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Toronto the Better

Toronto the Better: Renewing Local Democracy is an active research project in response to Bill 5: The Better Local Government Act (2018) that reduced Toronto City Council to 25 single-councillor wards without the city's consent. The project combines a civil society stakeholder consultation on the values and needs of communities across the city with research on municipal governance and city charters in cities around the world. Together, the two parts of the project aspire to offer advice to policymakers on improving local democracy in Toronto and its region.  

Dr. Patricia Wood

Professor Wood's research focuses on citizenship, attachment to place, diversity, and identity politics, particularly in cities. She does both contemporary and historical work in Canada, the United States and Ireland, and conducts research primarily with immigrant groups and Indigenous peoples, with an emphasis on participatory, collaborative research practices. She is the author of Citizenship, Activism and the City: the Invisible and the Impossible (Routledge 2017) and Nationalism from the Margins (McGill-Queen's, 2002), co-editor of In-between Infrastructure: Urban Connectivity in an Age of Vulnerability (2011) and co-author, with Engin F. Isin, of Citizenship and Identity (Sage, 1999).

Dr. Alexandra Flynn

Professor Flynn’s teaching and research focus on municipal law and governance, administrative law, property law, and experiential education. Her previous project, “The Landscape of Local in Toronto’s Governance Model,” looked at the overlapping geographies and governance of city space, including the formal and informal bodies that represent residents. The project, which resulted in several peer-reviewed paper and public reports, conceptualized how cities are understood in law and how they govern. Professor Flynn recently began a SSHRC-funded project which seeks to understand the legal relationship between First Nations and municipal governments. The goal of this project is to illuminate the legal obligations of municipal governments, including the duty to consult and accommodate, to create reciprocal, respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and First Nations.