Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Town and Gown Association of Ontario

Town and Gown Association of Ontario
City of Cambridge

City of Cambridge
Waterloo Architecture

Waterloo Architecture
University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo
Ontario Professional Planners Institute

Ontario Professional Planners Institute

May 16, 2011 09:00 ET

Students and Community Connect at Symposium to Talk 'Neighbourhood'

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2011) -

Attention: Assignment Editors / Municipal Reporters

Over 100 city officials, landlords, planners and developers, along with university and college students, faculty and staff from across Ontario participated in today's 'Town & Gown, CMHC Symposium', supporting and promoting innovative community-university partnership models between post-secondary institutions and near-campus neighbourhoods. Participants at the Town and Gown, CMHC Symposium explored whether strategies from other post-secondary communities could be adopted to address their own neighbourhood needs and objectives.

The event was organized by the Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), City of Cambridge and University of Waterloo's School of Architecture; the Ontario Professional Planners Institute was an in kind sponsor.

"The City of Cambridge is pleased to be a partner in hosting the Town and Gown, CMHC Symposium," says Mayor Doug Craig, City of Cambridge. "As host-community to the University of Waterloo's School of Architecture, Cambridge is very conscious of the successes that result from our collaboration with the university; our gold LEED-certified City Hall is a perfect example of this relationship."

For the past seven years, TGAO has been increasing awareness around many issues of common interest in town and gown municipalities across Ontario, which could best be served by partnering efforts and sharing information.

"As student populations continue to grow within Ontario colleges and universities, there is an increasing need to harness this potential to mutually benefit schools and their neighbouring communities," said Orest Katolyk, President of Town and Gown Association of Ontario. "Sharing fresh ideas to tackle communal issues is the first step to evolving this relationship."

Partnering with TGAO for the first time, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation echoed this need to develop community relationships through promoting neighbourhood design and land use planning approaches that reduce costs and environmental impacts, while maintaining community liveability.

"We are pleased to support community-based initiatives that engage neighbourhood associations," said Peter Friedmann, General Manager, Ontario Region and Managing Director, Securitization, CMHC. "Every community has a distinctive mix of issues and opportunities; sharing ideas is vital to the development of opportunities that respond to a community's specific needs."

As symposium partner, CMHC also recognized educators who have integrated sustainable concepts in housing and community development into the academic curriculum. CMHC's Excellence in Education award recognizes and supports higher standards in sustainable education and highlights the importance of sustainable practices within communities.

"Our graduate students have been very instrumental in leading the charge in experimental urban design on sustainable city projects," said Dr. Jeff Lederer, General Manager and Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Architecture. "I'm extremely proud of my students and their ability to influence guidelines on local development; I just point them in the right direction and they go."

Previous 'Excellence in Education' award winners, Luigi Ferrara, Director of George Brown's Institute without Boundaries, and Chris Magwood, Coordinator of the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program at the Haliburton Campus of Fleming College, also spoke to the 'Partnerships Supporting Community Change' session.

The student voice was also well represented; symposium attendees were introduced to student and community initiatives where successful strategies were shared, addressing local poverty and homelessness, and supporting local community objectives.

Wilfrid Laurier student and National Executive Director of the '5 Days for the Homeless' campaign, Robb Farago, presented inspiring examples of student involvement to help end homelessness by challenging negative stereotypes, "the student-body is a passionate driver for positive change in our communities; this social movement is only going to get larger as more students across Canada take an increasingly active role in their school." Since 2005, the campaign has raised over $750,000 to support local not-for-profits.

Please click on the attached pdf. file to view 'Town & Gown, CMHC Symposium' agenda: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cmhc516.pdf

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