Upcoming Events

Jan 24 2022 Forum /

Urban Affairs Forum | The Housing Affordability Crisis

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Part of DesignTO Festival 2022
Online via Zoom


Register Here


A free public forum bringing together three speakers from the fields of economics, planning, development and architecture as we look to better understand the forces behind the GTA’s housing affordability crisis and what we can do to address it.

Housing is a fundamental human right, and yet an increasing number of residents across the Greater Toronto Area are struggling to pay rent or find an affordable place to live. In fact, the GTA now holds the questionable title as one of the hottest housing markets in the world. With rental and ownership costs rising faster than household incomes, we are in the midst of a deep and wide-reaching housing affordability crisis that extends from low to middle income households, and from the urban core to the suburbs. 

Solving a crisis this complex and far-reaching will require a multi-pronged approach that addresses its root causes — but what exactly are those? And what is required to overcome them? 

Join us for this free public forum as we invite three speakers from diverse fields including economics, planning, architecture and development to share with us their work as we look to better understand the forces behind the housing affordability crisis and what we can do to address them. Moderated by members of the Toronto Society of Architects Executive, this forum seeks to prompt architects, designers and the public at large to reflect on our role in addressing this emergency.


  • Frank Clayton, Ph.D.,Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University
  • Salima Rawji, Vice President of Development, CreateTO
  • Drew Sinclair, Principal, SvN Architects + Planners


Register Now


This event is one of a two-part series exploring topics related to Toronto’s housing crisis as part of DesignTO Festival 2022. Join us on Tuesday, January 25 at noon for Part 2, an IDEAS Forum organized in partnership with DesignTO exploring homelessness and emergency housing.

About DesignTO

The DesignTO Festival is Canada’s largest annual celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 21-30, 2022.

Going into its 12th year, the Festival transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking art and design out of the studio and into the urban sphere. The Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary culture, provides opportunities for emerging talent, and engages the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.

About our speakers:

Frank Clayton, Ph.D.,
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University

Frank Clayton is an urban and real estate economist and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Queen’s University.

Dr. Clayton was President of Clayton Research Associates Ltd., consulting economists specializing in real estate and urban economics, for 35 years. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Altus Group where he remained for three years when Clayton Research was acquired in 2007. He was also Economic Advisor to the Greater Toronto Area’s Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) until October, 2011. Currently, Dr. Clayton is a Senior Research Fellow at Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.


Salima Rawji
Vice President of Development, CreateTO

Salima Rawji is Vice President Development for CreateTO, the City of Toronto’s Real Estate Agency. Salima is a City-Builder committed to the advancement of both the real estate industry and her broader community. She sits on the International Council of Shopping Centre’s P3 National Advisory Committee, the Ryerson University Real Estate Management Advisory Council and is a former member of the Management Committee for the Urban Land Institute Toronto.

She is a Director for CivicAction, the Toronto Foundation and recently completed a six year term on the Board of Directors for the Homes First Foundation. Salima is a Women’s Leadership Initiative Champion, a 2010 DiverseCity Fellow and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.


Drew Sinclair

Principal, SvN Architects + Planners

Drew Sinclair is a Principal of SvN and internationally recognized for his leadership as an architect and urban designer for projects ranging in scale from award-winning residential projects to large-scale infrastructure planning initiatives. He leads the firm’s housing and institutional practice areas and regularly speaks and writes about design excellence in the contemporary city.

Drew’s leadership on projects include the 300,000 sq.m. 675 Progress Avenue redevelopment in Toronto, two student residences for Ryerson University, the KACST Photonics Laboratory Building in Riyadh, the Thompson Industrial Skills and Trades Training Centre, and the Victory Soya Mills Silo Master Plan for Toronto’s waterfront. He is also leading several important projects for faith-based communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa. Drew’s work has proven instrumental in shaping large-scale planning initiatives relating to mobility, housing and community development. Related projects include the Infrastructure Ontario Integrated Transit-Oriented Development Strategy, Shoppers World Master Plan in Brampton and the Sinaloa Regional Development Master Plan in Sinaloa, Mexico.

A recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners, he is a graduate of McGill University and the University of Toronto where he won the Heather Reisman Gold Medal in Design upon graduation from the master’s program in architecture. Drew has served on City of Vaughan’s Design Review Panel, an advisor to the Toronto Society of Architects Executive Council, and teaches at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.


Thank You!

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of LRI Engineering Inc.