Canada Seminar


Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


This is a Webinar. Please see below for the registration link.

Digital Platforms, Innovation and Opportunity: What Future for Canada’s Cities? 

Shauna Brail, Associate Professor, the Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga

The global growth and influence of digital platform firms (eg: Amazon, Alphabet, Shopify, Uber), and their impact on urban life, have prompted important shifts and challenges in 21st century cities. In Canada, cities are understood to be the engines of the nation’s economy as the places where people, jobs and investment concentrate. Yet, Canadian cities face challenges connected to their role within the global economy, which include spillover impacts related to the cost of housing and the way people and goods move around the city. This seminar will address questions about the Canadian urban experience with particular attention paid to the role of technology and innovation. Examples will be drawn from case studies on ride-hailing, Sidewalk Labs’ entry and exit from Toronto, and the future prospects for Canada’s cities as places of economic and social opportunity - given the rise of global digital platforms.  

This is a Zoom Webinar event, please register here:

Shauna Brail is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto. As an economic geographer and urban planner, her research focuses on the transformation of cities as a result of economic, social, and cultural change. Brail’s research encompasses studies of broad urban economic challenges and transformations associated with 21st century cities – including the impacts of COVID-19 on cities; the relationship between cities and the digital platform economy, with a particular emphasis on ride-hailing; and shifts in urban governance, policy and planning in connection to innovation and technological change. She is the Co-Principal Investigator of a five-year insight grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada – Taking Canada for a Ride: Digital Ride-Hailing and Its Impact on Canadian Cities. Brail is a Senior Associate at the Innovation Policy Lab in the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and a faculty affiliate at the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute. 



See also: Canada Seminar