Metro Morning

Meet the founders of NXT City, Torontonians who will change the city in 2017

Our Who’s Next series introduced you to five people making a difference in their fields and in the city who will change Toronto for the better in 2017.

NXT City was part of our Who’s Next series, which profiled those who want to make T.O. better in 2017

The founders of NXT City want to empower Toronto's young people to re-imagine public space. (Photo by Lauren Vaile)

Our Who's Next series introduced you to five people making a difference in their fields and in the city who will change Toronto for the better in 2017.


Who: The founders of NXT City are Justin Leclair, Mackenzie Keast and Christine Caruso.

What they do: The three direct NXT City, which runs an annual design competition for young people to re-imagine public space in the city.

How they're going to change Toronto in 2017: "It is the holy grail of city building to have young people care and be civically engaged," said Civic Action CEO Sevaun Palvetzian, who nominated the trio. In addition to the competition, NXT City also hosts symposiums and lectures about public space in Toronto. "It started with a prize, and it became a community... I think they are just getting started. And I suspect the prizes and the projects that they get up off the ground will become the 'must see' when in Toronto."

What motivates them: "Cities are densifying and young people are flooding in. As we densify and as our living spaces become more compact, we don't have the luxury of enjoying backyards... that makes public spaces all the more important," said Leclair. "We want to drive these ideas forward if they are really viable and really great. And if we can get these ideas in front of decision makers, that will influence them anyway."

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