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Faculty of Community Services

About the School of Urban and Regional Planning

Ryerson’s School of Urban and Regional Planning provides outstanding planning education that prepares graduates to become leaders in the community and the planning profession.

We are city builders. We are building not only a great urban university, but also a great city.

Our mission and vision

Mission

Our mission is to provide excellence in planning education that prepares graduates to contribute as leaders in the community and the profession. We are committed to advancing applied knowledge and research about cities and regions and to enhancing planning practice.

Vision

Our vision is to be a leading centre for research and education in urban and regional planning.

Our history

Ryerson’s School of Urban and Regional Planning is home to one of the oldest planning programs in North America.  

A few highlights:

  • 1969: Responding to a greater need for trained planning professionals, Ryerson established the Department of Urban Planning.

  • 1973: The first cohort of urban planning students graduated from Ryerson — earning a Bachelor of Applied Arts — and the degree program gained recognition from the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP).

  • 1986: This year, the department grew to become the School of Urban and Regional Planning.

  • 2002: We began to offer a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning program.

  • 2005: This year, the CIP recognized our post-baccalaureate degree and degree completion programs, providing a clear path for university and college graduates to pursue planning at an advanced level.

  • 2008: We launched a graduate program in urban development. Its focus on integrating nature and culture in sustainable development is unique in Canada.

Message from the director

Ryerson’s School of Urban and Regional Planning is a fantastic place to start your professional career.

Planning issues related to transportation, the environment, economic development, and a host of other topics are in the headlines every day, and Ryerson is front and centre.

Our role as a city builder in the downtown core has never been more visible. A few years ago, we permanently closed a portion of Victoria and Gould Streets — creating a vibrant pedestrian mall in the heart of campus. Our new Student Learning Centre gives the Ryerson community an outstanding environment in which to study, collaborate and share ideas.

Toronto is our living laboratory. We translate real-world planning issues into an engaging curriculum that challenges you to make an impact. Our dedicated faculty members guide you through the diverse learning opportunities available to you, and professional opportunities encourage you to gain the planning skills that workplaces demand.

Our mission is to turn you into an engaged and critical professional who takes action on issues that matter.

Explore our programs, meet our faculty and decide if the School of Urban and Regional Planning is right for you. We hope you choose to join us.

Chris De Sousa, PhD, MCIP, RPP

Director

What is urban and regional planning?

Communities are complex entities with their own needs, structures and rules — and planners are the ones who guide their operation and promote their growth. Drawing on their understanding of land-use concepts and strategies, planners create and implement plans to develop and enhance regional, urban, suburban and rural communities.

Ryerson graduates advise on planning decisions related to social, economic, cultural, land-development, transportation, resource and development, environmental and heritage issues.

Planners support positive community development by:

  • Enhancing interconnections among community assets
  • Identifying and equitably addressing a community’s diverse needs and aspirations
  • Supporting open participation in decision-making
  • Reconciling competing interests through compromise and negotiation
  • Forecasting future needs and pathways for development
Our people

Our faculty members are passionate city builders who come from across the country and around the world to teach at Ryerson. They’re dedicated to building stronger and more vibrant cities and communities — and empowering students to take on the task.

They pursue innovative research that advances new solutions for the complex issues our cities and communities now face. Toronto is their living laboratory. Our faculty regularly make important contributions to improving the liveability of our campus and our city.

But perhaps what is most noteworthy about them is their dedication to student success. Integrating research and field experience into their teaching, they create outstanding learning opportunities in the classroom. Together with our dedicated staff, they help our students to achieve their goals. 

Our studios

At Ryerson, we believe that education and experience go hand in hand.

The School of Urban and Regional Planning provides students with challenging and rewarding opportunities to put theory into practice through project-based studios.

Through studio, students have the opportunity to work on a team and under the supervision of a faculty member on projects that respond to the needs of outside agencies and firms in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

By taking on projects for community-based clients, students further develop their knowledge and skills, make valuable professional contacts and explore possible career paths.

Our partnerships

We work with diverse partners to create important learning, research and work placement opportunities for our students.

 


 

Studio project partners

Each year, our undergraduate and graduate students engage in over two dozen studios. These outstanding learning opportunities are made possible by a strong network of over 60 community partners, who provide valuable time and interesting projects. These include:

  • Build Toronto
  • Building Industry and Land Development Association
  • City of Toronto
  • Councillor Paula Fletcher-City of Toronto
  • District of Muskoka
  • Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area
  • Eabametong First Nation, Fort Hope
  • Evergreen Canada (at the brickworks)
  • IBI Group
  • Metrolinx
  • Ontario Growth Secretariat
  • Ryerson Office of the Vice-President
  • Social Planning Toronto
  • Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT)
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toronto Port Lands Company
  • Toronto Region Conservation Authority
  • York Region Human Services Planning Board

 


 

Placement partners

Our students also have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through field placements with over 50 partners in the public and private sectors, including:

  • Building Industry and Land Development Association
  • Canadian Urban Institute
  • City of Toronto
  • DiamondCorp
  • Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Spaces (STEPS) Initiative
  • LiveWorkLearnPlay
  • Planning Partnership
  • Toronto Financial District BIA