Celebrating a Culture of YES in Toronto


YIMBY was open to the public from 11am-3pm on October 31st, 2015. In addition to tabling, some community groups offered programming at YIMBY.

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Workshop spaces will be filled on a first come, first serve basis!

Opening Remarks by Mayor John Tory (11:00-11:30am)

Sewing, Mending, Patching (11:30 – 1:30pm, Breakout space 1)

Presented by: Toronto Clothing Repairathon

Have a tear in your jeans? Need a button sewn on? Stop by and we’ll fix it. Feel free to come by with clean clothing in need of small repairs, not more than 2-3 per person.

Building Inclusive Communities (11:30 – 12pm, Breakout space 3)

Presented by: Harmony Movement 

This workshop will address the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all in the communities we are working in by challenging our personal assumptions and biases about what it means to make social change. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage with others who are involved in grassroots community development to think about what real social change can look like in our communities. 

Say YES to Dance! (12-12:30pm, Breakout space 4)

Presented by: Culture Shock Toronto

Culture Shock is a non profit Hip Hop organization who uses the power of dance to promote education, entertainment and community enrichment. Join Culture Shock Toronto for a fun interactive session to experience how they make dance accessible #forallpeople. 


Planning and Community Development in Buffalo and Toronto: From the 716 to the 416 (12 – 1pm, Breakout space 2) 

Presented by: Think Fresh Group

Just 2 hours away from Toronto on the other side of Lake Ontario is Buffalo, New York – a city that has met the fate of many similar Rust Belt cities – with declining populations and large tracts of abandoned sites. Most Torontonians are probably familiar with Buffalo as a place for cross-border shopping and NFL football games, but there is more to the city than meets the eye. With strong local communities, vibrant community projects and some of the most beautiful architecture in America (including 3 Frank Lloyd Wright houses), Buffalo has been experiencing new growth and opportunity over the last few years that is leading towards a major revitalization. Come hear from Chris Hawley, a planner with the City of Buffalo, talking about Buffalo’s new Green Code – a new form-based planning system rooted in sustainability and only the 3rd in America. Listen to representatives of the West Side Bazaar and The Foundry talk about local economic development and community infrastructure building. Speakers will be matched up with like-minded Toronto city builders who will comment and how these relate to our city.

The City Game: Show us the Picture (12:00-12:30pm, Breakout Space 3)

Presented by: toronto2050

The city game is your chance to visualize our city’s future through pictures. Use pictures to draw and share your vision for the future of Toronto’s city signage and graphics, housing, neighbourhoods, transit, new economies, sustainability, amalgamation, planning, green/ public spaces. Images will help us imagine the Toronto of tomorrow. 

Stories of Ours – Unity Our Strength (1 – 1:30pm, Breakout space 4)

Presented by: Stories of Ours

Join us for a mini version of Stories of Ours, a storytelling project profiling a multicultural and multigenerational lineup of incredible humans who share true stories and art at each event. Join us on a journey going beyond cross-cultural dialogue towards creating a place were we can lean into, support, and grow a culture of inclusivity and solidarity. We create bridges between humans through the power of story and loving spaces for us to start bringing challenging conversations to the fore of our lived lives and tackle systems of oppression.

Walk: Downtown Toronto – City of Labyrinths (1pm, Meet by the escalators at 12:55)

Presented by: Jane’s Walk

Walk Leader: HiMY SYeD

Toronto may have more Labyrinths than any other city in the entire world. Join this mini-Jane’s Walk to find out why, and learn more about leading a walk of your own!

Bring a StopGap Ramp Project to your community!  (1:00 – 1:30pm, Breakout space 3)

Presented by: StopGap Foundation

Learn how you can create spaces that everyone can enjoy and help remove physical barriers that prevent many people from becoming fully engaged in their communities. The StopGap Foundation’s Community Ramp Project encourages businesses with a single step storefront to participate and receive a deployable access ramp at little to no cost. The brightly coloured ramps have proven to be extremely successful at raising awareness about access issues while building strong community networks. You will learn how to launch a project of your own and how others have successfully adopted a community ramp project.  

Laneway ARTivism (1:30 – 2:15pm, Breakout space 2)

Presented by: The Laneway Project and The STEPS Initiative

Laneways and street art fit together like hand in glove. But artists and communities wishing to install street art murals in Toronto’s laneways often face barriers – from funding to public perception to tagging. Join The Laneway Project and the STEPS Initiative to learn about street art in Toronto’s laneways and brainstorm some solutions to the problems it faces in the city.


Walk: Queen Street – the “good,” the “bad,” and the “opportunities.” (2pm, Meet by the escalators at 1:55)

Presented by: People’s Queen Street

Walk Leader: Edward Nixon

Take a walk with the People’s Queen Street! We’ll take a short streetscape excursion from the festival site down and around to Queen Street East/West and back pointing out the “good,” the “bad” and the “opportunities.” Participants will engage in a fun and constructive dialog on how the pedestrian, cycling and transit experience could be improved. As our “example” section of this most iconic of Toronto’s streets, we’ll focus on the Church to Bay Street segment of Queen where east meets west. Join us rain or shine for a YIMBY stroll. 

‘I heart Toronto’ Button Making Station (2 – 3pm, Breakout space 1)

Presented by: Myseum of Toronto

Wear your love for Toronto on your sleeve! Join a hands-on button making workshop – create your own design and walk away with a handmade button that expresses and shares your love for Toronto. 

All about the community land trust model (2-3pm, Breakout space 4)

Presented by: Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

Learn about how cities across Canada, the US, and UK are creating Community Land Trusts to facilitate community control of land and housing. Through community ownership, Community Land Trusts enable democratic control of land and tend to be successful in preserving affordable housing, supporting new local businesses, community gardens, and more. Learn about how a Community Land Trust could benefit Toronto’s neighbourhoods from speakers and through a participatory activity. 


Toronto Place Names: Hiding more than they inform (2:30 – 3pm, Breakout space 3)

Presented by: First Story Toronto and Toronto Green Community

Come find out how to begin learn about a neighbourhood’s Indigenous history by examining the place names given streets, parks and rivers. Each place name contains a story about where we live, and irrelevant stories imposed from far away have hidden from us the stories that can help us live here well and wisely.