Research Assistant Job Posting - MCRI Global Suburbs Tower Renewal

Timeframe: Fall 2017@ 10 hrs/wk. Possibility of extension for Winter 2018 and Summer 2018 term.
Title: MCRI “Global Suburbanisms” – Research Assistant
Salary: $5000/term

Job Description:
This research assistantship is linked to the MCRI Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century research project ( The MCRI Global Suburbanisms project is a multi-year international, comparative research project that seeks to better understand the challenges suburbanization poses in a globalizing world. This position is related to the MCRI thematic sub-project B2. Suburban Redevelopment and Tower Renewal. The position is for the Fall term of 2017 and may be renewed or extended to Spring and Summer 2018.

The student will be working with the City of Toronto's Tower & Neighbourhood Revitalization unit in the Social Development, Finance & Administration Division on implementation of the new Residential Apartment Commercial Zone, which provides permissions for large residential buildings to add small community and commercial services on the ground level and outdoors ( under RAC Zoning).

Working with staff to create a planning typology and typical business cases, throughout the fall term a feasibility analysis will be done on several test-case uses for certain conversions at a few different sizes.

The student may also assist the Tower Renewal staff in engagement activities targeting owners, not-for-profits, residents and local entrepreneurs such as events designed to generate pilot projects for further study and support.

The student will be co-supervised by Lauralyn Johnston, (A/Project Manager Tower Renewal) and Douglas Young (co-investigator, MCRI).

Specific tasks to include:

  • regular reporting to/meetings with the supervisor
  • outreach document for tenants for owner engagement
  • notes and assistance at meetings and events
  • presentation for staff and the Interdivisional Working Group on case study outcomes
  • working with 8-80 Cities and Tower Staff on prototype "pop-ups" for demonstration of RAC outdoor uses, including tenant engagement and evaluations.
  • feasibility case studies of certain conversions, including and not limited to environmental scan consisting of local demographics, demonstrated community interests and needs, asset mapping for service gap conditions; assessment of existing site conditions; assessment of space requirements for use; assessment of permitting costs; timeline of application processes for certain permissions; summary document of findings.

Please note this position may involve working at locations other than City Hall.

Currently enrolled in the Master in Environmental Studies degree program at York University, with Planning Stream or equivalent interest/experience required.

Specific skills include:
Strong organizational, research and written communication skills. Ability to work independently and as part of a team. Ability to multi-task. Ability to produce clear and concise documentation and reports. Ability to do presentations to the public and stakeholders. Background in urban studies/planning/community development or related discipline considered desirable. Background or interest in business modelling is desirable. Intermediate skills in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required. Experience in office administration, graphic design, GIS and visual presentation skills would be an asset. Experience in community engagement would be considered an asset.

To apply:
To apply please email CV and cover letter explaining relevance of this position to your own research interests, as well as academic qualifications related to the job requirements and a copy of student transcripts (screenshots of list of courses taken and grades received will suffice) to by end of day September 1, 2017.

We encourage students interested in this topic for their Masters research to apply.