Students and alumni benefit from the well-established alumni network that supports the School and its students to improve planning education and the professional planning community.
Toronto area alumni help students by raising funds for the planner-in-residence program, scholarships, and an endowment fund. These initiatives enhance and enrich the student experience at Waterloo's School of Planning.
The Planner-in-residence program was initiated in 1990 to improve students' understanding of the planning practice by complementing academic work with opportunities to learn from practioners. The program is funded primarily by the fund-raising initiatives of the Planning Alumni of Toronto.
Annual alumni dinners
Toronto area alumni bring together the planning and development community through an annual fundraising dinner held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This annual event attracts high quality, internationally known speakers and is attended by nearly 1,000 people including planners, lawyers, engineers, architects, builders, and developers. It is the largest gathering of its kind in Canada.
These dinners present a unique opportunity for those interested in the planning profession to discuss and learn about diverse issues related to land use change and urban development. Students that attend this annual event find it a rewarding experience as they make contact with leaders of the profession and potential future employers.
Alumni dinner speakers
The speakers at recent Toronto Planning Dinners have included:
- Dr. Samir Sinha
- Ms. Kadie Ward, Economic Development, Foreign Trade, Business Development & Marketing Professional
- Mr. Mitchell J. Silver, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
- Mr. Anthony Townsend, Founder of Bits and Atoms, Author of “Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia”
- Mr. Noah Toly, Senior Fellow for Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Professor at Wheaton College and Free University of Berlin
- Mr. Robert J. Sawyer, Toronto-based, Hugo award-winning, futurist and novelist
- Mr. Robert Bell, Co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
- Mr. Taras Grescoe, Frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Independent, and National Geographic Traveler and author of Straphanger.
A complete list can be found on the UWPAT Past Speakers page
Future Alumni Connections Pre-Dinner Social
The Future Alumni Connections Pre-Dinner Social is an annual event by the University of Waterloo Planning Alumni of Toronto held in conjunction with the Annual Toronto Dinner in November of each year. The Social provides an opportunity for recent University of Waterloo Planning graduates and students nearing graduation to network with each other, planning professionals and industry leaders in an informal but professional setting.
Learn more about the UWPAT Annual Dinner.