deliberation and action. The Toronto Community Foundation recognized Jane's contribution to urban resiliency with a Vital People Award in 2010. She sits on the External Advisory Board of the City Institute at York University.
The Yonge Street Speaker Series is supported by the Downtown Yonge BIA.
Please follow along at home on Twitter. 
We'll be using the hashtag #yongetalks for this series.
Wednesday, May 20
The Arts and Letters Club, 14 Elm Street, Toronto
A light refreshment reception will be provided from 6:30-7pm.


Downtown Yonge Street photo by Loozrboy on Flickr.

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