canada 150 | December 19, 2016

Celebrating Canada’s Urban Reality: Shawn Micallef Speaks on Identity & Nationhood at 150

As Canada celebrates its 150th year, we reflect on what unites us nationally by looking to both our past and future. In a new keynote, Toronto Star columnist and Spacing editor Shawn Micallef argues that Canada’s identity is built around its urban centres—growing, thriving, and innovating like never before.

Today’s Canada is young, diverse, and increasingly urban. In fact, 80 percent of Canadians live in cities or suburbs—vibrant hubs of innovation and creativity that are now world-renowned. And to new urbanist Shawn Micallef, this signals opportunity. If we can realize the tremendous value of our cities, we can create truly coherent policy renewals—and reinvigorate a new nation-building project around our urban centres. In this forward-thinking keynote, Micallef argues that it’s time to embrace the buzz around urban (and suburban) Canada. It’s time to overcome the regionalism that divides downtowns and suburbs and start working on the common threads that bind us together. Our 150 year nation-building story of Canada needs a crucial update—and with Shawn Micallef, you’ll learn how to celebrate, critique, and explore our cities for what they are: the envy of the world.


Micallef is the definitive speaker on the new Canadian urbanism. Watch his talk from TEDx Toronto, below, where he speaks on bridging the harmful divide between Toronto’s downtown and its suburbs:

TEDxToronto 2012 Talk - Shawn Micallef


To book cities speaker Shawn Micallef to appear at your next conference or event, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.


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