We live in a rapidly urbanizing world. When today’s high school students complete their education, an overwhelming majority of them will live their adult lives in cities — and in fact, most Canadian high school students live in urban centres already.


Understanding how cities work, and how you can change them for the better, is a key skill for learners of all ages — and there’s no better or more authentic source for this knowledge than our urban environments themselves.


This year’s TEDxYMCAAcademy event, The City as Laboratory, features talks by change agents whose projects and ideas are purpose-built to spark innovation and foster engagement in Canada’s urban landscape. Speakers at this event will explore a range of essential questions, including:


  • What can the gloriously messy, electrifyingly experimental nature of a modern city offer educators seeking experiential learning opportunities?
  • How can engaging with the people and places in your local neighbourhood foster new a new understanding of a city’s vitality?
  • Why is it so important to teach young people about urbanism — and what’s the best way to go about it?

  • The City as Laboratory is hosted by The YMCA Academy, a high school in central Toronto serving students with learning differences.


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    This TED video, by Jeff Speck, presents some of the issues we'll be discussing at our event