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Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group

“Making them talk, then act, together!

The Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group (GTSWG) was established in 2010 with the aim of furthering collaboration within and across government and non-government actors within the planning and development arena of the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Toronto.

The GTSWG, co-ordinated by Sean Hertel and Roger Keil, has served as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas regarding present-day and future prospects for development and governance policies and processes shaping the growth of suburbs across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. More specifically, this forum discussed shared issues, working towards inspiring new modes of governance within the region. While one aim of the group was simply to bring people together to talk, the larger objective is to apply wider perspectives and new knowledges to the processes through which the suburbs are shaped, lived and worked in, and perceived.

As part of the Suburban Revolution Conference, the GTSWG released an interim roundtable report in September as a “manifesto-style statement that is geared towards stimulating wider public interest and contributing to future debates in, and about, the region.” You can read the complete report here.

Our Partners Include:

Building and Land Development Association (BILD), GTA Chapter  | Canadian Urban Institute  | DIALOG

Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation  | R.G. Richards & Associates  | The Neptis Foundation

City of Markham  | United Way of York Region  | Urban Strategies Inc. | Seana Kerr | Fora Strategic Planning

report cover



Sean Hertel and Roger Keil. Beyond Stereotypes. The Ontario Planning Journal. (September 2014)

Sean Hertel and Roger Keil. “Making Them Talk, Then Act, Together! The Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group”. In Roger Keil (ed.) (2013). Suburban Constellations: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st century. Jovis: Berlin.

Sean Hertel and Roger Keil. (ed). (2013). The Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group Roundtable Report.


Ontario Professional Planners Institute: Western Lake Ontario District breakfast event. (March, 20, 2014). Royal Botanical Gardens. Burlington, ON.

Canadian Urban Institute. Placemakers event. (February 11, 2014). “Good Density: The elusive search for good density. A cure for what divides us?”. Innis College, University of Toronto.

Launch of the Roundtable Report during the “A Suburban Revolution? An international conference on brining the fringe to the centre of global urban research and practice”. September 27, 2013. York University. Launch was emceed by Matthew Kellway (MP, Beaches-East York). The conference was attended by over 200 people.

Roger Keil and Sean Hertel (September 25, 2013). “Look for Toronto’s urban future in the booming suburbs”. The Toronto Star.

Sean Pearce (October 2, 2013). “Toronto needs York Region more than York needs T.O.”

Sean Hertel (January 8, 2014). CBC Radio, Metro Morning. Sean spoke with CBC’s Matt Galloway about how to bridge the city-suburb divide and “seize our citizenship as Torontonians.

Sarah Ratchford. (February 12, 2014). “Defining good density: Debunking Assumptions”. Novae Res Urbis. This article covers the panel presented with the Canadian Urban Institute event on February 11, in which members of the Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group — including Roger Keil, Sean Hertel, Ian Chodikoff, Antonio Gomez-Palacio, Sonny Rai, Glenn Miller and Jane Wedlock — discussed the need to rethink density and our suburbs.