Learning from a City Built for Mice

This past week our Directors of Urban Planning Education, Alexander Furneaux and Marcia Garnes (above), attended the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Conference to share what they’ve discovered working on Mouse City, our model city-building program, with fellow urban planners from across the province.

Aligning with the conference’s focus on sustainable city-building, Alexander and Marcia told the story of Mouse City Valley – a six-week program we ran last year in partnership with Evergreen Brick Works. It gave kids a chance to explore how storybook mice might build themselves a city that respects the environmental significance of valley landscapes in urban centres such as Toronto (photos below).

Through the presentation, planners learned about the importance of engaging children in city-building, and tools to consult them in ways that are fun, creative, and accessible. Attendees were captivated by the stories and structures children created at Mouse City Valley. Alexander and Marcia showed the crowd how to transform such program materials into feedback that can be used to inform the policy and design that shapes cities.

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Mouse City Cloverdale Caters to Builders & Foodies

Urban planners aged 4-12 are invited to take part in the redesign of Cloverdale Mall at “Mouse City Cloverdale,” a special installment of our popular model city-building program Mouse City, presented as part of RELISH The Foodie Event, on Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 15th, 11am-7pm, at Cloverdale Mall (North Parking Lot, 250 The East Mall). FREE.

Mouse City Cloverdale will be a drop-in session. We’ll provide FREE craft materials. Kids can make models of the structures they’d like to see in the revamped Cloverdale Mall and position them on a giant vinyl map of the current site, including the boundaries of the proposed development. The Quad Real development team, who are handling the real-life rebuild, will take notes as the kids’ vision of the new mall evolves over the weekend.

RELISH The Foodie Event will feature a number of popular food trucks and food makers. There’ll be delicious dishes and talks by celebrity chefs. For a full schedule, click here.

Come for the food. Stay for the city-building.

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Kids Can Improve Public Transit at 8 80 Streets Danforth

How can we make public transit work for everyone? Urban Planners aged 4-12 can explore this timely issue as they build a model city out of craft materials at a Mouse City program on Saturday, August 24, 10am-3pm, at  8 80 Streets Danforth.We’ll run this FREE drop-in session on the street, near Dulux Paints (2031 Danforth Ave).

Spearheaded by 8 80 Cities, the 8 80 Streets Danforth project will unfold over two days (August 23-24) and transform an entire city block – from Woodbine Ave to Woodmount Ave – into a dynamic street that exemplifies the City of Toronto’s aspiration to reduce traffic fatalities to zero.

The only pop-up street makeover of its kind to take place in our city, 8 80 Streets Danforth brings internationally renowned tactical urbanists The Better Block Foundation to Canada for the first time.

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A Magical Day With Qin Leng & Friends

Renowned illustrator Qin Leng (centre) unveiled her picture book debut I AM SMALL at our 11th annual Totsapalooza, with Fay & Fluffy’s Drag Queen Story Time (top left), author Emil Sher (top right), and indie rock all-stars The Woodshed Orchestra (bottom), on Saturday, February 2 at Revival.

Watching Qin draw a character and choreographer Ann-Marie Williams (bottom, middle) bring it to life through movement was positively magical. So too were Wanda’s-Pie-in-the-Sky Bakery‘s treats based on Qin’s pictures.

Photos by Jenn Catanzaro. For more photos, click here.

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