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11CE - Growing Up: Planning for Children in Vertical Communities

23 May 2018 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours

This session will be presented by Urban Design staff from City Planning, City of Toronto. Can families with children thrive in dense urban environments? How can buildings evolve to places where parents want to raise their children? Families in Toronto and other rapidly growing cities are facing the choice of moving to the suburbs and facing long commutes or carving out a lifestyle meets their needs in the city. The City of Toronto has developed new draft urban design guidelines, “Growing Up: Planning for Children in Vertical Communities.”

In a city where the average price of a single-family home is unaffordable to most households and 83 per cent of new development is in tall buildings, vertical communities are becoming the only choice for families that wish to remain in the city’s central neighbourhoods. The “Growing Up” guidelines focus on design interventions at the neighbourhood, building and unit scale. Recommendations on building massing, flexibility and construction as well as access to rooftop outdoor space have been put forward to address the needs of children. Learn from the study’s innovative consultation and experience vertical communities through the eyes of youth in a short film.

Learning Objectives

    1. See the benefits of innovative consultation.
    2. Receive guideline training.
    3. Understand bold design ideas for buildings that can allow children to thrive.
    4. Learn City of Toronto policy and demographics on where families live.


Julie Bogdanowicz, OAA, and Annely Zonena

Julie Bogdanowicz is a senior urban designer with the City of Toronto’s City Planning Division. She also a registered architect and a member of the OAA with over 12 years of professional experience in private practice. She has a Master of Architecture from the University of British Columbia. 

In her current role, she develops urban design and planning policies and guidelines, undertakes local area and city-wide studies and evaluates development applications to ensure new development meets the intent of the City’s policy framework. She was involved in the review of over 100 development applications, including many complex building proposals that included new public streets and new parks. She has also reviewed projects at a range of scales, including low-rise, mid-rise and tall buildings. She has contributed to the creation of the Mimico Judson Secondary Plan and authored the “Mimico Judson Urban Design Guidelines,” and has co-led the City-wide Planning for Children in Vertical Communities initiatives, which resulted in Draft Urban Design Guidelines. Prior to joining the City, she was a practising architect working in Vancouver, New York, Abu Dhabi and Toronto. During that time, she was responsible for contributing to large-scale building design and urban design master plans in various countries around the world. Since 2015, she has also been appointed as an Architect Member of the Design Review Panel in the City of London, Ontario. Julia is a sessional instructor of architecture at the University of Toronto.

Annely Zonena is a professional planner with over 10 years of experience in the private and public sectors. She has worked on master planning and urban design projects in municipalities across Canada. In Toronto, Annely played a central role in the planning and development of the early phases of the Regent Park Revitalization and developed innovative the community consultation approaches for the project. Annely managed the approvals and design for the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre (Daniels Spectrum) on behalf of Toronto Community Housing, and was a member of the Board of Directors for the building. At the City of Toronto, Annely has led major growth studies involving the repositioning of a key office employment district and the review of the City’s Alternative Parkland Dedication Rate, and is one of the leads in implementing the ‘Growing Up Urban Design Guidelines.’ With a focus on youth engagement and development, she has led numerous workshops about urban planning for young people across the GTA.