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TeachingCity - City Idea Lab

TeachingCity 2018-2019 Progress report


City Idea Lab is a project within TeachingCity Oshawa. TeachingCity Oshawa partners Ontario Tech University, Durham College and Trent University Durham GTA are grateful for the generous gift of $322,000 from RBC Foundation as part of the RBC Future Launch program, which was presented at the 2018 Fall Student ­­Showcase and will continue to fund the City Idea Lab until the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

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  • What is City Idea Lab?

    What is City Idea Lab?

    The City Idea Lab is dedicated to providing an open-concept learning and research space where university and college students work across disciplines with policy experts in the City of Oshawa to discuss community development, co-create solutions and regularly explore areas for advancement. Students from Ontario Tech University, Durham College and Trent University Durham GTA gain experiential learning opportunities by participating in a collaborative, course-based project via a credit course.

    #OshTeachingCity   #OurOshawa   #OshCityIdeaLab   #RBCFutureLaunch  #ontariotech_u

  • Fresh off the press
    teaching city logoTeachingCity partners the City of Oshawa, Durham College (DC), Ontario Tech University and Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area (GTA) celebrated the fall City Idea Lab student showcase on December 4 at the Civic Recreation Complex.



    Students walking in Oshawa.



    Students solve social issues in their neighbourhoods while gaining new skills


  • Where is the City Idea Lab?

    The City Idea Lab resides within the TeachingCity Hub, located at 1 Mary Street in downtown Oshawa, Ontario.

  • Short stories

    On February 27, 2020, students from Ontario Tech University worked alongside City staff from Municipal Law Enforcement, and Innovation and Transformation, as well as other community members, including the Downtown Oshawa and Durham Regional Police, to address the questions, “How might the City of Oshawa and community partners reduce the real and/or perceived risk in Oshawa’s downtown core?”

    Ontario Tech U students and Municipal Law Enforcement
  • Events

    Idea showcases  

    The City Idea Lab Showcase illustrates active research on City-identified challenges. Both graduate and undergraduate students participate in this event.

    Students work in a lab environment where they learn about urban issues impacting the City of Oshawa and collaborate with City staff to co-design possible solutions. Each course focuses on a particular City-identified challenge statement that is embedded into both teaching practices and academic curriculum. At the end of the semester, students create a poster to display their projects and have the option to participate in the semi-annual Idea Showcase event.

    Fall 2019 Idea Showcase projects:

    • How might the City of Oshawa better engage the community on matters related to sustainability? (Ontario Tech University students)
    • How might the City of Oshawa raise the profile of what the community is doing to address poverty through investigative reporting? (Durham College students)
    • How might the City of Oshawa better engage art to tell the stories of Oshawa’s 55+ residents? (Durham College students)
    • How might the City of Oshawa eliminate barriers to Oshawa Youth Council participation? (Trent University Durham GTA students)

    Ontario Tech's social media posts about the showcase:

    Upcoming events:

    • Winter 2020: The City Idea Lab Idea Showcase 

    Due to preventative measures that both the City of Oshawa and post-secondary institutions are taking in response to COVID-19, the Winter Idea Showcase has been cancelled.

    Student project posters will instead be showcased on the upcoming City Idea Lab website! Please check this page soon for more information.

    Winter 2020 semester Ontario Tech University student projects:

    • How might the City of Oshawa and community partners reduce the real and/or perceived risk in Oshawa’s downtown core?
    • How might the City of Oshawa encourage small community projects that would create a change that helps to develop or support the priority neighbourhoods in Oshawa?
    • How might the City of Oshawa design a Wi-Fi network in the downtown?
  • How to get involved

    Teach a City Idea Lab course

    City Idea Lab is a curriculum-based learning hub that draws on the knowledge, creativity and curiosity of graduate and undergraduate level student learners to address local priorities and goals.

    A City Idea Lab course is a course where post-secondary students apply their academic learning and work in a lab environment to collaborate with City staff and faculty experts to co-design possible policies and solutions through active community research. It offers experiential learning opportunities to students via credit courses.

    City Idea Lab is designed to provide students with unique experiential learning and applied research opportunities. To obtain this objective, City Idea Lab courses adhere to the following framework:

    • Courses are developed around a specific City of Oshawa challenge question.
    • Courses have active City of Oshawa Champions who provide regular interaction, dialogue and feedback (including the City initial presentation, project pitch, co-design and a final presentation to City staff).
    • Student projects are co-designed with the City and faculty experts.
    • Students aim to produce a proto-type or experiment that can be visually captured.
    • Students present their project posters to the City and community stakeholders at the Idea Showcase.

    If you are interested in transforming your course into a City Idea Lab course, contact Yvonne Mais, City Idea Lab Co-ordinator.

  • Contact

    To learn more about Ontario Tech University's TeachingCity projects, contact

    For information regarding City Idea Lab, contact Yvonne Mais, City Idea Lab Co-ordinator.

    Stay informed about all TeachingCity projects and events on social media by following #OshTeachingCity#OshCityIdeaLab and  #RBCFutureLaunch.