Designing Transit Cities Symposium

Taking place on November 19-20, 2009, the Designing Transit Cities Symposium is a two-day event aimed at exploring the issues described below with experts from successful international transit-oriented cities. You will hear from experts from Paris, Madrid, Zurich, Portland and San Francisco who have a strong track record in building cities where transit supports good development and vice versa. Out-of-town experts Paul Goldberger, Robert Cervero and Maria Zimmerman, as well as local politicians, designers and transit experts, including Mayor David Miller, TTC Chair Councillor Adam Giambrone and Paul Bedford, Metrolinx Board Member and Former City of Toronto Chief Planner, grapple with these important city design issues in a series of panel discussions, presentations and workshops.


Join international and local experts in thought-provoking discussions that will address:


* the symbiotic relationship between city design and public transportation

* encouraging appropriately scaled development along transit lines

* creating beautiful streets that include transit

* capturing value from transit investments

* building public support for a transit-based city


Transit in the Greater Toronto Area

Toronto and the GTA have recently unveiled transit proposals that will, when implemented, propel the region back into the ranks of the world’s great transit cities. Metrolinx has announced ambitious plans to link previously disconnected car-oriented suburban communities across the GTA with a series of rapid transit lines.


In Toronto, the TTC and Metrolinx are about to break ground on one of the largest transit system expansions in North America. A grid of new accessible light-rail lines laid out over the entire city will provide efficient and frequent service to previously underserved neighbourhoods and business areas and connect with existing subway, bus and streetcar lines.


How Cities Grow with Transit

Over the past several years we have done a lot of great work to move these transit projects from vision to reality. A key consideration is how the city will continue to grow up around these now transit-serviced areas.


What do great transit cities look like and how can they be designed? Development often follows major public transportation investments and is a wonderful means of transforming cities and regions from dispersed and car-oriented areas to more sustainable-patterned centres. These patterns encourage and support not only transit, but cycling and pedestrian activity, while providing the necessary infrastructure to support vibrant pedestrian-oriented retail, community and cultural facilities and higher-density housing.


Be Part of the Discussion

Designing a city around transit raises a number of questions: What form should the new transit-oriented development take? How dense should it be? Should it be arrayed along the corridors or concentrated at major nodes? What should the streets look like? How much space should be devoted to transit, cars, parking, bicycles and pedestrians? How should the buildings frame the street? Does the housing attract area empty-nesters wanting to stay in the neighbourhood? What are the retail strategies? Do we even need development to support transit?


Note that some sessions are free and open to the public to attend. For up-to-date information, please visit and