2009 Toronto Conference

Conference 2009 October 22-25, 2009 in Toronto 

confererence attendeesOver the course of four days, in a variety of locations across Toronto (including The Artscape Wychwood Barns and 89 Chestnut Conference Centre, University of Toronto), participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas, techniques, tools, and experiences through an exciting series of workshops, presentations, facilitated discussions, and speakers.  There was a dynamic blend of doers and thinkers, of young and old, of new and tried and true.  Participants work in and with communities, whether local or international, to make them stronger or are simply keen to improve the health of democracies, in Canada or beyond our shores. 

Listen to an audio montage of Sandra Zagon, C2D2 co-founder, talk about the importance of dialogue and deliberation, past C2D2 conferences, and her thoughts on the 2009 conference:

Listen to an audio montage of Ellis Westwood, talk about the amazing program shaping up for the 2009 Conference. As well, why he believes in dialogue and deliberation

Read the Conference at a Glance or the Conference Booklet to explore the dynamic program for the 2009 Conference.


Participants were stakeholder engagement consultants, social innovators, participatory governance advocates, policy analysts, dialogue practitioners, social activists, community developers, youth, students, teachers, researchers, and policy makers from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.  C2D2 and Toronto Community Housing brought together 250 learners and networkers in an exciting conference about how conversations make stronger communities and healthier democracies.

We believe that diversity is critical to a really good conversation. So the conference worked especially hard to bring both the usual people and an unusual range of people with different experiences, ideas, backgrounds, and hopes to the table to talk.

And your hosts: The Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) and Toronto Community Housing partnered to bring you this conference. C2D2’s mission is to engage people from all sectors in conversations and collaborative action in support of what really matters to them and to their communities. With over 165 000 tenants, Toronto Community Housing is the largest social landlord in Canada and second largest in North America, with operating principles founded in collaborative governance. A partnership between these two offers an incredible opportunity for sharing promising practices and learning – researchers, practitioners and policy people will see the effective application of dialogue as it unfolds in communities across the City of Toronto, across the nation, and internationally.


A conference: Through a series of workshops, discussions, presentations, creative activities, in the formal conference venue and in the community at a variety of sites, participants built a broader understanding and experience of the power of dialogue and deliberation to bring about change. They also built community – the Canadian D&D community.

A conversation: At the core of the conference was conversation. Participants not only talked about dialogue and deliberation, they engaged in it. Opportunities abounded for talking to those engaged in similar work, and also those who approach dialogue and deliberation from an entirely different perspective.

An experience: Throughout the serious business of talking and making change, there was all sorts of creative, playful experiences by the participants themselves. Participants were invited to prepare themselves to instigate and engage in all sorts of fun and festivities. And we had a great time!


Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

Not the Usual Locations: To set the tone of community, the conference kick-off was held at The Artscape Wychwood Barns, the historic streetcar repair barns that have been transformed into a multifaceted community centre where arts and culture, environmental leadership, heritage preservation, urban agriculture and affordable housing are brought together to foster a strong sense of community. The conference base was at the University of Toronto Conference Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto.

C2D2 Call for Contributions 2009.pdf524.5 KB
C2D2 Conference Booklet small.pdf652.7 KB
C2D2 Conference At A Glance 2009.pdf176.42 KB