Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, Park People wrote about the 7 questions we faced about the future of city parks.

This webinar series was created to directly address these questions. In the series you'll learn about park-based solutions to address the urgent and immediate needs arising out of Covid-19 and parks’ role in creating a more inclusive and sustainable future.

The webinars are in English but a number of the sessions will offer simultaneous French interpretation. View the specific webinar links to find out more.

Register for our upcoming webinars

Past Webinars

Homelessness, parks & Covid -19: Moving from displacement to inclusion

More people than ever are sheltering in parks and public spaces. And yet, many municipalities are still using enforcement methods to address unhoused park users.

This webinar explored inclusive alternatives to enforcement and displacement-based approaches and explore how we can better share parks and public spaces, and build connections between differently housed community members.

The panellists:

  • Nakuset, Director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal,
  • Matthew Huxley, Chair of the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness Lived Experience Working Group

The moderator: Adri Stark, Project Coordinator at Park People. 

Watch the webinar


Read our 7 key insights



Don’t just tick the box, think outside it: Reimagining public engagement in parks and public spaces

Covid-19 has shaken up standard community engagement methods. How can we seize this moment to develop more creative methods and get better results for park users and communities?

This webinar looked at a new wave of creative and community-centric approaches of community engagement that happen long before park designs are rendered and long after the ribbon is cut.

The panellists:

  • Cheryll Case, Founder and Principal, CP Planning; City of Brampton, 
  • Jennifer Franks, Lead, Indigenous Placemaking, City of Toronto, 
  • Mikael St. Pierre, Project and Development Manager at Montréal Urban Ecology Centre
  • Sophia Horwitz, partner and co-founder of COLAB.

This session will be offered with simultaneous French interpretation.

Watch the webinar


Read our 7 key insights



Past, Present, Future: Who gets to write urbanism’s next chapter?


In this webinar, we explored the relationship between public space, race and the systems of oppression that characterize our public realm. We identified conventional policies and practices that need to be addressed and offer a vision for the future of urbanism.

The panellists:

  • Tamika L. Butler, Principal + Founder of Tamika L. Butler Consulting,
  • Chúk Odenigbo, Director of Ancestral Services for Future Ancestors, 
  • Guillermo (Gil) Penalosa, Founder and Chair of 880 Cities. 

The moderator: Zahra Ebrahim, Chair of Park People's Board. 

This webinar was inspired by urbanist and placemaker Jay Pitter.


Watch the webinar


Read our key insights



The pivot toward parks: How can we sustain creative activation of our public spaces beyond the pandemic?


COVID-19 showed us how space, resources and power can be reallocated to create new possibilities for our parks and public spaces.

Community-led projects have helped parks pivot toward serving food security, active transportation, arts and local businesses - like never before.

What are the practical implications of reimagining parks’ role in communities? What systems do we need to reimagine in order for us to build parks back better?

This webinar tackled these big questions in a session to get communities excited to collaborate with city staff in a new vision for park activation. 

The panellists:

  • Sabina Ali, Executive Director at Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee, 
  • Sarah Common & Alice 'Ali' Kenny, Hives for Humanity Society, 
  • Leslie Campbell, Senior Coordinator of Special Projects, FoodShare Toronto, 
  • Rebecca Till, Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, Vancouver Park Board. 

The moderator: Adam Hasham, Research Assistant, Park People. 

In partnership with The Canadian Urban Institute.



Watch the webinar


Read our key insights



Healthy parks and healthy people: A (not boring) conversation about the future of park investment


More than ever, Canadians recognize the role parks play in their health and well being.

Green spaces are being loved like never before. And yet, cities are facing dire economic challenges that will likely impact the quality and quantity of green spaces.

What would it take for parks to be fully recognized as engines of community development, resilience and health? How can we articulate the real power of access to nature for communities and attract the right kind of investment needed to sustain healthy park systems?

The panellists:

  • Susan Holdsworth, Project Manager for RECOVER, City of Edmonton,
  • Dr. Robin Mazumder, Urban Neuroscientist, Ph.D., University of Waterloo,
  • Caroline Magar-Bisson, Park People Development Lead for Montreal, 
  • LaMeia Reddick, Community Engagement Consultant. 

The moderator: Mary Rowe, President and CEO, The Canadian Urban Institute. 

Read our key insights


In partnership with The Canadian Urban Institute.



Park Animators: How to inspire safe, community-led park animation and build community resilience


People living in underserved neighbourhoods, which are often COVID-19 hotspots, are rightfully concerned about venturing outdoors. As a result, they are experiencing an increased risk of social isolation and related mental and physical health challenges.

In an attempt to address these challenges, and get more people active and outdoors, Park People launched the Community Resilience Project - a pilot program to help people living in underserved communities safely access the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Park People’s Park Animators told us how they helped over 680 people from underserved Toronto communities get outdoors (and learn how you can do the same in your community!).

The panellists:

  • Reiko Ema, Community Resilience Project Coordinator at Park People, 
  • Abdul Rashid Athar, Park Animator for Park People at Flemingdon Park, 
  • Hanbo Jia, Park Animator for Park People in the Agincourt neighbourhood in North Scarborough, Toronto

This webinar was moderated by Stephanie Stanov, Program Coordinator at Park People. 

Read our key insights


Funding for this webinar was provided by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. 




Deepening the conservation conversation: Exploring the connection between biodiversity, wellbeing and inclusion


Biodiversity is a vital component of healthy life on earth, underpinning resilient ecosystems crucial to the sustainability of our urban environments.

But it’s not just about the environmental benefits-- biodiversity is also critical for our minds and souls as city-dwellers.

In this webinar, experts expanded the boundaries of what we normally talk about when we talk about biodiversity and urban nature to include mental health and wellbeing, Indigenous land stewardship, inclusion, and draw out how these issues intersect. 

The panellists:

  • Nadha Hassen, Ph.D. Student and Vanier Scholar, Public Health Researcher, 
  • Don Carruthers Den Hoed, Senior Fellow and Manager at Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership (CPCIL), 
  • Jennifer Rae Pierce, Partnerships and Engagement Head, Urban Biodiversity Hub Ph.D. Candidate, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC, 
  • Joce Two Crows Tremblay, Earth Worker with the Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle. 

This webinar was moderated by Jake Tobin Garrett, Manager, Policy and Planning at Park People. 

Funding for this webinar was provided by the RBC Foundation. 



Thank you to our generous sponsors

TD Bank Group

Metcalf Foundation

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