Better Budget Day 2015: A Civic Engagement Workshop

When: Saturday, May 30   9:30 am – 4:00 pm

WhereEvergreen Brick Works

Event sponsor


The event

Better Budget Day 2015 is a free, day-long, participatory workshop focused on open, democratic, and effective budgeting in Toronto. The purpose of the event is to identify ways to improve Toronto’s budget process, and to help groups from across the city better understand and engage with the budget.

Better Budget Day 2015 will feature speakers, interactive workshops, opportunities to connect with other city builders, and a chance to contribute to improving the way your city manages billions of dollars.

Better Budget Day 2015 builds on Better Budget TO’s inaugural Better Budget Day, held in 2013 and co-sponsored by the Wellesley Institute. That event brought together about 75 Torontonians from a wide range of sectors, led to this consultation paper, and was featured in the Metro and Newstalk 1010.

Who should attend

This free event is open to all, whether you are a budget novice or a budget guru. We expect to attract a diverse crowd from a range of sectors, parts of Toronto, and professional backgrounds. For example:

  • Community activists and leaders who would like to influence investments in services or infrastructure in their communities
  • Government officials – elected and non-elected – who work on budgets or whose work is affected by budgets
  • People in the labour movement or not-for-profit sector who are interested in public policy and advocacy at the municipal level
  • Media focused on public finance and/or municipal issues
  • Tech sector specialists with an interest in applying open data and technology to issues of budgeting and civic engagement
  • Business professionals who would like to contribute their financial or strategic planning skills to building a stronger city
  • Torontonians from all walks of life who care about their city and want to find ways to get more involved

What you will get out of the event

  • The chance to connect with a diverse and dynamic group of city-builders
  • Insight into how Toronto’s budget works
  • Opportunities to exchange ideas for improving how Toronto budgets
  • Ideas for how your community, organization, or cause can influence and improve the city budget
  • Ideas for how to improve the budgeting and planning processes for your organization (e.g., non-profit, community group, government department, company)
  • A delicious lunch
  • A day in the beautiful and inspiring community environmental centre that is Evergreen Brick Works


 Register Here

Preliminary event schedule

9:30 – 10:00 am Registration

10:00 – 10:30 am  Opening remarks from the event sponsor

10:30 – 11:30 am  2x plenary sessions

11:30 – 11:45 am  Break

11:45 – 12:15 pm Better Budget TO review of 2015 budget process

12:15 – 1:00 pm   LUNCH (will be provided)

1:00 – 2:00 pm Small group workshops – round one (choose one)

Potential topics include:

  • Participatory budgeting
  • Consultation process for 2016-18 budgets
  • The media and budget coverage
  • Civic tech and budgets
  • Community organizing around budgets
  • The budget of the future
  • Budgets and a national cities agenda
  • Open financial data
  • Communicating with the public about budgets
  • The politics of city budgeting
  • Rethinking budget town halls


2:00 – 3:00 pm  Small group workshops – round two (choose one)

Same potential topics as above

3:00 – 3:30 pm  Wrap up

3:30 pm onwards Social event


 Register Here


Better Budget TO (BBTO) is a civic initiative made up of engaged city builders who believe a city’s budget is more than just numbers on a page. City budgets determine direction. They help us achieve the quality of life we want for our neighbours and ourselves. They make a good city great. We are non-partisan, volunteer driven and committed to making Toronto a model of open, democratic and evidence-based budgeting.