What is the geography of city building?

By January 11, 2016 No Comments

The Citylinx Database is a public tool created by Ryerson CBI whose purpose is to connect, monitor, and increase awareness of city building initiatives. Citylinx identifies opportunities for collaboration, and connect organizations with complementary objectives.

Using the locational filter, a geography of city building can be determined. The Citylinx Database covers organizations within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, but are there any regional and municipal geographic concentrations of city building initiatives? While it may come as no surprise that Toronto is a regional hub of city building organizations, so too are Hamilton and Mississauga.

The City of Hamilton has been emerging as a centre of urban growth, producing the need for its own city building initiatives. Hamilton so far hosts 22 city building organizations located within its downtown. These organizations predominantly focus on environmental protection and social issues such as health. McMaster University contributes seven city building organizations to the Hamilton city building hub.


The City of Mississauga is often viewed as being part of the City of Toronto, but over the years it has established itself as a separate city and entity with its own focus on urban growth. As such, Mississauga is becoming a hub for city building initiatives for the Region of Peel. The City hosts 10 organizations that are predominantly focused around social and environmental impacts that affect and contribute to city building.

Still, Toronto leads with with the largest number of city building groups, but where are they located?

Toronto’s Downtown Core – South of Bloor, East of Bathurst, and West of Jarvis – has the greatest concentration of city building initiatives, totalling 87 organizations in an area of approximately 8.3 square kilometres. That is an extremely dense concentration, especially considering that the City of Toronto has a total of 126 organizations within its municipal boundary. The specializations of these organizations include transportation, economic development, environmental sustainability, social services, public health, citizen engagement, and so on. There is a noticeably higher concentration of “Associations” located in Toronto’s Downtown Core that are comprised of professionals in the respective fields of focus.

Two large contributors to this concentration of organizations within Toronto’s Core are the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. Educational Institutions are hubs of research activity and the two universities are no exception.

(More on Educational Institutions as City Building Hubs in the next blog!)

Citylinx is a valuable resource for governments, organizations, and individuals who wish to consult and engage with groups that are involved in specific focus areas. Users can search for specific organizations using keywords or a number of filters such as as location, organization type, year established, geography served, budget range, as well as the type of activities and specializations organizations are engaged in.