Queen's University

School of

Urban and Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

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City of Toronto: Planning Challenges and Issues

The Greater Toronto Area

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, one of North America’s fastest growing metropolitan regions and may be the world’s most multi-cultural urban area.

It is well-known for its experiments in regional governance, starting with Metropolitan Toronto in 1953 and  continuing with the Greenbelt Plan (2006) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2007), which have won numerous national and international planning awards.

SURP tours of Toronto often include visits to Regent Park and the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood; tours of the Distillery and Financial Districts; visits with alumni at City Hall and evaluating the designs of public spaces such as Nathan Philips Square and Dundas Square. 

pHoto of Regent Park

Photo Left: Urban designer Marc Guslits discussing the revitalization of the Regent Park public housing project into a mixed-use, mixed-income sustainable neighbourhood.


At the suburban scale, we would compare Don Mills, the classic Modernist suburb, to Markham’s Cornell, a leading example of the New Urbanism.

All SURP professors conduct research that is based in the Toronto region and most have lived in the area at some point in their career.