10 No Brainers to Make Toronto More Awesome! is a project of the Centre for City Ecology that highlights small, achievable actions at the City-level that would improve life in Toronto’s neighbourhoods, right now. A series of 10 short videos will be released on Spacing Toronto from Sept. 15-19, highlighting 10 No Brainers contributed by a diverse cast of Torontonians. The project will wrap up with a free Pop-Up Event where City Council candidates can pitch which No Brainer they’d champion at City Hall and the public can join in the conversation: October 9 in the East End.
As Toronto heads into the October 27 municipal election, focus has been on the large scale and long-term: transit plans, property taxes, affordable housing etc. We tend to talk mostly about the “big ideas” for Toronto. It’s a necessary conversation, of course, but many of these big ideas will take 30-50 years to come to fruition. So what about the short-term, the low-hanging fruit, the everyday?
It’s easy to lose sight of the ongoing, day-to-day work of our local Councillors, the kinds of issues they face, and the good ideas they champion in their work. Something like, say, reducing permitting fees for park friends groups doing volunteer work in their local parks, may not be a high-profile issue, but the potential benefits to our parks, residents, and communities is far-reaching and deep. This kind of change is concrete and achievable in the short term, provided that the political will exists to facilitate it.
That’s where 10 No Brainers to Make Toronto More Awesome! comes in. It’s a project by the Centre for City Ecology that celebrates ten simple, achievable ideas to precipitate positive change in Toronto’s neighbourhoods. The 10 No Brainers have been submitted by a diverse cast of contributors, and focus on simple alterations to City bylaws, fees, or administrative processes that would improve life in Toronto’s neighbourhoods, right now. The idea is that when we think creatively about how to make the city perform better for us, amazing things can happen in our neighbourhoods.
10 No Brainers will feature a series of 10 short video interviews with our contributors, highlighting each idea to make Toronto more awesome. The videos will be released right here on Spacing Toronto over this week, two per day from September 15 – 19.
To wrap up the project, we’ll host two Pop-Up Events in early October, free and open to all. At each of these events, we’ll invite candidates for City Council to pitch which No Brainer they’ll champion at City Hall, if elected. We’ll invite residents to learn about the 10 No Brainers through a series of information posters and to join in a conversation about small ideas with a big impact for Toronto.
10 No Brainers is about championing good ideas and good work in Toronto.
Today, we begin with a No Brainer contributed by Nancy Chater, a Landscape Architect and Associate with The Planning Partnership who led the design of the Church Street Parklets. Nancy pitches her simple idea to enhance and expand the public realm – Say “Yes” to Parklets.