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Live Online: The Urban-Suburban Divide

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Earlier this week, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was ordered out of office after an Ontario judge ruled that he had violated conflict of interest rules.

Supporters of the mayor have been voicing their opposition to the ruling, while others are expressing their happiness with it.

Voting statistics from the last election show that Toronto is very much a city divided in two, with suburban wards overwhelmingly backing Rob Ford and downtown wards backing his competitor George Smitherman.

This week's events have once again opened up a debate about the urban-suburban political divide, only in Toronto but in large cities all over the world.

How do different value systems and lifestyles between the downtown core and the suburbs influence the way cities are run as a whole? Do voting records match the way downtowners and suburbanites view each other? Is the divide perpetuated by politicians in order to gain votes, or does this happen naturally?

Renowned futurist Alex Steffen has said that the cities vs. suburbs debate is the political conflict that will define this decade.

Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on CBC Live Online, we'll be talking to several experts in the fields of urban development, municipal politics and political science:

      • Shawn Micallefis a journalist, editor and author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto
      • Ray Tomalty is principal of Smart Cities Research Services and an adjunct professor in the school of urban planning at McGill University.
      • Zack Taylor Assistant Professor, City Studies at the University of Toronto and principal at Metapolis Consulting .
      • Andrew Sancton is a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario.
      • Ted Rutland is an assistant professor at Concordia University's department of geography, planning and environment.
      • Hamutal Dotan, the editor in chief of Torontoist.
Join us live via webcam to give us your take by sending a private message to producer Andrea Bellemare in the chat window below:

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