Travel: About Local Host
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About Our Local Hosts

The University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University all welcome you to the 60th ACSP Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto is the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this city is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Together, the three universities are home to professionally accredited planning programs with 450 undergraduate students (Ryerson) and 220 Master's students (across the three universities), as well as a doctoral program with over 30 students (University of Toronto).  We join in welcoming you to Toronto where you can explore Canada's largest and most diverse city with more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages represented within its population.

Toronto is internationally known as an innovative site of urban planning, policy experimentation and grassroots activism. From regional planning via Greenbelt policies, to economic innovation, to “smart city” plans, to successful waterfront revitalization, intensification policies, unique neighbourhood diversity and grassroots placemaking, planning academics and practitioners will find Toronto fascinating. Toronto is also grappling with urgent challenges, such as lack of affordable housing, inadequate transit infrastructure, climate change, and economic and racial inequality. Planners, academics, students, and community leaders from a wide array of backgrounds will come together to discuss these and other timely topics, highlighted by the Conference's focal event: Racial Equity and Justice in Urban Planning Research and Education in the Face of Racialized Inequality. We are excited for you to join us in November!


The Host Schools and their Planning Programs 

University of Toronto
The University of Toronto’s Graduate Planning programs have over 100 students enrolled, offering a fully accredited Masters of Science in Planning (MScPl) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Planning (PhD). The Department is also a major partner with UofT’s School of Cities. Planning joined the Department of Geography in 1982, creating a rich interdisciplinary intellectual culture

The University of Toronto is home to the endowed John Bousfield Distinguished Visitorship in Planning. It provides a generous stipend that can include a living allowance and enables the Planning Program to host accomplished Canadian and international planning academics and professionals. The duration of the visitorship is flexible but usually for a single term. 


Ryerson University
Opening in 1969, Ryerson’s School of Urban and Regional Planning has over 500 students enrolled in five accredited planning programs including a four-year baccalaureate, a two-year accelerated baccalaureate, a two-year post-diploma degree, and a one-year and two-year Master of Planning - Urban Development (M.Pl.) degree.

Studio is at the heart of our planning curriculum, with core studios emphasizing foundational skills and dozens of client-based studios with community partners providing students with practical planning experience.


York University
York University offers an accredited Masters of Environmental Studies – Planning degree with an overall emphasis on social and environmental justice, combined with a critical approach to research, pedagogy and practice. This program will form a vital core of York University’s new Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change beginning September 1, 2020. 

The MES-Planning Program has a Planning Skills Lab, where planning professionals and field experts are engaged in providing professional development skills and overall experiential learning opportunities to students. 

The Ecological Footprint Initiative is a partnership between the Global Footprint Network and York University. Numerous MES-Planning Program students are involved in this initiative to enhance accounting methodology and improve data collection on which the Ecological Footprint is based.

Local Host Committee

Local Host Committee Chairs

Virginia Maclaren, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto at St George






Chris DeSousa, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University






Luisa Sotomayor, Planning Program Coordinator, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University






Local Host Committee Members

  • David Amborski, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University
  • Amrita Daniere, Dean and Vice-Principal Academic, University of Toronto at Mississauga
  • Richard DiFrancesco, Chair, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto at St. George
  • Jennifer Foster, Planning Program, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Ute Lehrer, Planning Program, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Pamela Robinson, Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University
  • Raktim Mitra, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University
  • Matti Siemiatycki, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto at St George
  • Laura Taylor, Planning Program, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Toronto Fun Facts

Check out all of Toronto's Fun Facts and get excited about our #ACSP2020 host city!


Mobile Tours

More information coming soon!





The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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